Activity-based Demand Management

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Service Portfolio Management; Service Catalog Management; Service Level Management; Demand Management; Supplier Management; Financial Management for IT 

The primary source of demand for IT services comes from the execution of business process within the organization(s) being served. With any business process, there will be a number of variations in workload that will occur, which are identified as patterns of business activity (PBA) so that their affect on demand patterns can be understood. By understanding exactly how the customer’s business activity operates, the IT organization can improve the way in which capacity is planned and produced for any supporting services.

Demand occurs at multiple levels. Increased workload in the business can translate to a higher utilization of services by existing employees. At the same time, additional staff members that are employed by the organization can be translated into additional demands to the IT service provider (especially the Service Desk) in terms of service requests and incidents. To manage this, regular communication is required so that the business plans of the customers and business units are synchronized with the service management plans of the service provider.

Figure 4.I: – Activity-based Demand Management

Over time, Demand Management should be able to build a profile of business processes and patterns of business activity in such a way that seasonal variations as well as specific events (e.g. adding new employees) can be anticipated in terms of associated demand. Using this information will help various elements of the Service Lifecycle, including the following:

Service Design: Particularly Capacity and Availability Management, which can optimize designs to suit demand patterns.

Service Transition: Change Management and Service Validation and Testing can ensure that appropriate levels of warranty can be provided.

Service Operation: Can optimize the availability of staff based on patterns of demand.

Continual Service Improvement: Can identify opportunities to consolidate demand or introduce improved incentives or techniques to be utilized in influencing demand.

Critical to the effective application of Demand Management is a forward-looking Capacity Plan, which should identify how capacity will be produced to meet the predicted demand patterns, including the level of excess capacity deemed appropriate in accordance with the business requirements for service value.