In 2005 the first standard for the Project Management of Large Information Technology Projects was published in order to formalize project management requirements within ND state government. To assist in ensuring compliance with the standard and applicable laws, the “Large Project Oversight” process was developed.

At first the oversight project analysts were an independent group that functioned in a role that could be likened to that of project management auditors. After years of functioning in this capacity, a strategic shift occurred in 2010 during which the Chief Information Officer (CIO) combined the oversight project management team with the internal ITD project management office (PMO). The move was intended to position oversight analysts as partners with the project managers who manage the projects, providing guidance and insight in a proactive and collaborative fashion as opposed to an auditory fashion, in order to provide better service to the project environment.

This strategy continues today, with the PMO’s team leaders providing oversight support to their direct reports, and also to non-ITD project managers.

Vision

To provide project management leadership and guidance in a collaborative and consultative format.

Mission

For I.T. projects with budgets of $500,000 and over – and for projects under $500,000 that the state CIO has determined require monitoring – ensure that the project management practices adhere to requirements established by N.D.C.C. § 54-59-32, by other relevant century code, and by state standard STD009-05.

Core Tasks for Executing the Vision and Mission

  • Establish guidance related to project management (e.g., creating and maintaining project management standards and reporting mechanisms)
  • Participate in the initiating, planning, executing and closing activities as a collaborative partner to help ensure project success
  • Serve as a voting member on the Executive Steering Committee
  • On behalf of the CIO, participate as one of the procurement collaboration staff
  • Review and provide feedback on project charters, project plans, project schedules, variance reporting, startup and closeout reports, post-implementation reports, and other project management deliverables
  • Monitor project status and create a report for the CIO that summarizes the health of all projects
  • Work with the CIO to identify projects for State Information Technology Advisory Committee (SITAC) and/or Legislative Information Technology Committee (LITC) review when budget or schedule exceeds a 20% variance to baseline
  • Review and provide feedback on project processes (e.g., risks, issues, change requests) on an ad-hoc basis

Oversight Structure

  • Oversight Analysts (OA) are the staff assigned to perform oversight activities
  • OAs are assigned to a project by the state CIO. The OA serves at the request of the CIO and establishes and conducts their work processes to fulfill the CIO’s obligations relating to project oversight under N.D.C.C. § 54-59-32 and STD009-05
  • If an ITD project manager is assigned to a project as a project manager, when possible the OA selected will be that project manager’s supervisor or divisional manager. This is done to create efficiencies in the oversight and supervisory processes
  • If an ITD project manager is not assigned to a project, the CIO may assign a non-supervisory project management staff member to serve as the OA
  • Any OA assigned to a project will “meet the qualifications established by the department” per N.D.C.C. § 54-59-32.2

Century Code Relevant to Large Project Oversight

54-59-23. Information technology projects - Reports.

1. An executive, legislative, or judicial branch agency, except for institutions under the control of the state board of higher education, shall report to the state information technology advisory committee according to guidelines developed by the department and reviewed by the state information technology advisory committee regarding the plan for and status of any information technology project that is estimated to cost more than five hundred thousand dollars.

2. During the life of the project, the agency shall notify the state information technology advisory committee if:

     a. At a project milestone, the amount expended on project costs exceeds the planned budget for that milestone by twenty percent or more; or

     b. At a project milestone, the project schedule extends beyond the planned schedule to attain that milestone by twenty percent or more.

3. A report under subsection 2 must specify corrective measures being undertaken to address any cost or time of completion issue. If the agency has not taken adequate corrective measures within ninety days after the report, the agency shall submit a report to the legislative management's information technology committee regarding the project.

4. Upon completion of the project, the agency shall notify the state information technology advisory committee if:

     a. The budget for the project exceeded the original budget by twenty percent or more; or

     b. The final project completion date extended beyond the original project scheduled completion date by twenty percent or more.

 

54-59-32. Major information technology projects - Appointment of executive steering committees.

1. An executive branch state agency, excluding institutions under the control of the state board of higher education, proposing to conduct a major information technology project as described in subsection 10 of section 54-35-15.2, the department, and the office of management and budget, in consultation with the attorney general, shall collaborate on the procurement, contract negotiation, and contract administration of the project. The agency, the department, and the office of management and budget, in consultation with the attorney general, shall approve the solicitation, contract, or agreement, and any amendments relating to the project before submission to the executive steering committee as provided in subsection 3.

2. The procurement officer and primary project manager for a major information technology project must meet the qualifications established by the department and the office of management and budget.

3. An executive steering committee must be appointed to oversee each major information technology project. The agency project sponsor shall serve as chairman of the committee. The executive steering committee must consist of the director of the office of management and budget or a designee of the director, the chief information officer or a designee of the officer, the head of the agency contracting for the project or a designee, the project sponsor, and a large project oversight analyst designated by the chief information officer. The executive steering committee shall monitor the overall status of the project and review project decisions, including negotiation and execution of contracts, approval of project budgets, implementation of project schedules, assessment of project quality, and consideration of scope changes. Any project decision declared by a member of the committee to be a major project decision requires at least four affirmative votes.

4. An agreement or contract, including an amendment, revision, or scope change, for a major information technology project may not be entered unless signed by the head of the contracting agency or a designee and the chief information officer or a designee of the officer.

 

54-35-15.2. Information technology committee - Powers and duties.

The information technology committee has continuing existence and may meet and conduct its business during the legislative session and in the interim between sessions. The committee shall:

1. Meet at least once each calendar quarter.

2. Receive a report from the chief information officer of the state at each meeting.

3. Review the business plan of the information technology department.

4. Review macro-level issues relating to information technology.

5. Review the activities of the information technology department.

6. Review statewide information technology standards.

7. Review the statewide information technology plan.

8. Review information technology efficiency and security.

9. Review established or proposed information technology programs and information technology acquisition by the executive and judicial branches.

10. Except as provided in subsection 11, receive and review information, including a project startup report summarizing the project description, project objectives, business need or problem, cost-benefit analysis, and project risks and a project closeout report summarizing the project objectives achieved, project budget and schedule variances, and lessons learned, from the information technology department and the affected agency regarding any major information technology project of an executive branch agency. For the purposes of this subsection, a major project is a project with a total cost of five hundred thousand dollars or more.

11. a. Receive and review information, including a project startup report summarizing the project description, project objectives, business need or problem, cost-benefit analysis, and project risks and a project closeout report summarizing the project objectives achieved, project budget and schedule variances, and lessons learned, from the state board of higher education regarding any major project of the state board of higher education or any institution under the control of the state board of higher education if the project:

     (1) Significantly impacts the statewide wide area network, including the campus access routers;

     (2) Impacts the statewide library system; or

     (3) Is an administrative project. An administrative project is a project that directly collects, aggregates, modifies, stores, or reports institutional student, financial, or human resources records or data and is provided primarily for administrative purposes.

     b. For the purposes of this subsection, a major project is a project with a total cost of five hundred thousand dollars or more.

12. Receive and review information from the information technology department and the affected agency regarding any information technology project of an executive branch agency with a total cost of between one hundred thousand and five hundred thousand dollars as determined necessary by the information technology department.

13. Receive a report from the chief information officer regarding the recommendations of the state information technology advisory committee relating to the prioritization of proposed major information technology projects and other information technology issues.

14. Receive and review information, including a project startup report summarizing the project description, project objectives, business need or problem, cost-benefit analysis, and project risks and a project closeout report summarizing the project objectives achieved, project budget and schedule variances, and lessons learned, from the affected legislative or judicial branch agency regarding any information technology project of the legislative or judicial branch with a total cost of five hundred thousand dollars or more.

15. Receive information from the state board of higher education regarding higher education information technology planning, services, and major projects.

 

54-35-15.3. Information technology project quality assurance – Information technology committee review - Suspension of funds.

The information technology committee may review any information technology project or information technology plan. If the committee determines that the project or plan is at risk of failing to achieve its intended results, the committee may recommend to the office of management and budget the suspension of the expenditure of moneys appropriated for a project or plan. The office of management and budget may suspend the expenditure authority if the office of management and budget agrees with the recommendation of the committee.

 

54-35-15.4. Information technology committee - Information technology reviews.

The information technology committee may request the state auditor to conduct an information technology compliance review. The review may consist of an audit of an agency's information technology management, information technology planning, compliance with information technology plans, and compliance with information technology standards and policies or an audit of statewide compliance with specific information technology standards and policies.

 

54-10-28. Information technology responsibilities.

The state auditor may:

1. Conduct information technology compliance reviews, as determined necessary by the information technology committee, by conducting individual agency audits of information technology management, information technology planning, compliance with information technology plans, and compliance with information technology standards and policies and conducting statewide agency audits of compliance with specific information technology standards and policies.

2. Consult with the information technology department on audits of compliance with information technology plans and compliance with information technology standards and policies.

3. Participate in the information technology department's enterprise architecture process for developing information technology standards and policies.

4. Monitor major information technology projects for compliance with project management and information technology standards and policies.

5. Present results of information technology compliance reviews to the information technology committee and the state information technology advisory committee.

The Project Management Standard, STD009-05

http://www.nd.gov/itd/standards/project-management-information-technology-projects

Project Manager Qualifications to Manage a Major IT Project

For major information technology projects with a budget between $500,000 and $1 million, the project manager must demonstrate past experience managing at least one project of similar size, scale and complexity, or multiple projects of a lesser size, scale and complexity.

For major information technology projects with a budget over $1 million that requires only one state project manager and one vendor project manager, the state project manager is required to have previously managed an information technology project which has spanned a 12-month timeline, been subject to STD009-05, and had complexities requiring coordination of work between multiple entities. The project manager must hold the project management professional credential (PMP) and have sufficient experience in North Dakota project management practices or similar methodologies.

For major information technology projects with a budget over $1 million with multiple project managers (beyond a single state and single vendor project manager scenario), the primary project manager must have previously managed or co-managed an information technology project budgeted for at least $1 million, which must have spanned at least a 12-month timeline, been subject to STD009-05, and had complexities requiring coordination of work between multiple entities. The primary project manager must hold the project management professional credential (PMP) and have sufficient experience in North Dakota project management practices or similar methodologies.

The CIO determines if a project manager meets these qualifications.

Note: All project managers that are to work on a major IT project must submit SFN 60137 Qualified Project Manager Approval for review and approval by the state CIO. Completed forms may be submitted to project oversight for processing.

Primary Project Manager Core Responsibilities

The following statement was developed by the “Enterprise Architecture Project Management Domain Team” in 2013. The domain team was a team of project managers from seven different state agencies that worked together to develop enterprise project management practices. These responsibilities are also written into the ITD Project Management Service Level Agreement.

The primary project manager provides overall project management to the project that includes at a minimum the following:

  1. Ensures requirements of N.D.C.C. § 54-59-32 and other relevant century code are met
  2. Ensures requirements of STD009-05 are met
  3. Reviews and provides guidance and direction on project documentation and processes related to cost, schedule, scope, quality (e.g., project management, procurement documents)
  4. Participates in Executive Steering Committee as non-voting member
  5. Works with the procurement officer to facilitate the procurement process
  6. Acts as primary contact between project team and project sponsor or executive steering committee
  7. Acts as primary contact between vendors and project sponsor or executive steering committee
  8. Monitors and controls vendor contracts
  9. Validates project status updates before those updates are communicated
  10. Validates all project budget/schedule baselines and changes
  11. Validates vendor invoices prior to payment
  12. Secures acceptance and approval of deliverables