Purpose 

This standard will ensure accountability for the resources allocated to information technology (IT) projects and ensure that a consistent approach will be used to manage these projects. 

Standard

All information technology projects shall comply with the following directives:

  1. All projects shall submit an Initiative Intake (PPA) request through the NDIT Self-Service Portal (ServiceNow).
  2. The project budget is defined as the total costs to implement the product, including initiation and procurement activities. For Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions this also includes the costs for the first year of maintenance. 
  3. A person shall be identified to fill the project manager role. 
  4. A person shall be identified to fill the project sponsor role. 
  5. Project managers are required to follow the North Dakota Information Technology (NDIT) Project Management Office (PMO) Project Management Checklist and related templates. Contact the PMO for guidance on required templates.
  6. The project manager shall maintain an electronic project document repository to manage and retain critical project documents.  
    1. Documents must be stored on an electronic platform owned and managed by the State. Microsoft Teams is preferred. 
    2. Documentation to be retained in repository includes: 
      1. All documents identified in this standard, including the Project Charter, Project Plan, Post Implementation Report, and Startup and Closeout Reports
      2. Products of project management which may include meeting minutes, scope changes, deliverable/project acceptance, risk logs, issue logs, quality related documents, budgets, recovery plans, schedules, project status reports, Requests for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposal (RFP) documentation, contracts (including all attachments/addendums), other procurement documentation, and relevant email communications 
    3. Upon completion, all documentation must be retained for a period of no less than three years, per General Project Records Retention Schedule 801201, Project Documentation. 
      1. NDIT-managed projects will retain documentation for a period of six years after completed, per Information Technology Department Retention Schedule 801203, Project Working Papers.
      2. Agencies may choose to establish individual records retention policies for projects that include the same or greater documentation requirements and a retention schedule of no less than three years. 
  7. A project charter shall be developed and executed to initiate the project, to document the business need and project objectives, and to secure commitment for the resources (e.g., human, financial, equipment) necessary for the project. 
  8. A project plan shall be developed as the primary planning document for the project. 
  9. The project budget, schedule, and scope shall be baselined once the initial project planning is completed. 
    1. Revised budget or schedule baselines will be done only upon scope changes (add or remove) and the rebaseline shall include only the new or removed scope and those activities impacted by the new or removed scope.
    2. Any project replanning effort to modify the baseline without new or removed scope must be approved by the PMO. 
  10. During execution of the project, project status must be updated a minimum of every two weeks, unless approved by the PMO. 
    1. The status report shall include the budget and schedule (including progress against budget and schedule baselines), and information on issues and risks.
    2. Throughout the life of the project, if changes occur which would impact the project objectives, or changes to cost, schedule, scope, or quality, those impacts shall be included in the project status report. 
  11. The project shall have a closeout meeting to document project outcomes (e.g., whether or not the objectives were met), final project status information, and lessons learned. 

All information technology projects with budgets of $100,000 and over shall comply with the following additional directives: 

  1. Project may be assigned an NDIT Oversight Analyst (OA) 
  2. The project information, schedule, budget, risks, issues, and change requests must be entered and maintained within the State’s Microsoft Project Online project and portfolio management tool, ND VIEW, using the PMO Scheduling Best Practices.
  3. The project information and status will be pulled into the ND VIEW dashboard. 

All information technology projects with budgets of $500,000 and over (defined by North Dakota Century Code as “Major Information Technology Projects”) shall comply with the following additional directives: 

  1. An executive steering committee (ESC) shall be established to provide management support to the project, per NDCC § 54-59-32.
  2. Project shall be assigned an NDIT OA.
  3. A person shall be identified to fill the Change Manager role.
  4. The Executive Steering Committee (ESC) shall meet a minimum of quarterly or on a more frequent basis as defined by the membership of the ESC.
  5. The project manager assigned to the project must be approved by the NDIT PMO.
    1. Project managers must meet qualifications established by the Information Technology Department and the Office of Management and Budget, per NDCC § 54-59-32
  6. The ESC shall formally approve the project charter.
    1. Prior to submission to the ESC, the OA assigned to the project shall review the charter for general compliance with best practices.
    2. After approval by the ESC, and prior to any planning, vendor contract signing, or execution activities, a copy of the approved project charter shall be submitted to the OA assigned to the project. 
  7. The ESC shall formally approve the project plan. 
    1. Prior to submission to the ESC, the OA assigned to the project shall review the project plan and schedule for general compliance with best practices. 
    2. After approval by the ESC, a copy of the approved project plan shall be submitted to the OA assigned to the project. 
  8. A Project Startup Report shall be prepared. 
    1. The intent of this document is to convey information from the project charter and project plan to the Legislative IT Committee at the time when the project planning has completed and the project is entering the execution phase. The information contained in this document should not be new. It should be taken from the existing referenced documents.
    2. The reported budget and schedule will be used to calculate variance during execution of the project.
    3. This report is due within two weeks of submission of the final project plan and is submitted to the OA assigned to the project. 
  9. Variance to budget or schedule will be measured for the duration of the project as entered into ND VIEW. 
  10. The project status report will be pulled from ND VIEW and submitted to the Legislative IT Committee on a quarterly basis. 
  11. The Chief Information Officer shall submit a major project summary report from ND VIEW, which summarizes the performance of major IT projects, to the State Information Technology Advisory Committee and the Legislative IT Committee once per quarter. 
  12. A Post Implementation Report (PIR) shall be completed within six months of reaching the execution complete milestone in order to assess the success of the project and to capture historical information. 
    1. The ESC shall formally approve the PIR.
    2. Prior to submission to the ESC, the OA assigned to the project shall review the PIR for general compliance with best practices. 
    3. After approval by the ESC, a copy of the approved PIR shall be submitted to the OA assigned to the project. 
  13. A Project Closeout Report shall be created. 
    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. 
    2. Variance to both the original planned and final approved budget and schedule will be calculated.
    3. This report is due within two weeks of submission of the PIR and is submitted to the OA assigned to the project. 

Policy 

Projects are defined as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result, that is 80 hours or more of work. Due to the nature and scale of the projects defined as IT projects, it is critical that project management practices be employed and that processes are in place, increasing the probably 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 § 54-10-28NDCC § 54-35-15NDCC § 54-59-02NDCC § 54-59-05NDCC § 54-59-07NDCC § 54-59-23NDCC § 54-59-32.

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

Guidance 

Non-Compliance

Non-compliance of this standard shall be reported to the State Auditor’s Office and the Legislative Council. Non-compliance may result in non-approval of any IT expenditures associated with the project. 


Revision Number: 6
Revision Date: 2021-07-16
Effective Date: 2004-12-31
Last Reviewed: 2021-07-16
Number: POL0020207