The Office of Information Technology (OIT) should be engaged at the inception of ideas to find solutions through technical investments. Through a project management methodology within OIT, there will be due diligence to find solutions which maximize benefit while efficiently utilizing resources. A project request form should be submitted to begin the process.
Things to consider
OIT requires that the goals of a project to be initiated within the HSC be brought forth in a manner that is methodical, logical and acceptable to the individual, department or component. Competition for OIT resources can be demanding, therefore, proper planning as well as clear and open communication is important in accomplishing IT projects. Factors to consider:
- Leadership - The department or component must identify a Project Sponsor. This point of contact will be the primary spokesperson for the project and will determine the scope and changes brought forth to OIT. If the need for a project arises within a committee, the committee should elect an individual to perform the task of Project Sponsor. This individual should have signature authority for the funding and resources available at the requesting department.
- History - The project should arise from a newly discovered need, educational requirement or mandate. OIT should have an applicable history and background of the need and its impact to the organization.
- Timeliness - OIT will require proper timelines for a project to be initiated and executed. Timelines change for projects depending on the size, scope and available resources. Engaging OIT in the discovery phase of the technology need is a best practice. This allows for the technical parameters to be identified early in the process to prevent delays. Prioritization of all working projects and changes to their timelines are the prerogative of the CIO and President of the HSC.
- Objective - OIT requires a measurable and mutually agreed upon concrete deliverable or objective. Open-ended projects or vague requirements must be refined through the engagement of an OIT project manager. Assumptions will be identified as well as risks and issues. Life of the service, equipment and refresh will be discussed in the objectives. These requirements guarantee that projects are on time and within budget.
- Communication - OIT requires that a communication plan be drafted as part of the project. Project sponsors are encouraged to engage HSC Marketing and Communications for assistance in developing a project communication plan.
- Commitment of the Office of Information Technology - An OIT Project Manager will be identified to execute the technical need and bring the project to completion. The Project Manager will have necessary meetings with the Project Sponsor, stakeholders and advisory committees as necessary to complete the project. This Project Manager will discuss and determine:
- Support and use of the technology
- Needs for training and tutorials
- Impact of the network
- Security and risks
- Disaster recovery and advice on Business Continuity
- Efficiencies - OIT will design systems to deliver the service in an effective and efficient manner. The use of virtualization, clustering and new technologies or capabilities will be leveraged when possible as well as the determination of the equipment and specification. Requirements set forth by the project team will be given to the systems engineers to design and determine.
- Scope - Changes in scope delay projects. Management of the changes and introduction of new features during the project phase are discouraged. Once a project has begun, significant changes should be given to the Project Manager and analyzed for the delays that may occur. If additional resources may need to be identified and funded, they will be brought back to the project sponsor for these additional needs.
- Purchases - OIT will require a funds transfer for the procurement of necessary equipment, licenses or services. Licenses, agreements (hosting, maintenance and service) and equipment will be transferred to OIT for the completion of the service as defined by the project. Renewal and refreshment notification of the service will come from the Office of information Technology for the determination of continuation by the Sponsoring department.
Project Wrap-up and Review
A project review will be conducted at the conclusion of the project for quality assurance, objective delivery and process improvement. The Project Sponsor is encouraged to engage the review process to provide feedback on their customer service he or she received as well as the improvement of the process for future proposals.
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