Kanban Techniques and Bubble Charts in Demand Management

April 30, 2014

Demand Management Systems are on the front end of Project Management or Project Portfolio Management. Therefore, they are usually the first automated, workflow based solution that goes into the business value chain.

Demand Management Systems are focused on demand – capturing ideas and managing the evaluation and approval process by providing support rating, vote ranking and decision making. The ability to visualize individual demands allows for better comparison. In demand management, data attached to individual demands must be collected and managed along several axes, such as strategic alignment, cost-benefit, complexity and risk. Portfolio and demand elements have a set of metrics that have to be displayed eg. a Heat map or Bubble chart.Bubble chart is the ideal visualization display for comparing individual demands along two axes.

The Bubble chart below shows demands along two axes 1.) failure risk 2.) cost.

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Captured demands have to go through a pre-defined evaluation and approval chain, that has to be supported by a workflow based engine. For better visualization and quicker understanding of the demand flow, Kanban techniques are recommended as an integrated part of demand management systems. Kanban boards provide the ability to limit work in progress queues – report or alert overload situation – which is usually a key requirement. In addition, Kanban is the best visualization tool that helps management quickly understand what’s going on, and it provides the necessary traceability to follow up on status and issues.

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Metrics for demand management include new requests, status of requests in the pipeline, approved and completed demand. Approved and completed demands can be easily followed up if the Demand Management System is integrated with a project management and/or an ALM system.

In most cases, demand management system has to support decision making. Therefore access to the information on available resources is necessary. For pre-projects or decision support at a strategic level, integration with a Project Execution System is not really necessary because demand management systems can use metrics for risk, cost from the back end system or data provided by a business analyst.

codeBeamer is the first ALM tool that natively supports Demand Management as an integrated module in its project execution platform. It provides Bubble Chart visualization and Kanban features in addition to ranking, voting and scoring mechanism for decision support. Download our Demand Management Smart template and get into production quickly.

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Reka Moksony

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Reka is an economist with an MBA and 10+ years of experience in ICT with ERP, SCM, web, and mobile applications, as well as skills in international business development, consulting, and project management. You will find her blog posts on a variety of subjects from application lifecycle management and software quality standards to Agile methods.

Reka Moksony has written 42 posts for Intland Software.

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