The Importance of the Methodology
Information resources and the technology associated with managing such resources is immense, complex, and growing at a rapid pace. The risk of duplicating solutions to solve similar problems across the campus is a high probability and recognized by the State of Texas. As a result, the State of Texas enacted legislation, Texas Government Code §2054.001, directing the use of technologies across all state agencies, also referred to as the Information Resources Act.
The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR), exists for these purposes and enforces the stewardship of information resources through Texas Administrative Code §216 which requires each state agency shall approve and publish a project methodology that communicates an agency‐wide approach for project management practices.
Communities of Practices such as the Project Management Institute and the International Institute of Business Analysis stress the importance of identifying clear business requirements and managing the scope, schedule, and costs of projects to maximize return on investment.
Our professional experience repeatedly reveals the need to create collaborative partnerships between the business owners and information resource staff to solve the university’s needs. The most successful technology implementations are determined by how well the user considers and works through the following domains.
- Information Security: compliance with legal and contractual security‐related obligations, security architecture, Information authorization, system authorization, application administration, authentication, access control, and data encryption in transit and at rest, physical security
- Information Technology: network traffic, data integrity, system integrity, application integrity, monitoring services, business continuity & disaster recovery, contract terms, service level agreement, system availability requirements, API integration, performance requirements, storage requirements, integration with the university’s authentication mechanisms, data retention
- Compliance: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), Sarbanes‐Oxley Act, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI)
- Organizational: consistency with branding requirements, printing requirements, consumable requirements, training, cultural/workflow changes.
UH-Clear Lake, as a state agency, adopts DIR's methodology for classifying projects. Estimate the size of the project (i.e. “major” vs. small) as per the criteria for a major project outlined in Texas Government Code §2054.003.
- Major projects use the Project Delivery Framework.
- Small project use an adapted version of DIR’s PM Lite. UHCL’s Adopted PM Lite Methodology
summarized in four high-level steps or process groups.
- Initiation: define the problem, researching options, and develop the business case for the need by determining the who, what, and why as well as determine alignment with university and state goals.
- Planning: establish commitments, schedule the work.
- Execution: Begin the procurement or development process and implement the solution.
- Close: Assess which if not all objectives were met. Schedule time to follow up to make sure the solution is still meeting the needs of the university. Document any lessons learned.