A Quick Guide to Project Request Management
Project request management (PRM) is a vital process that ensures the right projects are implemented at the best time to fulfill your organization’s short and long-term strategic goals.
PRM helps organizations to track and balance resources, improve visibility, and avoid scope creep during project execution.
Depending on your organization’s size and type of projects, project request management can be quite tricky. Questions to consider include:
- Where do the project ideas come from?
- How are requests logged?
- What is the selection criteria for a new project?
- How do you select and approve the right projects?
Without a simple and scalable process to manage project requests, you may be quickly overwhelmed with ad-hoc requests from stakeholders and the team.
In turn, this will lead to conflicting demands on resources, incomplete project plans, and subpar project deliverables.
Below is an easy five-step process to help you approve the right projects and maintain a healthy project pipeline.
5 Steps for Managing Project Requests
Step 1. Define a Process
You will need to decide things like:
- Is there going to be a committee to approve projects? And if so, who is going to be on it?
- What kind of data about the project requests will be required?
- What is the timeframe for approving projects?
Step 2. Decide what information is required
Implementing a standardized project request form will make it much easier for you to rank, assess, and compare various submissions.
The required information will depend on your organization and the scale of the project.
Here are a few items worth including:
- Project owner
- Project name, description, and objectives
- Proposed timelines. This should include a final deadline to indicate the urgency of the deliverables
- Known risk and constraints
- Required resources
- Project Sponsor
- Metrics and KPIs
- Supporting documentation.
A sample request form in SharePoint
Once the required information is determined, share the details with your team for future requests. Ensuring that your team understands the importance of the requested information will save time later on.
Step 3. Tracking
There are a number of ways to log and track project requests, for example, Excel or SharePoint.
Using SharePoint, you can:
- Easily create a PRM Command Center to track and report on project requests.
- Create an intake form to capture key information about a new request.
- Send automated updates to the requester, letting them know whether their project was approved or rejected.
- Build a project site using the original request form.
Step 4. Develop Assessment Criteria
Review, compare, rank, assess, and approve or reject the project request using the supplied information and urgency. You should consider the feasibility of the project, its impact on strategic goals, and the implications of not approving the work.
Step 5. Communicate the Decision
Finally, inform the relevant team member of your decision and next steps. Update associated documentation.
If the project is rejected, explain why to help improve the quality of future project requests.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.