Obtaining Technology Resources’ Systems                  UPPS No. 04.02.01

and Services                                                                         Issue No. 8
Effective Date: 02/01/2013
Review: April 1 E4Y

Attachment I

                                                                                               

 

01.       POLICY STATEMENT

 

01.01  The purpose of this UPPS is to establish policies and procedures that facilitate the effective development, procurement, utilization, and allocation of information technology systems, resources and services. 

 

02.       FUNCTION OF TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES STAFF

 

02.01  Function of Technology Resources

 

Technology Resources (TR) is a department within the Information Technology division that provides services to implement and maintain effective and efficient information systems to meet the information processing needs of the university. Among its many services, TR provides analysis, design, and programming services for development of customized information systems; support services for implementation, integration, and maintenance of third-party software packages; and data administration and distribution services for the centrally-administered databases utilized by these software systems. 

 

02.02  The TR staff resources are allocated as needed to support the priorities of the University and the Information Technology division. TR supports numerous systems, projects, and activities, depending on the university’s priorities (see Section 04. of this UPPS). 

 

03.       PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES’ SYSTEMS AND SERVICES

 

03.01  Texas State users may complete a Project Charter (Attachment I), or contact a member of the TR staff with a request for systems or services.  The processes are outlined and the associated documents are located on the Technology Resources’ Project Management Office website.

 

Except for emergency situations, persons requesting enhancement or development services must document the request using a Project Charter, as shown in Attachment I. TR staff is available to assist users in writing the Project Charter. This format meets the requirements of the System Development Life Cycle and Information Technology’s project management practices.

 

03.02  Evaluating the Size, Scope, and Complexity of the Project

 

Requests vary greatly in size, scope, and complexity, as do the resources necessary to address them. As part of Information Technology’s project management practices, TR has adopted formal Project Classification Criteria, as required by the Texas Department of Information Resources’ project management practices (Texas Administrative Code Chapter §216). To achieve early recognition of the variances in projects, to appropriately manage project risk, and to enhance prospects for successful project outcomes, TR staff will work with the requesting department and other stakeholders to appropriately classify projects according to the Project Classification Criteria (located on the TR Project Management website).   

 

 03.03 Document External Mandates via Project Charter

 

Responses to federal, state, or other external mandates often require commitment of both user and IT resources. The user should document these mandates in the Project Charter (Attachment I), cite the applicable law or regulation, and specify the consequences of not meeting the mandate.

 

The existence of a mandate, in and of itself, does not preclude the need for a Project Charter (Attachment I). Prioritization of the request at the appropriate level is still required (see Section 04.01). However, because of the limited implementation time often associated with mandates, it is sometimes necessary to suspend normal prioritization procedures (see Section 04. of this UPPS). Whenever this appears necessary, TR will consult the chair of the appropriate priority-setting body at the earliest possible time. For this reason, it is critical that the appropriate request is submitted as soon as possible.

 

03.04  Requestor's Commitment of Resources

 

Once project requests are prioritized and become active projects, end-user departments should commit all resources needed for the successful completion of the project.

 

04.       PROCEDURES FOR PRIORITIZING REQUESTS AND COMMITTING RESOURCES

 

04.01  Tri-Level Priority Mechanism

 

To meet its goals as a service provider, TR works to ensure that its resources are engaged in satisfying the requests that the user community deems most beneficial. These project requests normally correlate with departmental, divisional, and university strategic plans, and are often critical in achieving the objectives in these plans. A tri-level prioritization mechanism has been developed to assist users in prioritizing end-user requests of TR staff. Each department or office sets the initial priority of each request that it originates. Requests that require divisional prioritization are prioritized as specified by the divisional vice president (see Section 04.03). University level or Enterprise Systems Coordinating Council (ESCC) priorities are established and monitored by the ESCC.

 

At each level, a priority-setting body reviews and ranks new project requests relative to requests already submitted. The priority-setting body should consider the availability of staff resources (user and TR) and prior commitments to projects in progress. 

 

Priority-setting bodies must ensure that the project team has been properly identified in order to prioritize projects. 

 

The project classification will determine if the project is addressed through departmental prioritization and monitoring, at the divisional or ESCC level, or at both the divisional and ESCC levels. 

 

04.02  Departmental Priority and Monitoring

 

Each department should maintain a prioritized list of the projects submitted to and actively being addressed by TR. It is the responsibility of both the requesting department and TR to communicate any changes relative to the priority of the project. The departments should distribute the prioritized list to the appropriate teams, project leads, priority committees, and TR to communicate the established or revised priorities.

 

04.03  Divisional Priority and Monitoring

 

Divisional prioritization and monitoring is required based on the departmental and divisional priorities. Prior to the project being submitted for divisional prioritization, the key stakeholders, operational users, system support analysts, and appropriate TR staff should meet to discuss the request and define the high-level scope and requirements. The project documentation should reflect the feedback from all affected parties. 

 

Division vice presidents prioritize (or establish a method for prioritizing) the project requests emanating from their divisions. Division vice presidents also assign (or establish a method for assigning) an individual to lead the division's efforts in satisfying each prioritized request.

 

Each division should maintain a prioritized list of its project requests. This list should clearly indicate the priorities of the vice president and the division's leader for each project request submitted to TR and each project actively being addressed by TR. It is the responsibility of both the user division and TR to communicate any changes relative to the priority of projects. 

 

The division should distribute this list to the appropriate teams, project leads, priority committees, and TR to communicate the established or revised priorities.

 

04.04  ESCC Priority and Monitoring

 

Effectively satisfying a request often requires commitment of resources normally allocated to offices outside of the requesting division, or resources that are currently unavailable, or resources that have been previously committed to other prioritized projects in other divisions. In these and similar situations, it is the responsibility of the sponsoring department or division to obtain the necessary resource commitments from the body that prioritizes the work of those resources. This requirement is essential for adequate inter-division communication and to prevent the over-commitment of resources. The need for cross-divisional resource commitments should become apparent as a result of stakeholder feedback to the request.

 

For example, a department in the Finance and Support Services (FSS) Division is sponsoring a project that requires resources from the Student Affairs (SA) Division. In this situation, it is the responsibility of the FSS Division (or the requesting department) to obtain a priority for its project from the SA priority-setting body. If the priority given by SA is unacceptable to the requesting department, the department can appeal to the ESCC for resolution. Until ESCC resolves such an appeal, work will likely not proceed on said project.

 

Requests will be subject to such ESCC oversight whenever the ESCC, the requesting division, TR, or the majority of stakeholders deem such treatment is necessary. ESCC shall establish a method for determining the relative priority of the requests brought before it for approval, and to ensure that all areas are aware of these priorities. ESCC should maintain a prioritized list of the projects to be monitored by the ESCC. This list should clearly indicate the priorities of the ESCC with respect to resource commitment and should be available to all areas (the appropriate teams, project leads, priority committees, and TR) to communicate the established or revised priorities.

 

05.       REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS

 

05.01  Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

 

Position                                                         Date

 

Associate Vice President for                      April 1 E4Y

Technology Resources and Chair,

ESCC

 

Project Management Director,                   April 1 E4Y

Technology Resources

 

06.       CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

 

This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

 

Associate Vice President, Technology Resources, ESCC Chair; senior reviewer of this UPPS

 

Vice President for Information Technology

 

President