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IT Governance - Project Proposal & Prioritization (Procedure)

Office of Origin: Information Technologies
Adopted: 03-19-19
Date Reviewed: 03-19-19
Last Date Modified & Approved: 03-19-19

As discussed in the IT Governance Policy, Lake Michigan College’s (the College) Information Technologies (IT) governance structure is intended to ensure technology efforts are strategically aligned, supported by resources, and meeting the needs of stakeholders.  Specifically, the IT governance structure is responsible for:

  • Creating a timely, objective, and consistent framework for evaluation and prioritization of technology projects and initiatives.
  • Identifying and assessing the impact of proposed projects on IT infrastructure, funding, and human resources to allow limitations to be accepted or addressed with supplemental resources.
  • Providing transparency around project proposals, evaluation, resources, priorities, and progress for approved projects.

The governance structure operates through a series of committees, the members of which are expected to actively participate in understanding, evaluating, recommending, monitoring, and communicating out about the use of non-routine IT resources for projects.


  • Information Technologies Steering Committee (ITSC) The primary component of the IT governance structure is the IT Steering Committee (ITSC), which consists of individuals from all areas of the college, including students.  The members of the ITSC are expected to actively participate in understanding, evaluating, recommending, monitoring, and communicating out about the use of non-routine IT resources for projects.  ITSC is expected to review the governance structure annually to determine if changes should be made to improve effectiveness.
    • Charge: Governance of non-routine IT resources, which involves reviewing and prioritizing projects, monitoring project progress, and recommending prioritization of technology plans and projects to the Cabinet for action. Responsibilities also include acting as a source of information to the College community on projects and to IT about user needs and concerns.
    • Membership (standing):
      1. Academic Instructional Technology Committee Chair(s)
      2. Advising
      3. ERP Functional Technician(s)
      4. Facilities
      5. Faculty – Arts & Sciences Education
      6. Faculty – Career & Workforce Education
      7. Faculty – Health Sciences Education
      8. Finance
      9. Human Resources
      10. Manager, ERP (also represents Banner Core Team)
      11. Manager, IT Operations (also represents Infrastructure & Change Advisory Board)
      12. Manager, IT Support (Chair)
      13. Marketing
      14. Registrar
      15. Student
      16. Teaching & Learning Center
    • Chair: Manager, IT Support
    • Meeting schedule: Monthly meetings, quarterly recommendations/reports out
    • Annual review of structure/processes: January
  • Classroom Technology & Furniture Taskforce leads governance of instructional technologies and explores new curricular and instructional delivery models. This taskforce makes recommendations to ITSC on plans and prioritizations that involve IT resources.
    • Charge: see Academic Committee Listing
    • Membership: see Academic Committee Listing
    • Chair:  see Academic Committee Listing
    • Meeting schedule:  see Academic Committee Listing
  • Banner Core Team (BCT) makes recommendations to ITSC on Banner-related plans and prioritizations.
    • Charge: Coordination of Banner needs and ensuring Banner services are used efficiently and effectively while meeting data security and user requirements. See BCT charter for detail.
    • Membership (standing):
      1. Admissions
      2. Finance (2)
      3. Financial Aid
      4. Foundation
      5. Human Resources
      6. Institutional Research
      7. IT (5)
      8. Niles Campus at Bertrand Crossing
      9. Payroll
      10. Registrar
      11. South Haven Campus
      12. Student Accounts Receivable
      13. Teaching & Learning Center
    • Chair: Manager, ERP
    • Meeting schedule: Monthly
  • Infrastructure & Change Advisory Board (ICAB) evaluates the impact of technical change on IT infrastructure and services and makes recommendations on needs and priorities to ITSC.
    • Charge: Leads decisions related to IT infrastructure priorities and investments, analyzes IT infrastructure changes, policies, and initiatives.
    • Membership (standing):
      1. Banner Analyst or Manager, ERP
      2. IT Security Engineer
      3. IT System Engineer
      4. IT Network Engineer
      5. Manager, IT Operations
      6. Manager, IT Services
    • Chair:  Manager, IT Operations
    • Meeting schedule: Monthly

Submitting a Project

To properly prioritize technology projects and to provide transparency and status information, all non-routine IT project requests must go through the intake, evaluation, and prioritization processes, regardless of funding source. The process is summarized in Appendix A.

Non-routine is generally defined as a request for IT resources in addition to resources already allocated to current or ongoing IT operations (e.g., outside of day-to-day recurring and/or ongoing financial and human resources.)

Project is generally defined as a request that requires investment of resources in addition to those already allocated to routine IT operations.

Examples of requests that are not considered projects include:

  • Creation of a new report (e.g., report of number of students registered for English 101)
  • Operational support and maintenance activities (e.g., minor user changes, bug fixes, software upgrades – for instance, replacing keyboards in classroom, reinstalling corrupted software, upgrading Microsoft Office version)
  • Incremental development for existing products and services that are negligible in nature (e.g., adding new data field to a workflow like DPAY)
  • Expanding use of an existing product (e.g., creating a new Sharepoint subsite)
  • Routine replacement of hardware in an existing data center or computers for a department
  • Software installations on a user pc (e.g., installing Adobe Pro, SnagIt, Java.)

Examples of requests that are considered projects include:

  • Customizations enabled by new vendor releases (e.g., enabling new Banner ERP functions)
  • Consulting or other services that involve IT (e.g., BankMobile, Who’s Next, EAB)
  • Replacing/updating existing services/programs with new services/programs (e.g., replacing Cognos with Argos, upgrading from Sharepoint 2016 to Sharepoint 365)
  • Procurement and implementation of new services/programs that requires IT assistance with implementation (e.g., purchasing new lecture capture software/systems, purchasing new office software/programs, purchasing new classroom software for a course)
  • Requests that involve more than a low level of risk (see Appendix A:  Proposal Scoring Matrix)
  • Requests that require significant ongoing change management (project requires interaction between systems where any change could have an impact all systems touched – for instance, custom applications such as DPAY or the Scheduler, Banner “bolt on” applications such as the PIG or autodrop, Cognos upgrade, etc.)
  • Requests that add to the service portfolio and/or IT infrastructure (new software, hardware, or integrations – for instance, Who’s Next, EAB, new Banner modules, desktop software for classrooms or offices, non-tested scanners, webcams, printers, or other hardware, or implementation of a new server or database to support the new software, etc.)

The IT Service Catalog & Project Portfolio houses information that is available to assist in identifying existing services and projects and to provide information on the progress of ongoing projects. This resource should be consulted prior to submitting a project request.

Projects must be submitted electronically via the IT Service Desk Portal using the Project Request Form (PRF). A PRF should be submitted when there is a clear business or use case that supports the project.  Required information includes scope, objectives, expected outcomes, cost estimate, funding source, as well as an identified Project Sponsor (member of the President’s Cabinet) and Director (responsible for area related to the Project, such as Advising Director, HR Executive Director, Finance Director.)

Once a PRF is received, IT will score the project proposal based on criteria in Appendix B and classify as low-impact, medium-impact, or high-impact as outlined in Appendix C.  ITSC will review the scoring and classification for medium- and high-impact proposals.

The Project Sponsor and Director will be notified of the classification or if the review identified additional information required to move the PRF forward.

PRFs classified as low-impact will be approved and tentatively scheduled within 14 business days of a complete PFR submission (i.e., all required information is provided.)  For medium- and high-impact proposals, notification and scheduling may take 90 days or more as the ITSC meets quarterly, and certain Projects may need to be included on a prioritized project list for Cabinet review/decision.

This process is summarized in Appendix C.

Overview of ITSC Status, Prioritization, and Recommendation

Agendas and materials will be provided to committee members in advance of all meetings. Minutes (including discussion, concerns, decisions, and follow-up items) will be taken and distributed in a timely manner.

  1. Assess Proposal
    1. Collaborative discussions will be held to reach consensus on areas of concern, including identification of any additional stakeholders and subject matter experts (SME) needed to make informed decisions and areas of focus/concern and determine assessment approach and schedules.
    2. Assessment criteria that support the recommendation include:
      • Are issues or concerns, individually or in aggregate, significant enough to affect the recommendation? For instance, does the proposal create significant and likely impact to branding, principles, values or objectives, business processes or services, IT resources, capacity or capabilities, data, or technology?
      • Does proposal as a whole seem reasonable and feasible? Does it align with strategic plan? What are the risks, value to users/students, required human and financial resources?
      • How consistent is proposal with objectives, directions, and trends within ITSC’s domain and purview? And how well does it support or further them?
      • How consistent is proposal with the enterprise architecture and IT architecture and technology directions? And how well does it support or further them?
      • Do the IT aspects of proposal conflict with or risk violating any policy or procedure?
  2. Assign Status
    • ITSC assigns a Project status (endorsed, not endorsed, or the ITSC remains neutral) based on consensus of members.
    • Certain conditions may prevent a Project from receiving an ITSC endorsement, including:
      • Violates College policy or IT standard without documented approval from appropriate authority
      • Other College policy implementing bodies (e.g., Data Governance, Purchasing) have not approved some portion of the proposal within their purview. It will be noted in the recommendation what approvals/decisions from these bodies are still needed.
    • The ITSC review group informs Project Director of status, giving an opportunity to review and comment before final recommendation. Any outstanding conditions/concerns needing resolution are also communicated to the Project Director.
  3. Prioritize & Recommend
    1. The ITSC prioritizes endorsed projects, generally using the following criteria:
      • value proposition and expected benefits
      • deployment and operating costs
      • timing
      • dependencies
      • regulatory impact
      • areas affected
      • resource needs
      • strategic objectives alignment
    2. The ITSC presents prioritized projects to Cabinet for review and acceptance.
    3. The Project Directors are notified of the result.

Responsibility: Manager, IT Services

References: IT Governance Policy


Appendix A:  Process Flowchart

Project submitted via PRF containing all required information

Down arrow.

IT scores Project based upon submitted information

Down arrow.

IT classifies Project as Low-, Medium-, or High-Impact

Down arrow.

Low Impact projects are accepted and initiated and reported on to the ITSC


Medium- and High- Impact Projects will be passed on to the ITSC 

Down arrow.

Projects are reviewed by ITSC

Down arrow.

ITSC approves/denies and prioritizes projects and ITSC Chair reviews outcomes with Cabinet


Appendix B: Proposal Scoring Matrix

Criteria Weight (W) Scoring  Score (S) Weighted Score (W+S)
Alignment with Strategic Plans
  • College-wide goals
  • College strategic plan
  • Academic strategic plan
  • IT strategic plan
5 0 = no alignment
1 = alignment with 1 or 2
2 = alignment with 3 or 4
3 = alignment with more than 4  
  • Mandatory (laws, regulations, federal / state mandate)
  • Obsolescence, end of support
  • Penalties, breaches (compliance, financial, reputational risk)
  • Security/Compatibility of project (untested or unvetted) 
4 0 = project does not address a risk
1 = project addresses a low risk
2 = project addresses a moderate risk
3 = project addresses a high risk
Value to Users/Students
  • Entire college
  • Multiple users / students
  • Few users / students
4 0 = value to no users/students
1 = value to few users/students
2 = value to many users/students
3 = value college wide 
People Resources
  • IT
  • Non-IT
3 0 =  uses 6+ resources
1 = uses 4-5 resources
2 = uses 2-3 resources
3 = uses 1 resource
Financial Resources
  • Implementation
  • Maintenance/support
  • Training
3 0 = most costs unknown
1 = some costs unknown
2 = very few costs unknown
3 = direct, indirect, ongoing costs known
  • Planning and doing (PD)
  • Coordination with vendors
  • Checking and acting (CA)
2 0 =  work lasts more than 12 months
1 =  work lasts 6-12 months
2 =  work lasts 3-6 months
3 =  work lasts < 3 months


Appendix C:  Classification Matrix & Process Flowchart

The weighted scores from the scoring matrix are used to infer impact.

Value Score = (Alignment with Strategic Plans + Value to Users/Students + Risk-weighted scores) / 3

Confidence Score = (Financial Resources + People Resources + Time-weighted scores) / 3

The resulting Value Score and Confidence Score are plotted on a chart. Based on in which quadrant the scores fall, guidance on assessing the proposal as low-impact, medium-impact, or high-impact can be found below.
Confidence    7 - 3.5    

Lower risk but lower value
Do only if resources are available
    Less risk but high value
Quick wins

Value 3 - 6

Higher risk but lower value
Hold for further investigation    Unknown risks but high value
Complex projects that require strong project management

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