Guidelines for completing Request for Development Services form

Projects are the mechanism for implementing the strategy of the university.  Projects are prioritized based on their classifications.  The purpose of this document is to establish taxonomy for project proposals.  The following guidelines will be used to assist in classifying projects that require the commitment of EA resources.

Classification: Elective Application Projects

Elective projects may be either legacy application enhancements or new applications.  Elective projects are usually initiated in the user community in response to University or unit strategic plans, operational plans, continuous improvement opportunities, or the solution to specific business problems.  In most cases, the existing business system and application works, but could work better.  These projects are reviewed, validated, and prioritized by the Oversight Committee.  They may have been previously reviewed and prioritized by a departmental level advisory group.  These projects compete for unrestricted or discretionary EA resources.  Customers or the university administration may provide additional, restricted resources (e.g., recharges, capital, etc.) to leverage or encourage the Oversight Committee investment in such projects.  EA resources directly funded by the divisions will primarily focus on elective projects for that division, unless otherwise stated by that division.

Characteristics of Elective Application Project

1.    The current business processes will continue to work satisfactorily even if the project is not funded.

2.    The project is aligned with the University or a unit strategic plan.  (Address the relationship or importance to the plan.)

3.    The project is being driven by a business problem (real, anticipated, or expected).

4.    The project is being driven by the opportunity to improve the existing system.

5.    The project is being driven by the opportunity to use a new technology (but the technology’s use is not mandated or essential).

6.    The project is feasible within EA’s infrastructure/logistical/architecture constraints.

7.    The project will return measurable value that exceeds lifetime costs to develop and run the application.

8.    Funds are available from identifiable sources (e.g., university, customer). Consider costs for software, hardware, services, training, subject matter experts, technical staff, etc.

9.    The resulting application will still make sense next year, and the year after that.

10. The application will contribute to valuable or necessary institutional change. (Examples include: strategic and significant business process change or business practices change)

Classification: Non-Elective Projects

Non-elective projects may be either legacy application enhancements or new applications.  Non-elective projects may be initiated in either the user community or technical community in response to external factors (e.g., regulatory requirements, budget factors, legal requirements, etc.), unavoidable technology changes (e.g., expected loss of technical support or essential technology upgrades), or problems (“bugs”) identified in production applications.  These projects are reviewed and validated by the Oversight Committee; however, they cannot be prioritized since they are, by definition, mandatory.  Projects may have been previously reviewed and validated by a departmental level advisory group.  These projects usually consume unrestricted or discretionary EA resources.  With administrative approval, this may include resources allocated to strategic projects.  Customers or the university administration may provide additional, restricted resources (e.g., recharges, capital, etc.) to fund or leverage EA investment in such projects.

Characteristics of Non-elective Application Projects

Government Mandated

1.    The application or change is required to comply with federal or state regulations.  (Assess the risk of non-compliance) 

2.    The application or change has a deadline.

3.    There could/would be a penalty assessed (e.g., fine, loss of funds, loss of privilege) if the regulation is not met.  (Assess and quantify the risk)

Operational Mandated (the production application does not work).

1.    The change is required to sustain the daily operations of the university.  (State cost)

2.    The change or new process is needed for the proper functioning of the unit.

3.    Administrative mandates coming from the University President, the President’s Cabinet, or the Board of Trustees.

Technology Mandated

1.    The change is required due to an upgrade to an operating system or an infrastructure utility.

2.    The change is required due to a phase out of an existing product or tool set, or phase out of its technical support.

3.    There has been (will be) a change to hardware that necessitates a change to the application.

Business Case – Questions about why the service is being initiated.

  • What need are you trying to meet?
  • What are the operational concepts of the product or service?
  • What are the goals and objectives of the service?
  • Who will be using the finished product?
  • What is the service to accomplish?
  • Why do you want to undertake this service?
  • What business goals does this service relate to?
  • Will this service save money?
  • What are the benefits? (i.e. fits with university mission, benefits multiple departments, ongoing use and improves productivity)
  • What is the risk of not doing this service?

Constraints/Assumptions – Questions about constraints or assumptions people may hold about the service.

  • What are the timeline expectations?
    • When should the products be implemented?
    • When should the service be completed?
  • What are the external or internal timeline dependencies? (committed dates to/from other projects that impact this service)
    • What are the budget issues? (knowns and unknowns)
    • What are the procurement issues? (knowns and unknowns)
  •   What has to be bought?
  • What is the timeline for the software/hardware etc to be received?
  • Is the software/hardware available from the vendor?
  •  Does a RFP have to be prepared?
  • What are the technical risks or concerns?
  • Who are the target customers?
  • How will the customers participate?
  • What are the customer availability issues?
  • What are the customer communication issues?
  • What are the integration issues? (How will the product integrate with existing infrastructure, systems, and applications)
    • What other technology is required? (Internal and external)

Impact of Requests - Questions about impact considerations.

  • How many departments will be impacted by this request?
  • How many people will be impacted?
  • Will there be other areas involved in this change?
  • Will this have an indirect impact on any one?
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