Scope

This policy applies to all UW System institutions and UW System Administration.

Purpose

Section 36.59, Wis. Stats., requires all UW institutions and UW Colleges campuses to adopt and submit to the Board of Regents annual strategic plans for the utilization of information technology. This statutory section also requires the Board to define and identify large, high-risk projects and develop policies and procedures for implementing, evaluating, and monitoring such projects. This policy implements the requirements of s. 36.59, Wis. Stats., which coordinates information technology strategic planning across the UW System, and specifies management and reporting requirements related to large or high-risk information technology projects.

Policy Statement

It is the policy of the UW System Board of Regents to ensure efficient and effective use of resources and compliance with statutory requirements by requiring all UW institutions to develop annual strategic plans related to information technology, and by promulgating policies related to large and high-risk information technology projects.

Information Technology Strategic Planning

UW System Administration and each UW institution will submit strategic plans for information technology projects to the Board of Regents each year by March 1.  Per s. 36.59(1), Wis. Stats., each strategic plan shall include:

  • A justification for each project, including the anticipated benefits of each project included in the plan.
  • A statement on the business needs of the UW System or institution and how the projects included in the plan would address those needs.
  • The priority for undertaking projects included in the plan.
  • An identification of any changes to the functioning of the UW System or the institution under the plan.
  • A separate identification of the following projects in each plan:
    • Projects that are able to be initiated using existing resources available to the UW System or the institution.
    • Projects that would require additional resources being devoted to the UW System or the institution before implementation of the project is possible.

Additionally, as a part of the plan but in a separate document, UW System Administration and each institution must identify large or high-risk information technology projects, as defined in the next section of this policy.  The Office of Learning and Information Technology Services (OLITS) shall use this information to prepare the March 1 report on Large or High-Risk Information Technology Projects to the Joint Committee on Information Policy and Technology.

Large or High-Risk Information Technology Projects

No later than March 1 and September 1 of each year, the Board of Regents is required to submit to the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Committee on Information Policy and Technology a report on large, high-risk information technology projects within the UW System. The Board of Regents shall review these reports prior to submission to the Joint Committee on Information Policy and Technology. An information technology project, ongoing or proposed, shall be designated as large or high risk if:

  • The project exceeds or is projected to exceed $1,000,0001; or
  • The project is or is projected to be vital to the functions of the System, institution or College campus. A project shall be deemed “vital” if failure to complete the project on time or on budget would prevent the System or any institution within the System from running any of its enterprise-wide systems or fulfilling any of its essential missions of instruction, research, extended training or public service for ten days or more.

Each UW institution shall comply with the following requirements for large or high-risk information technology projects:

  1. Every project must have a governance structure that includes executive sponsors, a project steering committee, a project manager, and an appropriate implementation team.
  1. Every project must have a project charter containing a clear business case, detailed project objectives, project principles, project structure, project management strategies, and project management controls.
  1. Every project must have a communication plan.
  1. Every project must identify affected business processes before implementation begins, and establish effective change control procedures when the complexity of the business process or policy requires modifications or customizations to the software application.
  1. Every project must have a project plan, timeline and budget at the beginning of implementation.
  1. The project plan must address the issue of independent project quality assurance (i.e., outside audits).
  1. In the event that a project proposal recommends some solution other than a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) product, the proposal must contain:
    1. An analysis of five-year costs associated with purchase and maintenance of the COTS product versus the cost to build or support the product.
    2. An analysis of business requirements and needs.
  2. Each of the above elements for each large and high-risk project must be submitted to OLITS for review prior to implementation. These same elements shall also be included in the Strategic Plan for Information Technology Projects report to the Board of Regents by March 1 of each year.

Each UW institution shall comply with the following requirements for monitoring large or high-risk information technology projects:

  1. An institutional project steering committee shall be established to provide management oversight of individual campus projects, including:
    1. approval of all project specification changes;
    2. approval of all timeline changes; and
    3. approval of all cost changes.
  2. The institutional project steering committee shall:
    1. confer with OLITS before discontinuing or substantially modifying a large or high-risk information technology project; and
    2. provide OLITS with a quarterly project progress report. OLITS shall use information from these reports to prepare the statutorily required reports on large or high-risk information technology projects. The quarterly progress report shall contain the following elements:
      1. original and updated project costs;
      2. original and updated project timelines;
      3. explanation of major cost or timeline changes;
      4. executive summary of previously unreported contracts related to an information technology project;
      5. funding sources for each project, including master leases; and
      6. project status.

UW System Administration shall comply with the following requirements for monitoring large or high-risk information technology projects:

  1. All major UW System information technology projects are managed and monitored by OLITS, and governed by systemwide or institutional executive steering committees.  The steering committees provide management oversight of individual systemwide projects, including:
    1. approval of all project specification changes;
    2. approval of all timeline changes; and
    3. approval of all cost changes.
  2. The Common Systems Review Group (CSRG) monitors the budget and fiscal health of each systemwide project.  The responsibilities of the CSRG are as follows:
    1. Include any applicable System-sponsored projects in the reports on large or high-risk information technology projects.  The following information on such projects shall be provided:
      1. original and updated project costs;
      2. original and updated project timelines;
      3. explanation of major cost or timeline changes;
      4. executive summary of previously unreported contracts related to an IT project;
      5. funding sources for each project, including master leases; and
      6. project status.
    2. Provide recommendations to the UW System President and chancellors on all systemwide projects; all project funding on an annual basis; any extraordinary increases in total CSRG project funding; and the discontinuation or significant modification of any project.
    3. Development of a systemwide information technology plan due to the Board of Regents by March 1 each year.

Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities

Chancellors are responsible for submitting annual strategic plans and quarterly institutional progress reports to the UW System Office of Learning and Information Technology Services.

The Office of Learning and Information Technology Services is responsible for:

  1. Reviewing plans for all large or high-risk information technology projects prior to implementation.
  2. Monitoring the implementation of all large or high-risk information technology projects and consulting with UW System institutions that wish to discontinue large or high-risk information technology projects.
  3. Coordinating and preparing the information technology strategic planning reports due to the Board of Regents by March 1 each year.
  4. Coordinating and presenting to the Board of Regents the reports on large or high-risk information technology projects.

Related Regent Policies and Applicable Laws

Section 36.59, Wis. Stats., Information Technology

 

[1] GPR-funded staff reassigned to a project are not considered part of a project’s cost.  Any staff hired to backfill for GPR funded staff assigned to a project are considered part of a project’s cost.

 

History: Res. 9458, adopted 04/11/2008, created Regent Policy Document 25-4; Res. 10609, adopted 12/11/2015, amended and renamed Regent Policy Document 25-4 “Strategic Planning and Large or High-Risk Projects.”  Policy subject to review by the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Committee on Information Policy and Technology.