BP.00.011 - Business Practice for IT Project and Procurement Governance

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Table of Contents

History [top]

  • Business Practice Number: BP.00.011
  • Version: 1
  • Drafted By: Peter Mosinskis
  • Approved By: Michael Berman
  • Approval Date: 02/26/2016
  • Latest Revision Date:

Purpose [top]

Describe the practice of submitting, reviewing and approving IT projects and procurements. 

Background [top]

A defined, organized and transparent practice for IT project and procurement management is critical to ensure that University resources are used in alignment with University strategy. It is also desirable to synchronize IT project and procurement processes with campus budget planning, to ensure appropriate resources are available and allocated in support of work requested. Finally, this practice helps the University assure that IT projects and procurements are aligned with compliance requirements, including audit findings, policies and applicable state and federal laws.

Business Practice [top]

Accountability [top]

Vice President for Technology & Innovation (T&I) 

Applicability [top]

All University employees and organizations that procure or implement products & services that impact information technology operations or resources.

Definition(s) [top]

  1. Project. A temporary, organized effort to complete a set of work to deliver a new product or service. Projects must have a defined start and end date. This is in contrast to operations. Projects originate from requesters who submit major or minor project requests in accordance with this practice.
  2. Procurement. A temporary, organized effort to purchase or acquire products or services from within or outside of the University that have an impact on CI’s information technology resources. Procurements may take place within the context of a project to implement a new product or service (or upgrade an existing product/service). Procurements originate from requesters who submit major or minor procurement requests in accordance with this practice.
  3. Operations. Ongoing, repetitive, day-to-day work which yields the same outcomes, product or service. Operations have no start and end date. Often, when a project is complete, the product or service will be supported through operations. Requests for IT operations support are typically submitted through the T&I Help Desk. Individual operations tasks or clustered operations support tasks typically take less than 30 IT staff hours to complete.
  4. Project or procurement request. A request for a new project or procurement. Project or procurement requests contain information relevant to University leadership in deciding the priority of the project or procurement. This includes: the purpose of the project or procurement; a cost/benefit analysis; how it impacts resources; and how it supports division and institutional goals. Requests become active projects and procurements once they are approved by the appropriate governance process, funded (if appropriate), staffed, and scheduled.
  5. Requester. The requester is the University (or CI auxiliary) employee who is requesting the new project or procurement on behalf of a university (or auxiliary) organization or division. The requester may or may not be the sponsor or the product owner. All project and procurement requests shall have one designated requester and be assigned to a single requesting organization within a single requesting division, even if multiple departments or organizations are collaborating.
  6. Division Project Coordinator (DPC). A CI employee appointed by the vice president of their division to serve as the primary point-of-contact for project & procurement requests and projects for their division. Each division VP and corresponding DPC play a key role in communicating their division’s requests and approval decisions back to their requesters by serving as a liaison between the IT Policy and Planning Committee and their division.
  7. Sponsor. The project or procurement sponsor is the University (or auxiliary) employee that provides funding, resources, and support for the project and is ultimately accountable for enabling its success. The sponsor promotes the project, and serves as its champion and spokesperson, gathering support throughout CI and promoting the project benefits. Sponsors are responsible for authorizing changes in scope and go/no-go decisions. 
  8. Product owner. The product owner is typically the key stakeholder for the product or service resulting from the project or procurement. The product owner is commonly a lead user of the system or service, and serves as the primary functional support contact. The product owner typically has a solid understanding of the people that will use the product or system; and of future trends for the type of product or system being requested or developed.  Product owners are responsible for developing and sharing the vision of what they wish to create or deliver, and conveying that vision to the users and to the project/product team. The product owner is responsible for creating a prioritized list of features and functional requirements. The product owner may or may not be the requester, but they are typically not the sponsor.
  9. IT Policy & Planning Committee (ITPPC). A formal advisory committee appointed by the Vice President of Technology & Innovation (VP T&I) to provide feedback on information technology strategy and planning, as described in the T&I Business Practice on IT Governance (see Exhibits).
  10. Project and procurement management information system (PMIS). A system which enables the University to capture and manage the portfolio of requests and active project & procurements as they apply to this practice. The University’s PMIS is documented in the Exhibits.
  11. Products & services that impact information technology (IT). To determine whether a new product or service has an impact on IT operations or resources, ask the following questions:
    1. Does it connect to (or use) the campus network?
    2. Will it be accessed through the internet or through myCI?
    3. Is there equipment or software that will need to be installed or maintained?
    4. Will any personal data (student, employee, donor, etc.) be accessed, stored or used by the product or service?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then the product or service being procured or implemented does have an IT impact and shall be subject to this process. 

Types of Project & Procurement Requests 

Major Project or Procurement. A project or procurement which meets one or more criteria in Column A and one or more criteria in column B in the table below. 

Column A Column B

New product or service that impacts IT

- OR -

Upgrade to existing product or service that impacts IT

- OR -

Chancellor's Office mandated, sponsored, or funded product of service that impacts IT

AND

Costs $5K+ (one-time) or $10K+ (over next 2+ years)

- OR -

60+ IT staff hours to complete

- OR -

Requires ongoing IT maintenance or funding

- OR - 

Designated as a major project by VP, T&I

Minor project or procurement. A project which meets one or more criteria in Column C and one or more criteria in column D in the table below.  

Column C Column D

New product or service that impacts IT

- OR -

Upgrade to existing product or service that impacts IT

- OR -

Chancellor's Office mandated, sponsored, or funded product of service that impacts IT

AND

Costs less than $5K (one-time) or less than $10K+ (over next 2+ years)

- OR -

30-60 IT staff hours to complete

- OR -

Requires ongoing IT maintenance or funding

- OR - 

Designated as a minor project by VP, T&I

Text [top]

General

T&I shall provide, maintain and support a central, web-based PMIS to support IT project and procurement governance. T&I shall regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the PMIS to ensure its alignment with University needs.

Governance Organization

Each division shall appoint a Division Project Coordinator (DPC). Each DPC shall serve as the primary liaison for project & procurement requests between the division, the ITPPC and T&I.

Each DPC is responsible for:

  1. Understanding the criteria for major projects & procurements, minor projects & procurements and operations requests.
  2. Gathering major project & procurement requests from their Division
  3. Understanding their division’s priorities and working with division leadership to prioritize each request.
  4. Building the case for each project request, including analysis of benefit, risk, and impact on audience, budget, and process, as described later in this document.
  5. Working closely with appropriate T&I managers to identify technology requirements and resources
  6. Submitting project requests to T&I on behalf of their vice president, in alignment with the process and timeline described in this practice
  7. Communicating with their division requesters and leadership about request approval & status

Each division shall create a governance process to support evaluation and prioritization of requests to be submitted as part of this process. T&I can collaborate in designing of this process, or the division may design it on its own. 

The IT Policy and Planning Committee shall serve as an advisory body to assist the Vice President of Technology & Innovation in understanding and comparing the priority of active projects and procurements, and new project & procurement requests.

A list of DPCs is available in the Exhibits.

Major Project & Procurement Requests 

A 4-step process shall be followed for review and approval of incoming major project and procurement requests which impact IT resources.

A typical process timeline is available in the Exhibits. The process shall occur as a bi-annual cycle. One process cycle shall be scheduled in alignment with the campus budget process to ensure that both funding and IT resources are available for major project work. Dates for milestones and deadlines within each review cycle may be adjusted by T&I as needed.

Step 1. Division gathering, vetting & submission

1A. Divisions draft their requests

Each division shall assemble a case for each project and procurement request.

Draft cases shall include (but are not limited to) the following information:

  1. Names of the project sponsor & product owner
  2. Rationale for the project or procurement
  3. List of benefits & risks
  4. How the request supports CI’s strategic priorities
  5. How the request supports the submitting division’s goals
  6. Analysis of impact on resources (people, equipment)
  7. Costs (one-time and annual; and description of funding sources)
  8. A preliminary list of requirements & features to be delivered
  9. Proposed project dates (start, go-live, end) & milestones.
  10. List of vendors that have been/will be evaluated
  11. How the success of the project or procurement will be measured.  

Each draft case shall be assigned a unique priority number by the DPC, designating the cases’ priority for the division. #1 shall be used for the most important and most urgent request, up to #10 for the least important and least urgent request.

The draft case, priority, and corresponding supporting documentation comprise the draft request.

Prior to submission to T&I, all draft requests shall be approved by the vice president of the submitting division. 

1B. Divisions submit their draft requests to T&I

All approved draft requests shall be submitted by the DPC or designee to T&I using a standardized electronic form and process (through the PMIS).  

All draft requests shall be submitted to T&I on or before the Spring Cycle and Fall Cycle deadlines. (A timeline and list of deadlines is available in the Exhibits).

1C. Divisions vet their draft requests with T&I

Upon submission of the first drafts, a T&I manager and one or more T&I staff members shall be assigned to each case to assist the DPC and requester in assessing the IT impact of the project in more detail.

T&I request assessment shall include (but are not limited to) the following questions:

  1. What are the accessibility, infrastructure, data, security and other IT-related impacts of this request?
  2. Are project/product/service requirements & deliverables clearly and sufficiently defined?
  3. What T&I resources will be required to create & support the requested features, and when will these resources be required?
  4. Are the T&I resources available in the timeframe?
  5. How have potential vendors, products or services been evaluated?
  6. Do the vendor, product or service meet CI standards and guidelines for IT?
  7. What other CSU campuses are using the product or service?
  8. What will the product owner and T&I’s roles be in ongoing support, maintenance and funding of this product?

During the T&I assessment process, the DPC, sponsor and product owner shall be responsible for:

  1. Acting as the primary liaison between the requester, T&I, Procurement & Contract Services, and prospective vendor(s).
  2. Organizing, scheduling and leading meetings between prospective vendors, procurement, T&I staff and stakeholders.
  3. Gathering and organizing documents, data and examples, from vendors and stakeholders.
  4. Coordinating the evaluation of vendors, if required.
  5. Assembling and prioritizing lists of functional requirements.
  6. Organizing, scheduling and leading product or service demonstrations or tests.
  7. Organizing and leading client reference interviews with functional and technical staff.
  8. Obtaining & reviewing proposals from vendors.
  9. Reviewing contracts and ensuring that Procurement & Contract Services has the information necessary to complete contract review.
Capacity and Administrative Burden

T&I shall have at least 6 weeks to analyze all requests submitted during each submission cycle.

If T&I cannot analyze a request (due to lack of information, lack of responsiveness from the requester/DPC/vendor, or complexity of the request) within the 6 week time frame, T&I reserves the right to postpone review of the request until the next cycle.

T&I reserves the right to limit the number of projects or procurements that shall be submitted by each division (or evaluated by T&I) to manage or minimize the administrative burden of this process, and to ensure timely completion of request evaluations.

1D. Final Submission of Division Request to T&I

All requests for a given review cycle shall be submitted electronically to T&I by each DPC before the established deadline. T&I reserves the right to postpone or reject incomplete requests.

Step 2. ITPPC presentation, review & approval

The T&I Project Management office (PMO) shall deliver the project & procurement requests of each division to the ITPPC. 

The VP T&I or designee shall schedule ITPPC meetings to occur during the review period. Meetings of sufficient number and duration will be scheduled to complete the evaluation process. 

Requests shall be provided by T&I to the ITPPC members at least 5 business days prior to the first review meeting to ensure sufficient time for review.

DPCs shall present each case to the ITPPC. DPCs may choose to invite the sponsor and/or product owner for each request to provide clarification or supporting information.

The ITPPC shall meet to review and prioritize the submitted requests of each division, resulting in a consolidated, prioritized list of project & procurement requests for the University, which it will submit as a recommendation to the VP T&I.

T&I shall establish and maintain a public ITPPC web site which includes meeting notes, agendas and a list of committee membership.

Step 3. VP T&I presentation to Cabinet & approval

The Vice President for Technology & Innovation (VP T&I) shall review the request recommendations & prioritization of the ITPPC and present a consolidated, prioritized list of requests to the President’s Cabinet for final review and approval.

The Cabinet shall approve or deny each request, and adjust prioritization as necessary to ensure strategic alignment. Denied requests may be submitted during the next planning cycle.

Communication

The VP T&I shall communicate the Cabinet’s final decision back to the the Cabinet, ITPPC and DPCs.

CI Divisions are encouraged to create a plan to further facilitate communication regarding the Cabinet’s decisions back to their division’s VP, requester, sponsor, and staff.

T&I shall maintain a portfolio of approved projects via the PMIS and include a link to the portfolio on the T&I web site.

Step 4. Work begins

The approval of cabinet authorizes work to be done; however, in order for the project or procurement efforts to begin, all of the following criteria must be met:

  1. The request must be staffed (i.e., T&I project manager and T&I staff are assigned)
  2. The request must be scheduled (i.e., T&I staff time has been blocked to accommodate for this project)
  3. Funding for the request must be available (if funding is required)
  4. The product owner and relevant customer stakeholders are available to actively work on the project or procurement within the designated time frame.

Projects that meet these 4 criteria shall be converted to active projects in the PMIS.

Cabinet authorized projects & procurements which are “staff-only” (i.e., those which do not require funding) may begin sooner than requests which require campus funding, because they are not contingent upon the availability of funds in the campus budget.

Minor Project & Procurement Requests

Minor project & procurement requests shall be evaluated by T&I on a first-come, first-served basis.

Minor requests may be submitted by any University employee to T&I via an electronic form, and be archived in the PMIS.

For each minor request, the University employee and requesting organization shall include (but are not limited to) the following information:

  1. Name(s) of the project sponsor & product owner
  2. The name of the functional owner of the product, service or system
  3. Requesting organization and division
  4. Rationale for the project or procurement
  5. How the request supports CI’s strategic priorities
  6. Analysis of impact on resources (people, equipment)
  7. Costs (one-time and annual; and description of funding sources)
  8. A preliminary list of requirements & deliverables
  9. Proposed project dates (start, go-live, end) & milestones
  10. List of vendors that have been/will be evaluated (if applicable)
  11. How the success of the project or procurement will be measured.

The DPC for the requesting division shall be designated as a stakeholder for each minor request within the PMIS, and shall be notified of the submission of any minor requests to T&I.

A T&I manager shall be assigned as a project manager to each minor project & procurement request.

Review, approval, and prioritization of minor requests shall be completed at the discretion of the assigned T&I manager and DPC.

Approval of the assigned T&I Manager and DPC authorizes work to begin; however, in order for the project or procurement effort to begin, all of the following criteria must be met:

  1. The request must be staffed (i.e., T&I project manager and T&I staff are assigned)
  2. The request must be  scheduled (i.e., T&I staff time has been blocked to accommodate for this project)
  3. Funding for the request must be available (if funding is required)
  4. The product owner and relevant customer stakeholders are available to actively work on the project or procurement within the designated time frame. 

Projects that meet these 4 criteria shall be converted to active minor projects in the PMIS.

Approved minor requests shall be tracked within the PMIS. Project stakeholders may access project information (including project announcements/news, status updates, files and issues) via the PMIS.

Capacity and Administrative Burden

Minor requests shall be submitted at least 20 business days prior to the start of work to ensure sufficient time for review, planning and staffing. Minor requests which are not submitted in accordance with this practice may be delayed or postponed.

Due to limitations of T&I resources available for major & minor projects, T&I reserves the right to limit the number of minor requests and active minor projects & procurements to ensure efficient and effective IT operations and timely completion of existing (approved) projects.

Exemptions, Emergencies and Expedited Approvals

Exemptions to this process shall be submitted and approved in writing by the project sponsor, the requesting division’s VP and the VP of T&I. Exemptions shall be documented as such in the PMIS.

Emergency project & procurement requests shall be approved by the VP T&I. Emergency requests require retroactive completion of the entire major & minor request governance process described in this document. Emergency requests and related emergency projects shall be documented as such in the PMIS.

The completed case for each exemption & emergency request shall be delivered electronically to all T&I managers, DPCs and ITPPC members. DPCs shall be responsible for communicating changes in project prioritization to leadership, product owners and project stakeholders within their division.

Exemptions & emergency requests may trigger additional mandatory meetings of all DPCs and/or the ITPPC, at the discretion of the VP of T&I or designee.

Special Cases

Is it a project or not?Is it a major or minor project? A flowchart is available in the Exhibits which provides additional decision-making guidance. University employees should consult with a T&I manager with additional questions.

Evaluation & selection of products & services with IT impact. The evaluation and selection of products, goods or services which have IT impact is considered a project, and shall be treated as a project & procurement request in accordance with this practice.

Maintenance under contract for IT-related procurements. Regular maintenance payments for IT procurements which occur during an active contract are typically exempt from the governance described in this practice. Requests for maintenance payments shall be approved by the VP of T&I and may be subject to further IT review.  

Chancellor’s Office-related procurements. All products and services procured by (or through) the CSU Chancellor’s Office on behalf of CSU Channel Islands shall be subject to this business practice.  

Contract renewal for IT-related procurements. All renewals for existing contracts which have IT impact are typically exempt from the major & minor request governance described in this practice. However, all contract renewals shall be subject to review and approval by both Procurement and Contract Services and the VP of T&I.

Changes in project sponsorship. If a project sponsor departs from an active project or procurement where work is in progress, all work related to that active project shall cease immediately until the requesting division vice president designates a new project sponsor.

Significant changes in scope. Requested changes which negatively impact the project or procurement schedule, cost or quality in a significant way (i.e., more than 20% change) must be re-authorized by the project sponsor, division VP, and VP of T&I. T&I may postpone or cancel further work on a project until significant scope changes are approved.

Project decomposition. In general, decomposition of large complex projects into smaller, more manageable phases or groups of tasks is recommended. However, to ensure strategic alignment and appropriate use of resources, T&I may require small groups of related tasks or project phases to be rolled up into a larger project.

Exhibit(s) [top]
Typical Timeline for Major IT Project & Procurement Request Gathering, Review & Approval
Typical timeline for major project requests
Typical Timeline Description

Spring and Fall dates are subject to change. 

Spring Cycle: 

  • Divisions gather and vet requests: December 1 - March 1
  • ITPPC Review and Recommendation: March 1 - April 1
  • Cabinet Review & Approval: April 1 - May 1
  • Work Begins upon approval & funding: beginning in April. 

Fall Cycle: 

  • Divisions gather and vet requests: June 1 - September 1
  • ITPPC Review and Recommendation: September 1 - October 1
  • Cabinet Review & Approval: October 1 - November 1
  • Work Begins upon approval & funding: beginning in October. 
Related Links
  1. Business Practice on IT Governance: http://www.csuci.edu/ti/policy/bp-05-010.htm
  2. ITPPC web site: http://www.csuci.edu/ti/itppc
  3. IT Project & Procurement Process flowchart: http://kqqw4n.axshare.com/#p=home
  4. TeamDynamix (CI’s project management information system): http://go.csuci.edu/tdhelp
  5. List of Division Project Coordinators: http://www.csuci.edu/ti/projects/dpc.htm 
  6. T&I portfolio of active projects & procurements: http://www.csuci.edu/ti/projects/current-projects.htm
  7. CI Policy on Procurement: http://policy.csuci.edu/FA/60/FA.60.003.htm
  8. Integrated CSU Administrative Manual (ICSUAM) Section 5000: Procurements & Contracts: https://csyou.calstate.edu/Policies/icsuam/Pages/Section-5000.aspx
  9. Integrated CSU Administrative Manual (ICSUAM) Section 5501: Solicitation Thresholds for ITR Goods and Services (PDF format): https://csyou.calstate.edu/Policies/icsuam/FinalPDF/Section%205000%20PDF/5501-00.pdf      

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Assessment History [top]