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Project Management for Large Information Technology Projects

Policy Code: 
STD009-05.4
Effective Date: 
January 1, 2005
Revision Number: 
4
Revision Date: 
September 14, 2011

Purpose

This standard will ensure accountability for the resources allocated to large information technology (IT) projects as directed by the legislative mandates summarized below, and ensure that a consistent approach will be used to manage large IT projects throughout the project management life cycle.

Standard

All large information technology projects shall comply with the following directives:

1. A project repository must be maintained by the performing organization to manage and retain critical project documents. If the performing organization chooses to manage documents electronically, the following provisions must be followed.
   1.1. Documents must be stored on a secured environment owned by the state.
   1.2. Performing organizations may choose to allow vendors to manage documents on a privately owned project management/document management system if there is a contractual provision to provide the performing organization with a download of all relevant documentation in periodic increments not to exceed 30 days.
   1.3. Documentation to be retained in repository includes:
      1.3.1. All documents identified in this standard.
      1.3.2. Products of project management which may include meeting minutes, scope changes, deliverable/project acceptance, risk logs, issue logs, quality related documents, budgets, variance reports, recovery plans, schedules, project status reports, RFI/RFP, and contracts (including all attachments/addendums), and relevant email communications.
   1.4. Upon completion, all documentation must be retained for a period of no less than 3 years.
      1.4.1. Agencies may choose to establish individual records retention policies that include the same or greater documentation requirements and a retention schedule of no less than 3 years.

2. A Project Manager must be assigned. When assigning a project manager, agencies shall consider the qualifications necessary to manage the project’s size, scope, and complexity. At a minimum, a project manager shall possess either:
   2.1. The Project Management Professional (PMP) credential, OR
   2.2. Documented education, experience, and ability to meet the Project Manager II or III job class specification criteria as defined by Human Resource Management Services (HRMS) with one exception: Additional work experience as described in the specifications may substitute for up to two years of the education requirement on a year-for-year basis.

3. A project charter shall be developed and executed to initiate the project and to secure commitment for the resources (human, financial, equipment, etc.) necessary for the project.
   3.1. The project charter shall minimally include the following information:  project description/background, business need/problem, proposed solution, consistency/fit with the organization’s mission, cost/benefit analysis, risks, scope, objective(s), required planning resources, constraints, assumptions, and project authority.  The project charter shall be completed prior to entering the planning or execution phases. Additional information and a template can be found in the ND Project Management Guidebook (see Guidance section). 
   3.2. After approval by the project sponsor, and prior to any planning or execution activities a copy of the project charter shall be submitted to the ITD Large Project Oversight Analyst (LPOA) assigned to the project
      3.2.1. The project sponsor shall formally approve the project charter.
      3.2.2. Prior to signing vendor contracts or accruing project expenditures for planning and execution phases, a copy (electronic) of the approved project charter shall be submitted to the LPOA assigned to the project. 
   3.3. The LPOA assigned to the project shall review the charter for general compliance with directive 3.1 and provide comments to the agency within ten business days of receipt.

4. An executive steering committee shall be established to provide management support to the project.
   4.1. The committee members shall include at minimum, the project manager, project sponsor, executive level business owners, and executive level vendor representatives.  The LPOA assigned to the project shall be invited to attend as an ex officio member.
   4.2. The committee shall be responsible for reviewing the status at project milestones, authorizing significant changes to the project plan, and facilitating decision-making.
   4.3. The committee shall meet quarterly, or on a more frequent basis as defined in the project plan.

5. A project plan shall be developed as the primary planning document for the project.
   5.1. The project plan shall follow the guidelines of the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), and address all management sections as defined in the ND Project Management Guidebook and Project Plan Template.
   5.2. The project plan shall identify specific milestones throughout the project and their associated cost, schedule, and any associated phase and deliverables.
   5.3. After approval by the project sponsor, a copy of the project plan shall be submitted to the LPOA assigned to the project.
   5.4. The LPOA assigned to the project shall review the project plan for general compliance with directive 6.1 and provide comments to the agency within ten business days of receipt.
   5.5. Upon request, a current copy of the project plan shall be submitted to Large Project Oversight in conjunction with the quarterly project status report.

6. Project Startup Report
   6.1. The intent of this document is to convey information gleaned from the project charter and project plan to the Legislative IT Committee at the time when the project has completed the planning process and is entering the execution phase (the information contained in this document should not be new.  It should be taken from the existing referenced documents).
   6.2. The reported budget and schedule will be used to calculate variance during execution of the project.
   6.3. This report is due within 30 days of submission of the final project plan.

7. The project status report shall be submitted to the LPOA on a quarterly basis, or when a milestone exceeds twenty percent of planned cost or schedule.  The report should include an executive summary, budget and schedule (including variance calculations), issues, risks, project accomplishments and upcoming activities. 
   7.1. Throughout the life of the project, if changes occur which would impact the project objectives as stated in the original project charter, or changes to cost, schedule, scope or quality as defined in the project plan, those impacts shall be included in the project status report.
   7.2. Identified risks and/or issues should be added to the quarterly report as they occur and removed from the report upon resolution.
   7.3.  The report shall include the attainment of any project milestones, and summary information to include (NDCC 54-59-23);
      7.3.1. Both positive and negative cost and schedule variances for milestones accumulate for the duration of the project.
      7.3.2. Revised budget or schedule baselines will be based only upon scope changes (add or remove) that could not have reasonably been foreseen during the planning phase.
      7.3.3. Unless an alternative method is approved, all projects will utilize the most current version of the ND variance worksheet to calculate budget and schedule variance.
         7.3.3.1. This baseline copy of the ND variance worksheet is due no later than 10 working days after the first day of project execution.
      7.3.4. Variance to budget or schedule will be measured for the duration of the execution phase of the project and will not include initiation, planning, or closing phases.

8. The Chief Information Officer shall create a Large Project Summary Report, which summarizes the performance of large projects, and submit it to the State Information Technology Advisory Committee and the Legislative Council once per quarter.

9. A Post Implementation Review (PIR) shall be performed by the agency within six months of reaching the execution complete milestone in order to assess the success of the project and to capture historical information.
   9.1. The PIR shall minimally include a review and summary of lessons learned, success stories, product effectiveness, CSSQ management, risk management, communications management, acceptance management, organizational change management, issues management, project implementation and transition, performance of the performing organization, and key project metrics (i.e. cost, schedule, scope, quality). 
   9.2. After approval by the project sponsor, a copy of the PIR shall be submitted to the LPOA assigned to the project.
   9.3. The LPOA assigned to the project shall review the PIR for general compliance with directive 9.1 and provide comments to the agency within ten business days of receipt.

10. Project Closeout Report
   10.1. The intent of this document is to convey information gleaned from the Post Implementation Report to the Legislative IT Committee at the time when the project has completed the closeout phase (the information contained in this document should not be new.  It should be taken from the existing referenced documents).
   10.2. Variance to both the original planned and final approved budget and schedule will be calculated.
   10.3. This report is due within 30 days of submission of the post implementation report.

Policy

Projects are by definition a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique, technology-based product, service, or result.  Due to the nature and scale of the projects defined as large IT projects, it is critical that project management practices be employed and that processes are in place, increasing the probability of delivering quality products, on time and within budget.

Applicability

According to North Dakota Century Code this standard applies to all executive, legislative, and judicial branch agencies. Applicable code includes: NDCC 54-10-28, NDCC 54-35-15, NDCC 54-59-05.7-8, NDCC 54-59-09, NDCC 54-59-23.

The State Board of Higher Education will maintain a separate standard in accordance with NDCC 15-10-44.

Definition

1. Acceptance Management – (Post Implementation Report) – This section of the report is intended to capture how the acceptance processes were managed during the project.
2. Assumptions – (Project Charter) A list of factors, for planning purposes, which are known to be true, real, or certain without proof or demonstration.  Assumptions generally involve a degree of risk. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
3. Authority – (Project Charter) The right to apply project resources, expend funds, make decisions, or give approvals. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
4. Business Need/Problem – (Project Charter) Those issues identified as driving the proposed project.
5. CSSQ Management – (Post Implementation Report) – This section of the report is intended to capture how the cost, schedule, scope, and quality processes were managed during the project.
6. Closing Phase – The process of finalizing all activities to formally close the project or phase.
7. Communications Management Plan – (Project Plan) The document that describes: the communications needs and expectations for the project; how and in what format information will be communicated; when and where each communication will be made; and who is responsible for providing each type of communication. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
8. Consistency/Fit within the Organization’s Mission – (Project Charter) How the proposed project will fit within the agency’s mission and/or strategic plan.
9. Constraints – (Project Charter) The state, quality, or sense of being restricted to a given course of action or inaction.  An applicable restriction or limitation, either internal or external to the project, that will affect the performance of the project or a process. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
10. Cost/Benefit Analysis – (Project Charter) A dynamic review of the estimated cost, anticipated benefits, and a quantitative analysis justifying the costs for the anticipated benefits.
11. Cost Management Plan– (Project Plan) The document that sets out the format and establishes the activities and criteria for planning, structuring, and controlling the project costs. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
12. Deliverable - Any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service that must be produced to complete a process, phase, or project.  Often used more narrowly in reference to an external deliverable, which is a deliverable that is subject to approval by the project sponsor or customer. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
13. Execution Phase – The processes performed to complete the work defined in the project management plan to satisfy the project objectives.
14. Human Resource/Staffing Management Plan – (Project Plan) The process of identifying and documenting project roles, responsibilities and reporting relationships, as well as creating the staffing management plan (staffing management describes when and how human resource requirements will be met). (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
15. Initiation Phase – The processes performed to define a new project or a new phase of an existing project by obtaining authorization to start the project or phase.
16. Integrated Change Control Plan – (Project Plan) The process of reviewing all change requests, approving changes and controlling changes to deliverables and organizational process assets. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
17. Issues Management – (Post Implementation Report) - This section of the report is intended to capture how project issues were managed during the project.
18. Issues Management Plan – (Project Plan) - The document describing how issues management will be structured and performed on the project.  The issues management plan is different from the issues log that contains the list of ongoing issues to be managed during the execution of the project.
19. Key Project Metrics (Cost, Schedule, Scope, Quality, Objectives) – (Post Implementation Report) – This section of the report is intended to capture specific data related to the original and final metrics of cost, schedule, scope, quality, and objectives as related to the project plan.
20. Milestone – A significant point or event in the project. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
21. Objectives – (Project Charter) Something toward which work is to be directed, a strategic position to be attained, or a purpose to be achieved, a result to be obtained, a product to be produced, or a service to be performed. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
22. Organizational Change Management Plan – (Project Plan) – includes processes and tools for managing the people side of the change at an organizational level. These tools include a structured approach that can be used to effectively transition groups or organizations through change.
23. Performance of the Performing Organization – (Post Implementation Report) – This section is intended to capture information related to the performance of the organization as it relates to the success of the project.
24. Planning Phase – Processes performed to establish the total scope of the effort , define and redefine the objectives, and develop the course of action required to obtain those objectives.
25. Planning Process – The planning process is considered complete when the sponsor, project manager, and project team agree that the work to be completed has been decomposed to a level wherein the scope can be delivered and the business objectives of the project met.  Management plans should allow the execution of the work to be managed in a controlled manner.  Execution related work may not begin until the planning process is complete.
26. Procurement Management Plan – (Project Plan) The document that describes how procurement processes from developing procurement documentation through contract closure will be managed.  (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
27. Project Background – (Project Charter) - This section describes, in a manner that the typical Executive Steering Committee member will be able to understand, the history of the project to date.  Inputs to this section include information gathered from the business case (if one exists), from previous, related projects, business strategy documents and any other relevant business documentation.
28. Project Description – (Project Charter) - An initial review of the project objectives.
29. Product Effectiveness – (Post Implementation Report) – This section contains a general review of how the product is performing during post implementation. Success stories may be outputs of this portion of the review.
30. Project Implementation and Transition Plan – (Project Plan) - This section includes a description of the high level elements required to successfully transition the project.
31. Project Management – The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
32. Project Management Life Cycle – A collection of sequential project phases that detail specific processes to be performed within each phase, and define the tasks that comprise each process. The life cycle phases include: Initiation, Planning, Execution and Control, Closing.
33. Project Management Plan – (Project Plan) – A formal, approved document that defines how the project is executed, monitored and controlled.  It may be summary or detailed and may be composed of one or more subsidiary management plans or other planning documents. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
34. Proposed Solution – (Project Charter) The product of the project that would resolve the Business Need/Problem.
35. Quality Management Plan – (Project Plan) The quality management plan describes how the project management team will implement the performing organization’s quality policy. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed) 
36. Required Resources – (Project Charter) Skilled human resources (specific disciplines either individually or in crews or teams), equipment, services, supplies, commodities, materials, budgets, or funds. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
37. Risks – (Project Charter) An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on a project’s objectives.  (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
38. Risk Management – (Post Implementation Report) – This section of the report is intended to capture how project risks were managed during the project.
39. Risk Management Plan – (Project Plan) The document describing how risk management will be structured and performed on the project.  The risk management plan is different from the risk register that contains the list of project risks, the results of risk analysis, and the risk responses. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
40. Scope – (Project Charter) The sum of the products, services, and results to be provided as a project.  (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
41. Sponsor – The person or group that provides the financial resources, in cash or in kind, for the project. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
42. Schedule Management Plan – (Project Plan) The document that establishes criteria and the activities for developing and controlling the project schedule. (PMI – CSG 3rd Ed)
43. Scope Management Plan – (Project Plan) The document describing how scope will be managed and controlled on the project.
44. Trained Project Manager – All project managers must have a minimum of 24 contact hours of project management specific training..  Holding the PMP, CompTIA Project + or CAPM certification will substitute for the minimum training requirement.

Guidance

1. Project Management Oversight Website: http://www.nd.gov/itd/services/project-management-oversight
2. ND Project Management Guidebook: http://www.nd.gov/itd/files/services/pm/project-management-guidebook.pdf
3. ND Project Management Oversight Guidebook: http://www.nd.gov/itd/files/services/pm/project-management-oversight-guidebook.pdf
4. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), Project Management Institute (PMI): http://www.pmi.org

Non-Compliance

Non-compliance of this standard shall be reported to the State Auditor’s Office and the Legislative Council. NDCC 54-35-15 and NDCC 54-10-28 identify the enforcement capabilities for each group respectively. Non-compliance may result in non-approval of any IT expenditures associated with the project.

This policy supersedes ITD Standard STD009-05 v3.0.

 

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