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What to Expect

Successful technology projects and enhancements require commitment, coordination, and communication both within ITS and across campus.

Every project has a life cycle that is comprised of four phases: initiation, planning, execution and closing. Project management is the process and tools used to guide an initiative through a Project Lifecycle.

See the step by step description of the Drake ITS project management process below:

Step One: Initiating

  1. Request a project
    1. The first step is to submit a technology project request.
    2. When submitting an idea, consider how the project will impact the university and align with Drake's strategic goals. Focus more on the need you are trying to address than on a specific product.
  2. Review of requests by ITS
    1. A project manager will review the idea and follow up with you if more information is necessary.
    2. Your idea may not be classified as a project, it could be an IT service request or a system enhancement. In these cases, the project manager will inform you and transfer the request to the appropriate ITS team.
    3. If the request is determined to be a major project, the project manager will contact your department's Executive Sponsor for confirmation that the project should be considered in the next project prioritization cycle.
    4. The Executive Sponsor approves development of a business case. If your idea is not approved at this stage, you can work with your leadership to resubmit the idea or find an alternate solution.
  3. Develop a business case
    1. An ITS project manager will schedule a meeting to help you get started writing your business case.
      Key elements of the business case include:
      1. Goals and Objectives
      2. Strategic Alignment
      3. Non-ITS resource requirements
      4. Cost Benefit Analysis
    2. Share the business case with your Executive Sponsor and secure their approval.
    3. Send the completed business case to the project manager, by the deadline for the next posted project prioritization cycle (on the IT Project Management website).
    4. ASAC (Administrative Systems Advisory Council) reviews business cases in the first and third quarters of the year. ASAC provides a project priority recommendation to President's Council.
    5. President's Council makes the final decision on projects that will move into the planning phase.

Step Two: Planning

  1. Getting Started
    1. A project manager will be assigned to your project. They will work with you to finalize the project team, scope, schedule, deliverables, risks, etc. and develop a Project Definition Document (PDD).
    2. Depending on the type of technology solution being implemented, additional discovery and/or vendor selection may be required.
  2. Project Kick Off Approval
    1. The PDD will be reviewed and signed off by the Executive Sponsor. The project manager will review the PDD with you and the Executive Sponsor or send the document directly to the sponsor if they prefer to review it independently.
    2. Upon signature of the PDD the project manager will schedule the kick off meeting with the project team.

Step Three: Executing

  1. A detailed project schedule will be created and tasks are assigned to team members. Regular team meetings are scheduled and the project manager provides regular status reports to the team and campus (as needed).
  2. The project manager and functional lead(s) work with stakeholders to complete business process analysis and finalize requirements.
  3. Technical design and test plans are finalized.
  4. A cycle of development and testing continues until system is ready to go live.
  5. The project manager constantly monitors tasks and risks that are or could delay the project or impact the solution, then makes adjustments to keep the project on track.
  6. After testing sign off, the functional and technical leads and Executive Sponsor provide approval to move the system into production.
  7. Functional and technical production validation is completed and implementation is complete.

Step Four: Closing

  1. Project Manager will send a project satisfaction survey for the team to evaluation successes and areas for improvement.
  2. A Closeout Lesson’s Learned meeting is held and any outstanding issues are addressed.
  3. Sponsor signs a Project Acceptance and the project is officially closed.
  4. Project Manager archives all required documentation.
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