How Do I Configure PPM for Demand, Pipeline and Ideas Management?

Posted By Posted by: Laith Adel on September 10, 2014

Demand management is one of the key areas in Microsoft’s PPM platform, however there are few ways to configure the tool to manage “Demand”, or what most organisation call “Pipeline”, which is basically a set of initiatives, projects or ideas in a queue waiting to be approved (or executed).

The main areas that Microsoft PPM platform could be configured to provide users with demand management are, Project Server Workflow, Strategy (Portfolio Analyses) and SharePoint list to Project Server conversation.

Before choosing what area to configure for Demand Management, the following needs to be considered:

  • Is the Demand Management part your overall project management governance model? Or do you integrate it to it?
  • Do you approve initiatives as individual items or as part of a bulk approval based on a prioritisation process?
  • What do you want to do with the information (and potentially) documents you collect about the initiatives? Does the information flow to the project after its created?

Obviously, detailed requirements gathering and analysis needs to be done, but in general, the area to be configured and the way it is configured is dependent on the answers to the above questions and as follows:

  • If you do consider demand management (i.e. initiatives management) part of your project management governance model, then Project Server Workflow should configured in a way to allow for it, i.e. a Phases or Stages would be added to the Project Server Workflow, information about the initiatives, its approval and the status of these initiatives will be managed as part of the project sever workflow. For more on how to configure a Project Server workflow see Darren Deason’s blog
  • If you approve initiatives in bulk, comparing them against the business strategy and business drivers, then Strategy (Portfolio Analyses) area needs to be configured, this is done by:
    • Adding a set of Strategic Drivers
    • Prioritising the drivers by comparing them against each other (Driver Prioritization)
    • Then starting a new portfolio analysis, which is a series of steps that will work through ranking your projects (initiatives) against your business drivers set up in the previous step, giving you a prioritised list of initiatives which than can be optimised against budget (or other constraints).

If the two scenarios don’t apply to your scenario (i.e. your pipeline is managed outside your project management governing workflow and you don’t have a process to prioritise and optimise a portfolio of initiatives), a SharePoint list will be ideal. Typically, in this scenario you will have a SharePoint list (named Pipeline for example), that holds all the initiatives (ideas), with all the information required eg. Who is the initiator, sponsor, what area, justification, scope, etc. then a workflow can be developed (SharePoint workflow) on this list to govern the way these initiatives can be converted to a project, this workflow can be developed / configured used SharePoint designer, see

To convert a SharePoint list item to a project, you can either build it in the list workflow (developed in SharePoint designer)


Or do it manually from the SharePoint list itself, after ticking (selecting item), then from the ‘Items’ tab on the ribbon, click on ‘Create Projects’

Then you can map the fields from your SharePoint list to the Project Server custom fields and choose the EPT (Enterprise Project Type) that you want this item to be converted to.

We hope you find this helpful in your work management. Make sure you sign up to receive the latest news and blogs from EPM Partners here.

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