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The Fastest, Easiest, Cheapest and Lowest Risk Way to Implement a Demand Management, Cost Management, and Resource Management System

Or... How to Get Control of IT Costs and Resources without spending $3,000,000 ̵ $5,000,000 and "The Year from Hell" on the major integration project!!!

February 22, 2010


In a declining economy, high performing and innovative organizations continue to look for innovative approaches that provide a competitive business advantage. IT leaders need a solution which simplifies and without a lot of complexity helps them get a handle on all of the work being done by their organization and the costs involved. With a complete look at demand, IT can achieve better integration and alignment, particularly in an environment with rapidly changing business needs. Without an integrated approach, demand and resource management are fragmented and business costs escalate.

Therefore, IT organizations require a single federated view of service demand that includes key cost elements and resource utilization. IT Operations requires the ability to measure, manage, and report on all demands put on their organization and the resultant costs with confidence. So does Application Development. New requirements need to be defined, funding for the solution needs to be approved, implementation plans need to be created, and the work needs to be tracked. Since Application Development is the Level 2 and Level 3 responder to help desk tasks about their applications, shouldn't that cost be added to the cost of the application? The same time tracking system should be used for tracking time spent on help desk tickets as well as project tasks.

Demand Management

Few companies are thinking about the demand management discipline in the context of IT Service Management. Most organizations have far more immediate pain points with work intake, accurate time and expense cost tracking, and prioritizing and planning the people resources needed to deliver and support the services they provide.

There is little guidance from ITIL about demand management. But when you look at demand management closely, you realize that with your existing IT Service Management system, you have two thirds of a demand management system already in place.

Work in an IT organization can usually be divided into 2 groups: Work done as part of each person's job, and work generated from requests from users. Requests from users can be further divided into 3 types: Small ones, medium-sized ones and large ones. Our definition of "demand" is to manage all of this work, not just some of it, in one system.

The BMC Remedy IT Service Management (ITSM) suite manages intake and the tasks generated from small and medium-sized requests well. However, the completion of large and complex requests requires an enhanced level of portfolio and program management, a resource and cost management capability not immediately available from the ITSM suite.

By easily adding our Portfolio Management Suite (made up of ActionPortfolio Manager and ActionProgram Manager) to this environment, the ITSM suite expands into a complete Demand Management, Cost Management and Resource Management system. This is the fastest, easiest, cheapest and lowest risk way to implement this type of system, and the fastest, easiest, cheapest and lowest risk way to get control over your IT organization's workload and capacity.

A high-level process diagram of this configuration looks like this:

Demand Management Framework
Figure 1 – PRI's Portfolio Management Suite Configured with Remedy's ITSM Suite (Click to enlarge)

This approach leverages your investment in Remedy and the BMC ITSM suite, reduces user training, and allows you to better manage the increasing demand for IT business and operational services. By understanding the demand coming into IT, all of the tasks your people are working on and the resultant costs, the results are better control of your business and more confidence in your numbers.

Project Remedies' solution complements BMC's integrated enterprise-wide service desk and service management applications. It extends the BMC Remedy Action Request System framework, enabling IT organizations to streamline your business processes, helping them provide efficient delivery and cost-effective IT business services, with increasing customer satisfaction.

Project Remedies' solution is extensible and open. With it, portfolio and program management functionality can be incorporated into your business processes. Applications like bug tracking, release management, and managing scheduled and unscheduled asset outages can be implemented quickly and with minimal cost, and usually without the need for additional user licenses.

Our solution starts with your existing BMC Remedy Action Request System (AR System) applications. Whether you use the BMC Remedy IT Service Management suite or have developed your own home-grown applications with the AR System, the next step is adding Project Remedies' ActionPortfolio Manager and ActionProgram Manager to your existing AR System environment.

The huge benefits stem from the fact that all of these applications run on and were developed using the Action Request System. All of the data is in the same set of database tables. Project Remedies' applications take advantage of all the work you have already done insuring that the data is accurate and maintainable. There are no data integrity issues that come from choosing disparate application products. Why would you not want to take advantage of this investment and all of this good work?

Getting Started

The first step is to install ActionPortfolio Manager and ActionProgram Manager on your existing Remedy environment. This normally takes less than 1 hour.

The next step is to decide how the Project Remedies applications should interface with your existing AR System-based applications. There are some easy choices that are quick wins. For example, adding the "Work Time Tab" to your existing incident, problem and change management applications gives you bi-directional time and expense tracking between all applications and ActionProgram Manager's Universal Timesheet. The "Work Time Tab" and the workflow involved can be added and tested in less than a day.

ActionProgram Manager Universal
	Timesheet, Task ID View
Figure 2 – ActionProgram Manager's Universal Timesheet, Task ID View

So in one day, time and expense costs can be captured against all tasks: Incidents, problems, changes, project tasks, and "other" tasks not related to requests.

The next step is to evaluate your business processes and decide which ones should be incorporated into the system. Do you want to interface your asset management application with ActionPortfolio Manager and ActionProgram Manager so that all costs (time, expense, and asset) are brought together at the task level? Ours is the only Portfolio Management suite that runs on the same platform as the BMC Remedy Asset Management application. This would give you the cost of each request, and that's a huge benefit. Since you know who is making the request and the business unit they are in, the number and type of requests from each business and the costs incurred can be accessed at any time, and the data is current up to the last entry. Similarly, since you know what is being requested, this data could be summarized by type of request, as well. For example, reports that show how much time was spent on major types of requests last month and the previous 3 months could be generated. Here is an example:

Project Summary Report
Figure 3 – Summary Report Example

Why is it the Fastest, Easiest, Cheapest . . . ?

Ours is the fastest, easiest, cheapest, and lowest risk solution because it is faster, easier, cheaper and a lower risk than any other approach. For example, you could integrate disparate applications like MS Project Server and Remedy, or CA's Clarity and Remedy. This approach involves a costly and time-consuming major integration project, which someone once called "The $3,000,000 to $5,000,000, never-ending integration project."

Our approach eliminates the need for this integration project. Completely.

Another approach is to replace your AR System-based applications with similar applications from another vendor like HP, CA, IBM, Oracle or SAP. But why will that be any better? How will that help? You will spend a lot of time, money and effort, and in the end, you will be right back where you started: With an incident, problem, change management, asset management, and service level management suite of applications. It will take you a long time and a lot of effort to get to where you are now.

Of course, the riskiest and most expensive approach is to do nothing at all, and remain where you are, with costs out of control and resources managed poorly.

Ours is the fastest, easiest, cheapest, lowest risk, and most innovative approach, by far.

One More Thing

A frustrated CFO recently said, that IT management comes to him for his approval on the applications they want to buy or build using the resulting business benefits of the application for cost justification. He said that the differentiating feature(s) and benefits that make this the product of choice is usually not implemented until Phase 3 – and they never get to Phase 3. At Phase I, all of the products are about the same. With that in mind, he said that the Project Remedies approach offered a terrific value and many important benefits – starting in Phase I.

All project management systems have project records and task records. They allow you to define complex task dependencies and usually inter-project dependencies. They all calculate start and finish dates using a Critical Path Method data calculator. They calculate slack and generate Gantt charts. They all do.

However, unlike stand-alone project management systems, our applications interface with your other BMC Remedy-based applications for better cost and resource tracking. For example, ours is the only Portfolio Management suite that runs on the same platform as an Asset Management suite.

For more information about how the Project Remedies solution could save $625,000 per year, every year, in your IT organization, please call Stan Feinstein at 310-230-1722.

For a custom live web demo or sandbox access, please call us at 310-230-1722.

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