Project Request Management Software

Great teams can accomplish many things, but one of the things they can’t do is wade through a sea of information before getting to the client. Great teams also shouldn’t have to waste time waiting for simple responses from their internal team members. This is where Request Management software comes in. Request Management software helps you collaborate on projects, stay organized, and ensure that clients always get the best possible experience from your team. You’ll never miss another deadline again!

In this guide, we review the aspects of Project Request Management Software, project management tools and techniques, What is request management system, and How do I manage new project requests in PMO?

Project Request Management Software

You’ve heard it before: the most valuable asset at any business is a great team. That’s true for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because great teams can accomplish more than just a group of individuals can—together they can work faster to get things done and also provide better support for each other. This is especially important when you’re working with clients or customers who need responses quickly, or when there’s a lot of pressure to complete projects on time (which there always seems to be).

Centralizing your business communication

Project management software is a great way to keep track of your business. It should allow you to centralize your communication with clients, team members, and vendors in one place. There are many different project management software products available on the market, so it’s important that you choose one that fits your needs and budget.

Removing the stress of managing multiple requests

You’re managing a lot of requests. You have to prioritize them, make sure they are completed in a timely manner and that the right people are working on each one. You need to see all of these requests at once without having to scroll through pages or open new tabs or windows.

In addition, you need the ability to send out an email alert when a request is ready for review or submit a time estimate for it so you can keep track of how long each request takes from start to finish.

Easy to use and easy to understand

As the most used project management software in the world, Jira is simple and easy to use. You’ll have a clear overview of your projects, tasks and deadlines at all times. Plus, it integrates seamlessly with Atlassian tools like Confluence, HipChat and Bitbucket so you can get things done faster.

We do our best to make sure that every employee can understand how Jira works—even if they don’t work in IT or haven’t used project management software before. And because we want you to be able to get started quickly (and keep going), we offer free training resources for everyone from newbies to experienced users.

Being able to get a clear picture of where you are with all projects at a given time

As you can see, an effective project management software will help you to keep your finger on the pulse of your project. It can provide a clear picture of where you are with all projects at a given time.

Being able to get a clear picture of where you are with all projects at a given time is one thing, but knowing what needs to be done next is another.

project management tools and techniques

In today’s day and age, project management is all about using the right tools and techniques. Having these two things in order can help you manage your projects in an easier and effective way. It has been found in many surveys that using the right project management techniques and tools can increase your overall performance, productivity, not to mention, happiness levels at work.

In this article, we hope to enlighten you with the knowledge of all the popular and helpful project management techniques that are working really well for organizations all over the world. And, further, we would elaborate on how managers can put these techniques to use with the right tools that have the ability to fit their exact needs.

So without further ado, let’s move on to find all the project management techniques that can work for your team and ease your work processes.

The Most Widely Popular Project Management Techniques And Tools

Project management techniques play a significant role in defining the structure, work allocation, utilization of resources, and at times, deciding the fate of a project as well. There have been several project management tools and techniques that a project manager and their team can abide by. Today, we have assembled the best of the best for you, so you can understand what these are all about and how exactly you can go ahead to implement them.

We have categorized all these techniques into various categories, the first of which is:

Classic Project Management Techniques:

Classic project management techniques include the more traditional methods of project management where a sequential and upfront approach is adopted to execute project management strategies. You plan, prioritize, and execute—as simple as that.

Here are some of the most commonly used classical methods of project management:

#1 Critical Chain Methodology

What is Critical Chain Methodology?

The idea of Critical Chain Methodology was introduced in 1997 in Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s book, Critical Chain, where he described the methodology as a technique of planning and managing projects that strives to keep resources leveled. It is different from other methodologies in a way that it focuses on resources rather than on the method itself and makes sure that the project plan is feasible enough and completed on time.

The main aim of Critical Chain Method (CCM) is to eliminate project schedule delays brought on by uncertainty, overestimating work length, and idling internal buffers. This project management technique goes into effect after the original project schedule is created, that involves creating task dependencies. Based on the Critical Chain Method, the developed critical path is revised. The technique makes this assumption based on constraints specific to each activity.

#2 Waterfall

What is the Waterfall methodology?

This is one of the most simple, not to forget, oldest project management techniques and tools known to manage projects. It is also referred to as Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) that focuses on making a solid plan and effective execution. The Waterfall methodology is sequential, which means one task has to be completed before the next starts in the pipeline. Here, all the requirements must be defined in the beginning so that there is proper planning and organization of a project plan.

How does Waterfall methodology work?

The Waterfall methodology employs a sequential process that is based on predetermined deadlines, specifications, and results. With this approach, the individual execution teams are not required to be in continual contact and are typically self-contained, until particular integrations are necessary. In contrast to the Agile model, team members tend to work individually and aren’t required to deliver progress updates as frequently. Typically, one phase doesn’t start until the last one has ended.

#3 Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Every project is made up of various small and big tasks that can overwhelm both project managers and team members at first glance. This is why planning is essential and more essential than that, is project breakdown before the execution process starts. This project management technique makes bigger, complex tasks organized by breaking them into smaller, more manageable chunks.

How does Work Breakdown Structure?

WBS is a key project deliverable that defines a detailed cost or time estimate to help managers have a clear understanding that your estimate will exceed the intended budget or deadlines. The WBS’s main objective is to plan the project’s timetable. The length of each work is planned in relation to its necessary predecessors and subsequent tasks. The WBS then offers a comprehensive plan so the project manager may understand how the project should develop and effectively manage the workflow.

Plan your projects in a streamlined manner and make way for effective work breakdown structure. Switch to ProofHub.

#4 Critical Path Method (CPM)

What is the Critical Path Method?

It is another one of the most important project management techniques and tools. The Critical Path Method of managing projects and visualizing the project plan includes mapping out all the sequential steps that are going to help you achieve the end result. While figuring out the smartest way to the ultimate goal, you will realize that there might be more than one pathway leading to the resulting goal. While pursuing this method of project management, though, we always choose the shortest path. Therefore, in the Critical path method, you take up the plan that has the least amount of milestones and also takes the least amount of time for project completion. It is an extension of PERT where the emphasis is placed on strategic scheduling and smart decision-making.

How does the Critical Path Method work?

The critical path method (CPM) is a method used for determining schedule flexibility and identifying tasks required for project completion. It looks after the longest series of tasks that must be completed on schedule for the project to be concluded. This project management strategy ensures that no important activities are delayed, making sure that the rest of the project is on time. It is one of the best project management tools and techniques. Finding the most crucial activities in the project timetable, determining task dependencies, and computing task durations are the core tenets of CPM.

Agile Project Management Techniques:

#5 Scrum Methodology

What is Srum methodology?

The Scrum framework is a part of the Agile methodology. Scrum helps teams focus on real priorities and the immediate requirements of the clients. This technique helps you leverage effective communication, teamwork, and speed of development in a project.

How does Scrum methodology work?

In Scrum methodology, a team is often led by a scrum master that is also called Subject Matter Expert (SME), who is responsible for inculcating the values of the Agile methodology within the team. This way the team is able to make way for seamless collaboration and a goal-oriented mindset where the team members are easily able to deliver results accurately and quickly at the same time.

#6 Agile

What is Agile methodology?

Agile methodology is one of the most popular project management tools and techniques. It uses the ‘sprint approach’ where you can break a project in the form of sprints or cycles. As the word ‘agile’ means the ability to move quickly and respond swiftly to changes, likewise, this methodology makes way for flexibility and collaboration. It is extensively used in software development and is best suited for small software projects that require frequent communication and the need to work together for working on innovative projects.

How does Agile Methodology work?

It is a method for project management that entails ongoing communication and iterative development. Agile project management is based on the idea that a project may be improved upon continually throughout its life cycle with changes being made swiftly and appropriately. Agile project management is among the most widely used methods because of its adaptability, flexibility, and emphasis on client feedback. Agile project management is a word that can be used to refer to a variety of frameworks rather than a specific methodology.

#7 Kanban Methodology

What is Kanban Methodology?

Kanban methodology is a visual way for controlling the flow of work through a process. Kanban shows both the workflow (the process) and the actual work going through it. Kanban aims to locate possible bottlenecks in your process and eliminate them, allowing work to move through it efficiently and cost-effectively at a high throughput. The first Kanban system was introduced by Industrial engineer and businessman Taiichi Ohno for Toyota automobiles in Japan. It was developed as a straightforward planning system with the goal of efficiently controlling and managing work and inventory at every step of production. It is one of the best project monitoring tools and techniques.

The main focus of this method is to ensure continual delivery without overburdening a team. In this method, Work items are visually represented on a kanban board so that team members can always monitor the status of the project. It is intended to improve team collaboration. It enables you to break down your duties into stages and gain a bird’s eye view of your overall development. You can visualize both the process and the specific activities involved in the process using this project management technique. The basic goal of Kanban is to manage work efficiently and cost-effectively at a steady pace. Hence, it is one of the most important project management techniques and tools.

Visualize your workflow in an easy and intuitive way using ProofHub’s robust Kanban Boards. Sign up for a free trial today!

#8 Adaptive Project Framework (APF)

What is Adaptive Project Framework?

Adaptive project framework (APF) or adaptive project management (APM) is a cross between Agile project management as well as change management. It allows the team to set fallback systems and fail-safes so that the project keeps running smoothly with one successful iteration after the other.

How does Adaptive Project Framework work?

Just like the Agile methodology and everything that the Scrum framework entails, the Adaptive Project Framework works around the theory that improvements must be made as soon as a setback is discovered. This project management technique and tool helps to implement changes faster than possible and to bring change to the game plan the moment a roadblock is identified.

#9 Extreme Programming

What is Extreme programming?

Extreme programming is an approach to project management where every principle of Agile is put into motion, every practice of the Scrum framework is practiced, and beyond that, every great coding practice is followed as well.

In this project management process, the emphasis is made on the user requirements and the coding and deployment aspect of the project as a whole. If you follow this approach you will get to deliver on the various software requirements of the clients and the stakeholders at the end of every week. These are known as “small releases”, which will, in turn, help you gather and work on feedback much more swiftly.

What is request management system

IT teams receive a wide variety of customer requests. Whether incoming inquiries are asking for access to applications, software licenses, password resets, or new hardware, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) classifies these as service requests. Service requests are often recurring, so efficient IT teams follow a repeatable procedure to handle them.

Service request management is related to, but distinct from other service management practices including incident, problem, and change management. Service request management uniquely involves a user submitting their request for something new –whether that’s access to a service, a new phone, or information.

ITIL specifies that along with the service desk, service requests are managed by the request fulfilment process.

What is request fulfillment?

Request fulfillment is the process of resolving a customer’s service request and refers to managing the entire lifecycle of all service requests. The service desk team is dedicated to responding to and fulfilling requests while delivering the highest level of service support quality to the customer.

Request fulfillment is about enabling employees by providing access to the IT services they need to be productive. It should help users see available services, understand how to request them, and set expectations for how long requests will take to be addressed.

In organizations that generate large numbers of service requests, it’s smart to handle service requests as a separate work stream – and to record and manage them as a separate record type. This should be a distinct process from your other IT processes.

Incident management vs service request management

A common question that comes up about service request management is how it relates to core IT practices including incident, problem, and change management. It’s worth briefly covering certain key terms before getting into distinctions.

Service requests should be handled as a distinct workstream to help IT teams focus on delivering more valuable work and better enabling the rest of the organization. Service requests are quite often low risk, and can be expedited or even automated. For instance, if a new employee submits a service request for access to a software application, that request can be pre-approved and automatically granted.

All of this means that the IT team can reduce stress, save time, and avoid overly complicated workflows. Considering the variety of incoming change, incident, and service requests you have to handle, separate workstreams and records will allow your team to figure out how best to allocate your resources.

The service request management process

While there are some variations in the way a service request can be captured and fulfilled, it’s important to focus on driving standardization to improve overall service quality and efficiency. The following process represents a simple request fulfillment process based on ITIL recommendations. This can be used as a starting point for adapting existing ITIL processes or defining new ones.

The service request fulfillment process, in brief:

Service request management priorities

A strong service request management practice is customer focused, knowledge centric, and streamlined with automation. By applying these principles across your efforts, your organization can strengthen the IT support team, make it easy for customers to ask for help and get answers, and use tech to keep pace with changing organizational needs.

Here are recommendations of what IT service teams should prioritize to get closer to the customer and deliver the best service possible.

Support the support team

The unsung heroes of any organization, support teams understandably get burnt out by the sheer volume of tickets they handle. Requests for services often exceed the supply of available time and resources. IT service teams in large corporations are constantly responding to requests from the business, often falling into the mode of reacting first to the customers who make the most noise. Meanwhile, customers complain that IT is difficult to work with, unresponsive, and takes too long to fulfill the requests they need to do their job. IT shouldn’t be thought of as a bottleneck.

To deliver better customer service, it’s important to focus on the well-being and development of frontline support teams. Typical tiered support teams are highly structured and manage requests via escalations. We recommend a more collaborative approach to service request management. In this approach, every member of the support team can get closer to the customer and answer questions. When IT teams swarm issues in tools like Slack, they also gain an opportunity for everyone to learn from the process of resolving the request.

By adding regular retros, the team gets a moment to step back and review everything that happened, on an ideally weekly basis. This provides a chance to ask questions, pinpoint areas for improvement, and make sure requests are routed to the appropriate teams. Becoming a learning focused team and embracing continuous improvement means the IT support team can be better customer advocates.

Working in IT can be a difficult and thankless job. At Atlassian, we recommend support teams regularly conduct health monitors to assess and take action to improve the team.

Shift left

To move out of a chaotic service request mess, one popular recommendation is to “shift left.” So, what does “shift left “mean? It’s moving request fulfillment as close to the front line – and customer – as possible. This improves the customer experience by speeding up time to resolution, simplifying support activity, and reducing the overall cost of request fulfillment.

For instance, a knowledge base with searchable articles can work wonders in deflecting tickets. Or, customizing your request intake forms to gather relevant information can reduce long back-and-forth conversations.

Customers want a single place to go for help. Centralize the help seeker experience and make it as easy to access and use as possible. Many organizations have created a self-service portal only for it to gather (metaphorical) dust. Learn from their mistakes, and create something based around the unique culture of your organization. Remember, that even if you build the most powerful self-service system, it’s worthless if customers can’t easily find it.

Levarage automation

When you incorporate automation into your self service capability you reduce the overall workload for your IT team by removing common repetitive tasks. For example, use automation to speed up the follow-up communications your agents complete manually today, improve the way you communicate with customers, and keep stakeholders updated on estimated resolution time. Canned responses for certain requests provide useful information to the customer and reduce the workload for the agent. Customers often don’t know where to seek help from, and automation can also be used to route service requests to the appropriate team for expedited resolution.

Be ready to scale up

As your organization grows, delivering service becomes increasingly complex. More teams are involved in managing queues of requests. With more need to delegate responsibilities, and pass work between teams, context is often lost. We hear stories from customers that acquire new business units or companies, and face a daunting process to onboard them into their systems.

A service catalog provides information about the live IT services that are available for deployment. The ability to quickly deploy a service catalog, without a developer can enable you to adapt to changing business needs.

How do I manage new project requests in PMO?

We’ve all been pinged last minute asking for the status of a document you’re supposed to review. You agreed to get it done by the end of the week, but something came up and threw off your entire schedule. Not to mention, said agreement was made in the break room making coffee—and promptly forgotten. Oops.

Processing, prioritizing, and tracking incoming work requests takes a lot of effort, especially when they’re coming at you from many channels: emails, meetings, instant messages, break rooms, and more. Demand management is time-consuming, unwieldy, and difficult to sustain as your company scales.

Follow these best practices for visibility of project management to bring order to the chaos of incoming work requests so you can spend more time completing important projects and less time apologizing for dropping the ball.

Best practices for work intake processes

1. Require a formal submission for all requests

It’s time to draw a clear line in the sand. Even if a new project is formally discussed in a meeting, informally mentioned in the hallway, or requested via email, nothing gets done unless it’s submitted through requests and assigned a deadline.

When you insist on a clear work intake process, you’ll have all the details you need upfront, which cuts down on rework and guesswork. Having a clear template to manage requests eliminates the need to reinvent the wheel every time work is needed. Plus, you’ll know exactly who to go to with any questions or clarifications.

Map out the types of requests your team receives and all the information needed to complete them. Then make sure everyone who works with your team understands the new process and knows exactly where to find the relevant request forms.

Pro Tip: Getting pushback on a formal request process? Ask the team to give it a chance, then measure and compare the required back-and-forth and time to completion for requested tasks versus ad-hoc assignments. Everyone will clearly see the value of taking a few moments to fill out a request!

2. Keep all your incoming requests in a single place

New requests should automatically be routed to one central location, like project intake software, where they can be organized, prioritized, and tracked.

The Esurance marketing production team shaved over 400 emails from their inboxes by taking requests out of email and adopting a single source of truth for all incoming projects. With a clear process for managing work requests, internal collaboration has improved drastically. Other departments are happy because they know their requests will be handled in an organized and timely manner.

When all your requests are coming from one place, instead of scattered through emails, sticky notes, verbal requests, or spreadsheets, nothing is lost or forgotten. You know who’s responsible for each request and its status, and any duplicate requests can be easily identified and cleared from the queue.

3. Tackle project intake and prioritization upfront

Some teams review outstanding requests only after they’ve finished a task and are ready to tackle a new project. This ultra-linear approach causes urgent requests and fast-approaching deadlines to slip through the cracks. Companies with effective intake processes organize and tackle incoming projects by priority.

Wrike’s dynamic request forms instantly turn requests into fully built tasks or projects from preset templates. This makes it easy for teams to prioritize work upfront and ensure they’re working on the right tasks at the right time.

It also keeps work flowing and enables your team to work faster. Workers can see exactly what work they should focus on next instead of guessing — or twiddling their thumbs, waiting for decisions to be made and instructions to be given.

4. Appoint someone to oversee incoming work

Whether it’s a team lead, project manager, or department head, having one person manage the request flow and set priorities is essential. This individual should have a high-level view of all incoming work and the authority to assign projects or shuffle deadlines as needed.

This strategy keeps your team aligned and focused on the most important work. It also enables them to dedicate themselves to the task at hand rather than worrying about what’s coming next or if they’re working on the right thing.

5. Map incoming requests to strategic goals

It’s hard to execute a project effectively without clearly understanding why it’s being done and what the end result should accomplish. How do you know if the project was successful? How can you do better next time?

Hold periodic meetings (monthly or quarterly) to review your KPIs, plan upcoming work, and ensure the requests you’re prioritizing and spending resources on are actually furthering your most important department and company goals.

Include the following questions in your request forms:

Having answers to these questions empowers your team to look back and determine whether or not their work was on target and also allows managers to more accurately measure and prove the impact of their teams’ work.

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