Here is the scenario: You get a request through the help desk channels. On the surface it sounds like regular request. One week later and 60 Hours of your staff time and you find out that the request is turning into a project. At what point do you cut your loss?
I.T. Project Portfolio Management is an art on to itself. The priorities associated with each request often changes on a weekly basis. Organizations struggle because they have a set Strategy and Vision, but these are often preempted by a system being down, new government requirements or the CEO coming back excited from a technology conference. Managing the technology budget, while keeping the organization focused on the business requirements is challenging enough.
Dealing with “homegrown” projects that do not follow the normal project request process often forces you to make tough decisions. Do you have criteria defined for your users of what a service request is and what is a project? Do you max out the time spent on a request when it becomes obvious that the work is taking longer than a regular maintenance issue? CIO’s often have the best interest of the organization at heart. However, if you don’t manage the project request that comes in from the back door, you will not be able to manage your strategic projects.