Demand=project manager assignments
Supply and Demand Management is a technique to compare organizational priorities with actual performance. Priorities are represented by a percentage of daily working hours for each corporate project. Supply is the actual hours employees work on those projects.
Demand The term "Demand" refers to the strategic priorities an organization wishes its employees adhere to. In other words, the executives of the company hope (and sometimes actually demand) that employees stick to the projects with the most value to the company. Executives have long learned that adherence to sound strategy is the only way to survive. You cannot run around like a chicken with its head cut off. Strategies must be carefully planned and then executed upon. The alternative is chaos and disaster.
Supply But given the opportunity, employees will naturally go off and work on projects and tasks they think are the best fit for them and the company. This represents the "Supply" of hours, talent, and resources to corporate projects. Of course, executives and managers hope to positively influence and guide employees toward the corporate goals they have set forth. In other words, they want employees to supply their work toward good strategic ends. But that doesn't always work. Sometimes employees figure out that the corporate priorities are whacked. Or sometimes they just think they are. In either case, employees don't always work on the stuff they are supposed to.
Gap: Comparing Supply to Demand Now that you have documented the project demand in terms of percentage of daily hours, you can compare the actual hours with those percentages. What percentage of time did each employee work? How close did they come to meeting the strategic goals. That measurement is called the "Gap." It is the difference between Demand and Supply.
Example Suppose an employee is scheduled for 15% admin time, and 85% project time. This is an example of "Demand." But in actuality, the employee works 25% of his time on admin functions like email, meetings, discussions, etc. and 75% of his time on project work. That is "Supply." The "Gap" in this case is +5% admin and -10% projects. The goal is to reduce the gap to zero, but these numbers are not uncommon.
The only way to implement a project supply and demand system is with a good timesheet. Employees must feel comfortable with it, and find it easy to maneuver and enter timesheet hours. Otherwise they won't use it. The hours they supply are feeding directly into the reporting module that executives will use to direct the organization. The timesheet must be solid.