ITS Project Governance Policy

Policy Information
Policy TitleITS Project Governance Policy
Responsible OfficeOffice of the Chief Information Officer (ITS)
Policy TypeInformation Technology
Policy Number306
Last Revision Date1/7/2020

Purpose

This policy is to outline the procedures involved in requesting, evaluating, prioritizing and undertaking information technology projects.  Binghamton University Information Technology Services (ITS) aims to prioritize and align projects with the overall university mission and the President’s Road Map initiatives whenever possible. To accomplish this the University established an ITS Project Governance Committee (PGC).

Policy Statement

Binghamton University Information Technology Services (ITS) is responsible for fielding IT project requests, gathering necessary information to appropriately evaluate and size project proposals and subsequently undertake select projects.  This policy outlines how project requests will be received, sized, evaluated and prioritized with the final decisions being made by an ITS Project Governance Committee (PGC) consisting of campus leaders.

ITS Project Governance Committee (PGC)

The PGC is recommended by SOG and appointed by the President. Current membership is:

  • Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
  • Vice President for Operations
  • Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Vice President of Research

Definitions 

  • ITS Project Request – Project requests are required to be submitted via the ITS Project Request form.
  • Demand – Once a project request is submitted, this creates a Demand in the ITS Project Portfolio Management (PPM) system indicating a potential upcoming project.
  • Project – A temporary endeavor with a beginning and an end that creates a unique product, service or result.  Once a Demand is evaluated, sized, prioritized and approved, a project (PRJ) is created in the ITS PPM system in order to track and manage through to project completion.

Scope 

This policy applies to all project requests submitted to ITS.  All projects will be evaluated and prioritized by the ITS PGC on a quarterly basis taking into account current project workload, urgency of project requests, ITS resource capacity and alignment of the project request(s) with university mission and the President’s Road Map initiatives.  There are certain project requests that will be exempt from the full evaluation process (standard exceptions or emergency requests).  For more details, please review the detailed procedures outlined in this document.

Standard Exceptions

  • Projects based on university level RFP/Solicitation
    • e.g. LMS RFP, Videoconferencing RFP, etc.
  • Construction/Renovation projects with ITS components
  • ITS Hardware life-cycle replacement including:
    • Servers
    • Desktop (PODS) Equipment
    • Network Equipment
    • Telecommunications Equipment
    • Security Infrastructure (Door Access)

Emergency Requests

Due to the potential length of time between PGC meetings for evaluation, if a project request is considered an emergency, an email to itsprojectrequest@binghamton.edu indicating the urgent nature should be sent.  The ITS PMO will follow up to coordinate communication of the urgent request to the ITS PGC.  This should be the exception, not the rule.

The ITS PGC may elect to deliberate on the request immediately or postpone until the next regularly scheduled meeting. The ITS PMO will communicate the ITS PGC decision to the requestor.

Procedures

ITS Project Request

  • To initiate a formal ITS Project Request, submit the request via the ITS Project Request form.
  • Project requests must include a detailed justification and be in alignment with the university mission and the President’s Road Map initiatives whenever possible.
  • Project requests must have support of the functional area’s leadership.
  • Project requests which require procurement of additional hardware, software, and other materials should have funding allocated prior to submitting the request.
  • The project request form has the capability to attach any relevant documentation when submitting the form.
  • Once the project request is submitted, this will create a Demand in the ITS PPM system.

Demand Evaluation

  • ITS Senior Staff along with the ITS PMO will review and evaluate project requests approximately every 2-4 weeks.  Prior to this review, ITS staff may discuss the request with the requestor to gather any necessary details in order to provide a preliminary, high-level estimate in terms of effort (hours) and duration, as well as any hard costs, if known.
  • The ITS Senior Staff and PMO review will not occur until the initial high-level estimate is completed by ITS staff and included with the details of the Demand.
  • Any project request with necessary estimates and details will be marked as Qualified and await next steps in the approval process.

Project Approval

  • During the Demand Evaluation, if the request fits within the aforementioned exceptions, the project is marked Approved and a Project (PRJ) is created in the ITS PPM system for project management and tracking purposes.
  • If the request is not within the list of approved exceptions, the Demand remains as Qualified and will await the next ITS PGC meeting for discussion, evaluation and approval/rejection.
  • If approved by the ITS PGC, a Project (PRJ) will be created and ITS staff will initiate discussions with the requestor regarding the pending project.  This will include a mutually agreed upon project plan with necessary task details and commitments from both ITS and the requestor/functional team(s).  Failure to complete agreed upon tasks on time could affect the deliverables and subsequent planned end date of the project.
  • If rejected by the ITS PGC, the ITS PMO will communicate the decision back to the requestor with any detail provided by the ITS PGC regarding the decision.
  • If a high priority and/or urgent request is approved by ITS PGC, it might lead to certain ongoing projects being put on hold or cancelled. ITS PGC will make these decisions in full consultation with ITS PMO and project owner(s).
  • If ITS PGC does not approve a project request, but believes it fits within the University priorities and if ITS estimates that it is feasible, the requestor will be offered the option of paying for ITS hiring IT contractors to execute the project.

Project States

Pending

  • Once an approved project request completes the Demand Evaluation phase, a project (PRJ) is created in the ITS PPM system in a state of Pending.
  • Pending state is before work on the project begins and typically indicates that the project is awaiting availability of resources.
  • Work in Progress
  • When resources become available to begin work on the project and initiating steps are underway, the project in the ITS PPM system is updated to Work in Progress.
  • Work in Progress state typically remains from the time a project starts through to successful completion and is closed.

On Hold

  • If during the course of a project there are factors that keep progress from continuing, a project state may be set to On Hold until circumstances change.
  • On Hold state can occur at any point in the project life cycle.

Awaiting UAT

  • Once work on a project is near completion and work performed by ITS is finished according to the specifications/requirements set forth by the functional area, the work is turned over to the user(s) for User Acceptance Test (UAT) testing. 
  • UAT state is the point when the user(s) thoroughly test the solution to make sure it meets the requirements as agreed.

Awaiting User Action

  • If during the course of a project there are items/decisions or work that are required from the user(s)/requestor(s) in order to proceed with project work, the state is set to Awaiting User Action.
  • Awaiting User Action state can occur at any point in the project life cycle until necessary information is obtained in order to move forward on the project work.

PF Planning

  • Used primarily during Physical Facilities (PF) projects where ITS may perform some preliminary work including providing specifications, design review, time/cost estimates, etc.
  • PF Planning state is used on construction/renovation projects that include work to be performed by the ITS Operations & Infrastructure (Telecommunications, Network Administration, Security Infrastructure & Support) group.

Closed Complete

  • When a project is finished, officially signed off by the user(s)/requestor(s) and fully closed out, this state is set and project information is archived in the ITS PPM system.

Closed Cancelled

  • If at any point during the project life cycle circumstances change or it is determined that continuing the project to completion is not advisable, a project could be set to the state of Closed Cancelled.  The project information is kept in the ITS PPM system for reference if necessary.

Revision and Approval History

Date Description of Change Reviewer
2/11/2020 Approved by SOG SOG
2/3/2020 Initial policy written and ratified by ITS Senior Staff, AVP/CIO, and VP of Operations Division ITS Senior Staff