Major Initiative Approval Process

Every new IT initiative begins with an “idea” – an administrative function or process that can be created or improved. This “idea” can surface in a number of ways, including consultation with colleagues here or elsewhere, advertisements about new products, presentations at professional conferences, or even preliminary discussions with potential vendors. When the idea for this initiative has a Champion and an Executive Sponsor, it can be brought to the Project Management Office (PMO) in ITS with a request to initiate an exploratory process. The PMO is responsible for leading execution and ensuring the integrity of the processes as outlined below.

  1. Definition of the new initiative begins with documentation of the specific functional requirements and generation of potential solutions including internal and external (vendor) options.
  2. A process for evaluating and choosing from these options is developed in consultation with ITS and the project Champion.
  3. Vendor interviews and evaluations (separate from any preliminary discussions that may have taken place with vendors to familiarize the users with the product’s functionality) are scheduled if that option is selected. The vendors are provided with a summary of the specific functional requirements that have been developed, and their products are evaluated accordingly.
  4. If an internal solution has been selected, the details of solution development are described in consultation with the Champion.
  5. Both internal and external solutions require an estimate of all resources needed for implementation – both with ITS and within the functional area. This is inclusive of one-time data feeds and permanent interfaces with current IT systems that might be needed.
  6. Both internal and vendor solutions are then submitted to the Data Stewardship Committee for review of data security, confidentiality, and internal control requirements.
  7. A presentation of the project with all of the relevant information is prepared for Executive Staff. If approval is received, the Champion and the Executive Sponsor request or obtain funding through the appropriate channels.
  8. If a vendor solution has been approved and funded, the proposed contract is forwarded to legal counsel and, in consultation with the Champion, the Sponsor, and the PMO, legal counsel is asked to negotiate an acceptable contract with the vendor.
  9. The Champion and the PMO will collaborate on development of a full project plan to implement the approved solution once we have come to terms on the contract.

For assistance with major initiatives, please contact ITS.