Project Request Management

Managing and Tracking Project Requests Has Never Been Easier

 

What is Project Request Management?

Project request management is a system for applying consistent, value-based approval criteria and automated routing for project requests that impact an organization financially and strategically.


Automate the Project Request Process

Managing project requests with email, spreadsheets or software that's ill-equipped to handle project approvals, scoring, and routing is inefficient and risky. Projects requests can be improperly approved, fail to provide critical details, become lost, etc. Automating the request process has many benefits:

  • Consistency of request information
  • Automated review and approval routing
  • Reminders and alerts to ensure expedience
  • Automated project/ROI scoring for approvers
  • Complete audit trail of all requests and activity
  • Project request KPIs, reporting, and analytics

Establishing a Process for Project Requests

How Do You Define a "Project?"

One key communication is how users will know if it's appropriate to submit something as a potential project. How does your organization define a project?

Example

  • There is an executive champion.
  • There are start and end dates for the effort.
  • Unique effort. There are no similar efforts in the organization currently or planned.
  • There are there specific, measurable deliverables/outputs.
  • The effort will be managed by a specific, temporary project team.

Define the Workflow Process

When a project is requested, what is the review and approval process? Here are some items to consider before drawing out the process (if necessary) using a process or flowchart illustration tool:

  1. What are the project approval levels (Manager/Director/Executive/CXO) and does the approval need to travel sequentially through each level?
  2. Will approvals be by single approvers or groups? In a group scenario, does it take just one individual in the group or multiple to approve?
  3. How should rejections be handled?
  4. What information does an approver need to see to make the best decision?
  5. Will there be thresholds for escalation? For instance "If the request is over $25,000, then route to..."
  6. How will alerts and reminders be configured to ensure momentum?
  7. How much of the process should be visible by the submitter? Should they, for instance, be able to see who's sitting on a request?
  8. Will requests route differently based on information supplied by the requester? (e.g. type of request, department, location, seniority, etc.)
project request management process
Example of a Project Request Process

Identify Project Information to Collect

You want to get as much information about the project upfront as possible in the project request form without overburdening the requester with unnecessary questions. Here are some examples of project details to gather at the outset:

  • Budget
  • Funding source
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Initial estimated cost
  • Justification
  • Known risks and constraints
  • Metrics and KPIs
  • Project Sponsor
  • Project name, description, and objectives
  • Project owner
  • Proposed timeline
  • Required resources
  • Scope (overview of what's in, out, uncertain)
  • Stakeholder roles, responsibilities and involvement
  • Supporting documentation

Define Evaluation Formula/Scoring Process

When approvers are reviewing potential projects they need a  methodology for making a decision. This will obviously be unique to the type of project and the organization but, generally, the methodology or formula should factor in the return on investment, payback period, strategic importance, competitive advantage, etc.

The accepted methodology should be part of the request process where either the requester or someone up the chain is assessing the project for these components, usually numerically. Often each component is assigned a rating and then the rating is totaled. Additionally, return and budget numbers are included as part of the analysis.

Approvers can now evaluate the request intelligently and either move the project forward, return the request for additional or corrected information, or simply reject it.

Project Request Portal

The project request portal is where users go to submit project requests and track existing requests. Managers also use the portal to manage their approval tasks and collaborate with users and other managers regarding specific projects. The portal also houses analytics information to check the performance of the approval process and identify bottlenecks, track against SLAs, look for trends, and see aggregate data on all projects.

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