The project intake process takes a project request through several steps outlined in the chart below. Within this process, a project is still considered a request and will be tracked in Jira with an "ITPM" ticket prefix. A project will begin only after the request has been accepted.
- Project Request - The first step is to submit the Project Intake Form to create your project request.
- Definition - In this step, you will work with CIS to write a project charter. This is a collaborative effort that requires input from everyone on the potential project team.
- Prioritization - Once a project charter is created, it will be scored and prioritized. In these prioritization meetings, decision-makers assess the business value that a project brings to the university. After prioritization, projects may be directed in one of 4 ways:
- Acceptance - The project charter is accepted. The project can be scheduled to begin.
- Remain in Prioritization - Projects may remain in prioritization for one or more cycles. This does not mean that the project will not move forward.
- Re-definition - A project charter may need further definition before it is re-prioritized.
- Expediting - In some cases, a project request may be expedited past prioritization and straight into acceptance.
- Acceptance - If a project is accepted after prioritization, then CIS will work with the requesting department to schedule the project to begin.
- Project Start - The project starts!
Keep reading to learn more about each step in the project intake process.
Project requests are created by submitting the Project Intake Form. To fill out the form, you will need to know some basic information regarding the project:
- What are the goals of the project?
- Who is requesting and sponsoring the project?
- When would you like the project to be completed?
The submission of the form creates a JIRA ticket. This ticket allows CIS, the project requester, and any other interested SPU faculty or staff to track the project throughout the intake process.
Studies have shown that properly defined projects are more likely to succeed and be completed on time and on budget. The primary focus of the IT project intake process is to properly define projects in writing so that every member of the project team and any interested stakeholders are on the same page. A member of the CIS Business Systems team will meet with the project requestor and any immediate stakeholders to define the project. The conversation will cover the following:
- What is the project?
- Why do we (as a university) need to take on this project?
- When does this project need to be completed?
- Who should be involved in this project? The people involved are part of the project team.
Scale & Scope
As the details of the project are discussed, the project team will begin to get an idea of the project's scale and scope. The scale and scope is simply, how big the project is. The "size" of a project is impacted by a number of factors, including the project's potential benefits, costs, level of impact, and complexity. The scale and scope of the project is used to determine whether the project can be expedited through the intake process, it will inform the project charter in the definition stage, and it will be used to help with the project's prioritization and scheduling.
Projects are defined through a document called a Project Charter. The charter is a collaborative document, which will be written by all members of the project team. The CIS staff member working with you on your project intake will guide and assist the project team with the writing of the project charter.
To remain agile and support quick-moving initiatives around the university, the project intake process allows for projects to be expedited through the process. Expedited projects are immediately "accepted" - meaning CIS will partner on this project in the capacities in which we operate. However, this does not mean that the project will be implemented immediately. All accepted projects are still subject to scheduling, though most accepted projects should begin within 90 days of acceptance. Some projects that are expedited could also benefit from a project charter. With guidance from a CIS staff member, the project team can determine whether a project charter is helpful for their expedited project. If you believe that your project should be expedited, speak to the CIS staff member who is assisting you through the IT project intake process.
For a project to be considered for expediting, it must have both of the following characteristics.
This characteristic should normally be coupled with either low resource cost or low complexity. Projects that meet either of the two characteristics and a high level of benefit or impact to the university will have an attractive cost-benefit ratio that can help its case for expediting. In this case, high-impact is relative to the cost of the project.Click here for examples...
Low Cost or Complexity
Projects that are low in cost, complexity, or both are perfect candidates to be expedited. Costs can include monetary, time, and/or labor and the effect can apply to the university as a whole or just CIS. Low complexity can include the people, processes, and/or resources that are involved in the project. When this characteristic is combined with high impact of the project's outcome, the project becomes a much more attractive candidate for immediate acceptance.Click here for examples...
In addition to the criteria above, projects that have the following characteristics can also be expedited:
Individual or groups of faculty members who wish to implement a new system or technology in the classroom for academic innovation can request for their request to be expedited. These projects typically have tight timelines and expediting is required so students can feel the full impact of academic innovation in their learning. Academic innovation pilot programs are also good candidates for expediting.Click here for examples...
A strategic imperative will come from university leadership and will align with an overall strategic goal of the university. Strategic imperatives can have tight timelines and can force a project to be expedited into the implementation stage.Click here for examples...
Imminent External Imperative
Imperatives from outside the university with an imminent timeline will often force a project to be expedited. These can come in the form of new regulations or other external environmental factors.Click here for examples...
While the number of potential projects are limitless, the amount of resources (money, time, expertise) available to the university, CIS, and other departments are always limited. Evaluation and prioritization allows CIS, in partnership with other departments and a university-wide advisory council to analyze the pending project requests and move forward with the projects that are most beneficial to the university. These groups will evaluate and prioritize projects on a regular basis throughout the calendar year.
At the end of the evaluation and prioritization stages, projects can enter one of the following statuses:
- Accepted - These projects will be scheduled to begin implementation, usually within the next 90 days.
- Expedited - Similar to accepted, this status is used for projects that were expedited through the intake process.
- Prioritization - Projects may remain in prioritization for one or more cycles.
- Definition - Project decision-makers may request that a project undergo further definition before being re-prioritized in the next cycle.
- Deferred - Projects that are deferred require additional work of some kind before moving forward. Deferred projects can be placed back in the prioritization queue when outstanding action items related to the project are completed.
- Closed - The project is canceled.
Projects that remain in the prioritization stage will be re-evaluated and re-prioritized during the next prioritization cycle. Click here to view a list of projects currently awaiting prioritization.
The currently scheduled meetings for 2020 (as of 12/19/19) will occur on:
- January 21, 2020
- March 24, 2020
- May 28, 2020
- August 4, 2020
- October 20, 2020
After projects are accepted or expedited, CIS will work the project team and immediate stakeholders to schedule the project's implementation. Project scheduling is dependent on the current and planned workloads. We will work with every department involved in every project to ensure that projects are scheduled for work so that members of the project team are available for the project.
Signatures & Kick-Off
Part of the project charter is a section containing the signatures of the project sponsor, project owner, and the director-level supervisors of the project team. These signatures signify the acceptance of the project plan and commitment to start and finish the project with the resources required by the project plan.
Once the project has been accepted or expedited and scheduled, the project charter's timeline section should be updated. The charter can then be finalized and passed to each director, the project owner, and the project sponsor for signatory approval.