IT Demand Management: Roles & Responsibilities

The first post in this series presented a simple demand management framework. In this post, we’ll look at the roles that support that demand management process.

Requestor

This is the person who submits the idea into the demand management process. This role can represent the person who came up with the idea or is a person designated to submit requests. The requestor participates in the demand management phases to elaborate on the item that was submitted. She will present the item to the steering committee. She is accountable for answering questions on purpose, need and priority.

Identifying who can request is an important decision when defining this role. Some of the questions to consider are:

  • Can anyone in the organization submit an item or just certain kinds of items?
  • Do these items need to be vetted or approved before the requestor can submit them?
  • What is the requestor accountable for in each phase of demand management?

Demand Manager

This role is accountable for the demand management process and its outcomes. The Demand Manager ensures items move through the phases and

  • communicating and updating the process
  • owning and configuring the tools or templates to support the process
  • ensuring that the process runs smoothly
  • providing metrics to the organization about the process
  • performing governance to ensure that the process is being managed effectively and that the organization is seeing the planned benefits of managing its demand
  • identifying the hand-shakes between demand management and the software development lifecycle and project management processes in the IT organization

Demand Analysts

This role is accountable for the Demand Management process by ensuring that ideas submitted go through the appropriate demand funnel activities. The analyst is accountable for much of the day-to-day work that occurs with the demand management process. The DA may also:

  • facilitate the demand management meetings and events
  • work with the requestors to prepare the deliverables needed as the idea works through its lifecycle
  • produce the metrics and updates to show the demand management effectiveness
  • capture the dispositions of the demand items and ensure they move into their next phase based on those outcomes

Demand Analysis Group

This is a group made up of representatives from across IT that will be responsible for participating in the review, discover and estimation of items coming through the process. This group should be made up of architects, tech leads and analysts and other “big picture” type roles that can focus on areas like:

  • if the organization has the right tools, skills or capabilities to solve the problem
  • how best to solve the problem using existing or new technologies
  • identifying the hidden or unknown impacts or risks that solving the problem may expose
  • providing ROM (rough order of magnitude) estimates based on high level information

Decision Making Body

This is a steering committee or governance body made up of business and IT representatives that will make several different types of decisions in the demand management process: 1) is it an idea worth exploring? and 2) is it a proposal worth pursuing?

The roles described above are key to effectively managing and assessing the items coming through the demand funnel. Your organization may need to include other niche roles depending upon size of the organization, compliance or regulatory factors which impact your demand or any other criteria which makes your demand unique.

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