At its core, Demand Management is a term used to describe the way that you predict, plan and manage the demand for products and services to create better and more profitable business results across the board. In terms of aligning your organizational priorities with Demand Management, there are a few key things you'll need to keep in mind.
Demand Management: Breaking It Down
In terms of IT, Demand Management is a way to more organically and more effectively manage your organization's demand for the types of IT resources that employees need to do their jobs on a daily basis. When a new project is proposed, for example, Demand Management gives you better visibility into not just "what is this change supposed to do?" but "why is this the right step to take at exactly the right time?" It contextualizes a project against the backdrop of "how will doing this put us in a better position to accomplish our long-term goals and guarantee better outcomes?"
It's about looking inward at how your organization currently operates, not only making it easy to submit new ideas but also guaranteeing that the right level of filter is in place from ideas to demand to the actual execution of a project to make sure that EVERYTHING has a strategic purpose. It's about eliminating change for the sake of it, crystallizing priorities and building a strategy to help act on those needs.
For many, this will require a shift in the role of EA (Enterprise Architecture) within the Demand Management lifecycle. In the past, EA has commonly acted as technical advisors. Now, EA must become strategy advisors. EA can and should be an invaluable tool in terms of guaranteeing that investments are being properly optimized and strategically aligned across all business unit silos, allowing technology to act as the foundation to bring those silos together into a much more cohesive and organic whole.
IT as a concept is inherently malleable, meaning there is truly no "one size fits all" approach to what you're doing. Demand Management best practices help to cut through some of that noise, honing in on the important question of "what does your business need information technology to do and how do you effectively manage that in a way that still allows you to remain as fluid and as agile as possible?" "How will this particular asset purchase strategically align what we're able to do with what our customers need from us today, tomorrow or even five years from now?"
In the End
Demand Management is also about the most important factor of all: guaranteeing maximum efficiency in the demand process, no exceptions. In terms of your supply chain, do you have the ability to prioritize demand when supply is lacking? Do you have the right decision makers acting on the best information to make the most appropriate decisions in the first place?
For many organizations, aligning their larger priorities with the principles of Demand Management will mean the difference between having a vision for the future that they want to create and actually having the right strategy in place to act on it and bring it into reality.