Obtaining Technology Resources' Systems and Services
UPPS No. 04.02.01
Issue No. 9
Effective Date: 4/20/2017
Next Review Date: 4/01/2021 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Associate Vice President for Technology Resources and Chair, ESCC
- The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures that facilitate the effective development, procurement, utilization, and allocation of information technology systems, resources, and services.
FUNCTION OF TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES STAFF
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.
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.).
PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES’ SYSTEMS AND SERVICES
Texas State users may submit a request for systems or services by completing a Project Charter and emailing to TR@txstate.edu, submitting an electronic request through the Business Application Request System, or contacting a member of the TR staff. The processes are outlined and the associated documents are located on the Technology Resources’ Project Management website.
Except for emergency situations, persons requesting enhancement or development services (as defined in Section 02.01) must document the request using either the Business Application Request System or a Project Charter. Users requesting services should name the divisional project sponsor in the request. TR staff are available to assist users in writing the requests, if needed. These formats meet the requirements of the System Development Life Cycle and Information Technology’s project management practices.
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, Title 1, Part 10, 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).
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, 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 written request. 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.). 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.
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.
PROCEDURES FOR PRIORITIZING REQUESTS AND COMMITTING RESOURCES
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.
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. Departments should distribute the prioritized list to the appropriate teams, project leads, priority committees, and TR to communicate the established or revised priorities.
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 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.
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 (i.e., the appropriate teams, project leads, priority committees, and TR) to communicate the established or revised priorities.
REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS
Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:
Position Date Associate Vice President for Technology Resources and Chair, ESCC April 1 E4Y Project Management Director, Technology Resources April 1 E4Y
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 for Technology Resources and Chair, ESCC; senior reviewer of this UPPS
Vice President for Information Technology