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How to place limits on IT demand

By michael.stoddart ·
I do not think my IT Branch is any different from any other in the world. .Demand for services is increasing incrementally on a daily basis - yet the resources required to support this growth (people and funding) does not match this growth.
Management attitudes of 'we also need this?', without determining the impact properly means that it is always a battle to meet demand at the expense of other IT issues.
Whilst the situation is manageable, I am looking for suggestions to help improve, or manage 'pressures' to do more with less.
What mangement tools can I use , not to stopprogress or requests, but to ensure that in accepting, a 2 way transaction occurs.
Your thoughts, suggestions and experience is more than welcome.

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1st to Blame last to fund

by Black Panther In reply to How to place limits on I ...

The IT department is usually to first to blame and the last to fund, yet Management and User's expect %100 performance, functionality and flexibility of the system.

Unfortuately Management do not seem to accept IT maybe also understaffed and under-funded, as well as the other Departments.

How far do you push the do more with less, work smarter not harder?? At some stage something will break, either the system or worse a human ( maybe go on stress leave ).

As for management tools - you could try recording the daily IT tasks, the amount of time spent with help desk and system maintenance.

Any new system IT requests should have a Business Case, their is always a Cost of improvements to IT, what is the ROI? - No matter how many more technology and programs IT have to put in the system they will have to be supported and upgraded. If internal IT staff are limited then there will be a higher cost to pay for outside Consultants.

Are your internal IT staff permanent public servants or Contractors?

If they are Contractor's they will most likely get paid a lot more than a permanent public servant!

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Service Level Management

by rdbennett In reply to How to place limits on I ...

You're right, you're not alone. Fortunately, ITIL (http://www.itil-itsm-world.com/itsm-kit.htm) has done a lot of the skull-work for you. It's not exactly a cake walk to set up, but it does some things many of the other approaches won't do.

First, it focuses you on your IT organization structure and mission.

Secondly, it presents your organization in terms of "user-facing" services. This ensures you get credit for all the things you do that make it possible for the business to succeed.

Thirdly, you can determine and promulgate the services you will provide on both non-reimbursable and reimbursable bases. This lets the other managers see what it is they're getting for free, and exactly what it's costing them for the ones that aren't free. This lets them make intelligent decisions about what's necessary to the business line and what's fluff.

In addition, you can set your services up so that a particular level of support is available without reimbursement, but anything over that becomes a chargeable effort.

Fourthly, when you institute the service improvement part of the program, you set up a continuous improvement program that lets you see where the performance shortfalls are, provides the information necessary to determine the cause, and allow you to come up with a cogent plan for correction that you can then present to upper management.

Hope this helps.

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Open up your IT project tracking tool

by greg_ross_sr In reply to How to place limits on I ...

Michael,
at one time my organization was ( and to a smaller degree still is ) suffering from a similar situation where the demands placed on IT was starting to get to unreasonable levels. Over the course of about 18 months, we tried numerous approaches to help senior management realize that while IT is efficiently completing projects, the demands ( and criticisms ) are coming in faster than we can possibly handle them.
The best thing we did (and also the simplest) was to open up our project tracking software to management and give them an executive summary of what we are working on and what percentage of the project was complete. We also listed the top 5 upcoming projects so that management can either assign a higher priority to new requests or add them to the list.
This accomplished three important things:
1- It allowed management to realize what we were working on
2- Management was able to easily see progress being made and ballpark when these would be complete.
3- We put the burden on management to decide the priorities of new requests.

The organizational mindset change did not happen overnight. All too often IT departments will try this approach, only to give up after a few months when things are not where they would like them to be. You have to be consistent with communication efforts. Stick to it and eventually you'll notice positive change taking place.

Greg Ross
Senior I.T. Project Manager

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log everything

by secure_lockdown In reply to Open up your IT project t ...

record & log all support calls/requests. try to make it a top prioroty for everyone. log log log... it's the only way

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Controlling IT Requirements - Software Implementations

by Joab In reply to How to place limits on I ...

You can use Functional Requirements Documents (FRD). The FRD in itself is not for free - the analysis and documentation has to be paid for by the client. The FRD will outline all requirements (and probably wishes) from the users and managers based the analysis that you have carried out. For each requirement, you will propose a resolution on how you intend to meet the requirement or what you need in order to meet the requirement. Key users and managers, will review the requirements and proposed resolutions together with you in order to ensure that you understood the requirements and that they will be enlightened in knowing what it will entail to get to the solutions. The FRD will then be approved by the key users and managers through their representative project managers. Both parties will sign the document to agree on requirements, resolutions and what it takes to meet the requirements whether it means means more funding requirements.

Additional requirements after original FRD should be controlled by using Change Request Documents. These are filled in by the users / managers. The requests are reviewed by the IT expert in which the duration and cost is attached. The document must then be approved by the manager for any additional work requests to start.

With these documents, you are sure get a two way transaction in which the users commit to pay for services required and the the IT experts commit to deliver.

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