Skip to main content
IT Connect

Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Glossary of terms

The following are definitions for terms used in the APS 2.3 technology project and acquisition policy.

  • Accessible: A person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability.
  • Concept Plan: An early stage document outlining the general intent of the project.  It identifies the business problem or opportunity to be addressed with a technology solution, the benefits to be achieved, and includes a preliminary determination of the oversight level.
  • Investment Plan: A formal document for justifying and obtaining approval for the project being proposed. It describes the purpose of the investment, states the business justification including benefits, assesses risk and severity of impacts, describes the acquisition process, the timeline for implementation, and lists costs, including project cost and ongoing operations cost.
  • Investment Plan Amendment:A revision to the original investment plan, when there is a significant increase in the project cost, or expansion of scope or schedule, which occurs after the project has been approved (due to, for example, unforeseen additional expenses or an extended project duration). An increase is significant if the change escalates the project to a higher oversight level or might disqualify it from a small project exemption or other exemption.
  • Large Project: A project or acquisition that has an oversight level of 1; and has an project cost greater than a specific amount (initially $1 million) or has a system life cost over a specific amount (initially $2.5 million), or otherwise does not meet the definition of a small project.
  • Major Project: A project or acquisition that has an oversight level of 2 or 3, regardless of whether it is exempt or not from State CIO approval.
  • Ongoing Operations Cost: All the costs to operate and maintain the technology investment once it has been implemented. This includes expenses such as support staffing, license renewals, subsequent hardware and software purchases and services as needed to keep the system operational, lease and other recurring costs, such as cloud-based expenses, and applicable taxes. Also, University employee staff time, with fully-loaded dollar value, must be included in these costs.It should be noted that if the project will involve a shift from an internal, “on-premise” IT system to a cloud-based system (whether Software as a Service, or Infrastructure as a Service), that the types of costs—both investment and operational—will differ in some significant ways. Additional information about the nature of those different types of costs can be found in the UW-IT Investment Procedures.
  • Oversight Level: An assessment of the risk and severity levels of the project, determined using State CIO assessment procedures.
    • Level 1 projects within University’s delegated authority may proceed without any state involvement, but are subject to approval and oversight by the Vice President for UW-IT and CIO (see Section 8.A).
    • Major projects (Levels 2 and 3) require prior State CIO approval, and are subject to additional reporting in accordance with state IT standards and policies.
  • Project Cost: The development and implementation costs required to make an IT resource/project fully operational. Project cost includes, but is not limited to: all purchases, lease or finance costs for hardware, software, networking and telecommunications equipment, and related services; installation, training, personal and purchased services; internal University resources; and all applicable taxes. University employee staff time, with its associated dollar value, including benefit load, must be included in these costs, irrespective of how that staff time is funded.
  • Project Plan: The project plan documents the baseline that will be used to measure and report project progress. It describes a management methodology that is appropriate to the scope, size, risk, cost, and duration of the specific project, and employs project management principles and methods that reflect leading IT practices.
  • Small Project: A project or acquisition that has an oversight level of 1, below a specific amount (initially $1 million) in project cost, has a system life cost below a certain amount (initially $2.5 million), requires no central resources or new central system integration interfaces, and has no impacts on other departments or services outside the unit undertaking the project or acquisition.
  • System Life Cost: The combination of project cost and ongoing operations cost, for a specific period of time (initially, five years) following project completion.