IT Investment Planning, Assessment and Approval

Last updated: August 16, 2022

The first step for all IT sourcing is to determine the scope, complexity and cost of the project or acquisition. You’ll need to determine some basic information about your IT needs, and be able to describe it at a high level.

What you’ll need to know:

  • Approximate duration (start and end dates)
  • Acquisition cost
  • Implementation (project) cost, including all resources (people) needed in your department and from outside sources
  • Ongoing operational cost for 5 years
  • How many departments are involved
  • If central IT resources are required

This information will help determine what approvals, reporting requirements and oversight are required by the APS 2.3 policy. Using the summary of policy requirements from the APS policy and our chart outlining the requirements for various projects and acquisitions, you can determine your project’s size and oversight level.

Don’t go it alone — let UW-IT help with this process

IT sourcing experts in UW Information Technology’s (UW-IT) understand the policies surrounding IT projects and acquisitions. They offer the IT Investment Planning, Assessment and Approval service to provide guidance and assistance in determining the requirements you must follow for your project or acquisition, and help you complete the project concept and assessment documents, which are used to determine the level of approval and oversight required to proceed with your IT project.

Use our tools to help determine compliance and approval requirements

About the tools
Two tools are designed to help navigate the policy, by creating a high-level description of your project, and determining what additional processes and approvals are required by the policy.

  • The Concept Briefing Document helps you prepare a short, high-level briefing on your project.
  • The IT Project Assessment tool helps determine what approvals and other conditions are required by the policy, depending on your project’s cost, size, complexity and type.

The tools are intended to provide guidance only; it is your responsibility to ensure you meet all requirements for your project or acquisition. You will need to submit both of these to describe your project or acquisition. When engaging with the IT Investment, Planning and Approval service, the results from these tools will help with guidance and to determine next steps.

What to expect
The tools will ask you a series of questions about your project or acquisition, including:

  • Basic information: Your name, department, and a brief summary about your project or acquisition
  • The business goal or desired outcome
  • Any relevant factors that further motivate your project
  • Basic financial information: How much it will cost, including your department’s labor and ongoing operation costs
  • Scope: How widely it will be used outside your department, and if it requires central administrative resources
  • Oversight level required by the state of Washington, which can be gauged with an external tool

In the IT Project Assessment, you will be guided through a set of questions designed to determine the level of oversight required by the state of Washington and the UW policy, and you will fill out worksheets to estimate the investment cost and five-year system-life cost. View a list of additional information you may want to prepare in advance if you have larger or more complex projects or acquisitions.

After your assessment has been reviewed, you will receive a summary of requirements, tailored to the specifics of your project or acquisition. Depending on the size and breadth of your project, you may need to work further with the IT Sourcing team, the IT Vendor Risk Management service or other UW offices (Privacy, Procurement, etc.).

In the Concept Briefing Document, you will provide information about your project, including the business problem you are trying to solve, motivations for the project, and cost and funding scenarios. In the end, the answers to these questions will form a high-level briefing of your project.

Samples of both tools are available in PDF format, so you can gain a clear understanding of what to expect when completing them.

Small project or acquisition and academic project exemptions
Many technology projects and acquisitions below a certain dollar amount fall under a simpler set of guidelines. Learn about small purchase or project and academic exemptions.

Before you begin
Contact your internal department administrator to determine how your department handles new IT projects and acquisitions and whether there are additional reporting requirements. Be sure to also review the stewardship guidelines for IT projects and acquisitions

Need help?
During the process, if you become stuck or don’t know how to answer a question, you can contact the IT Sourcing team via the IT Investment Planning Assessment & Approval request form for assistance.

Ready to begin?
Complete both the Concept Briefing Document and IT Project Assessment to determine your reporting and oversight responsibilities.

Concept Briefing Document     IT Project Assessment