University of Wisconsin–Madison

Project Intake & Prioritization

As of October 1, 2017, a new process requires that all IT project proposals—including new or significantly modified IT services—be submitted to the IT Center of Excellence (ICoE) for review. This step enables project proposers to be aware of and consume existing IT services, and leaders to be aware of projects that may impact campus IT services. Scroll down to propose a project, learn the process steps and qualifications, see answers to common questions, and discover current projects in the queue.

Guidance for Research

Researchers need only answer two questions to determine whether or not their project should go through this process:

  • Will the research project lead to the creation of a new campus IT resource which may become supported for use broadly on campus?
  • Will the research project exceed available physical data center space or require the expansion of physical data center utilities (space, power, cooling), or exceed available network capacity or bandwidth currently available on campus?

If the answer is “no” to both, no additional action is needed and the project does not need to go through this process. For further details, see the questions below.

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IT Project Intake Process

Icon proposal

Submitter gathers proposal info, gets sponsor approval, submits proposal

Icon chat discussion

ICoE, TAG Chairs confirm classification, identify flags, determine appropriate TAGs for review

Icon committee

TAGs gather supplemental info, perform cross-TAG review, present to other TAGs

Glyph representing process

ITSC reviews & approves, prioritizes funding requests

See where projects stand

View the IT project intake queue
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Questions & Answers

  • How & why did this all come about?

    Background

    On October 1, the campus Office of the CIO went live with a new process requiring that all IT project proposals (including new or significantly modified IT services) be submitted to campus IT Governance groups for review and approval. This is a brief overview of why and how UW-Madison is choosing to review IT projects through a common process. We also want to address any concern that the process will unnecessarily slow or thwart essential business of the university.

    An IT project is one that will lead to or consume a campus IT service. Conversely, an IT service may either result from or be consumed by an IT project. These would not include installing new software, a new domain-specific program (whether written by grad students or staff), or purchase of an instrument with a computer in it. What we are trying to capture for review are new IT purchases, projects and services that will impact campus infrastructure, or that are potentially redundant to an existing IT service.

    Rationale

    A preliminary inventory of campus IT services shows the university provides over 1500 to meet instructional, research, outreach, and administrative needs, at an annual cost of over $170M. Regardless of the need or value behind these services and expense, UW-Madison seeks a new way to determine needed technologies.

    Last year, campus leadership replaced IT governance with 4 Technology Advisory Groups (TAGs): Teaching and Learning, Research, Divisional and Infrastructure. Deans and unit directors recommended faculty and staff to serve on each. However, not all current campus IT spending and service decisions are currently reviewed by campus IT governance. The TAGs will begin evaluating proposals for new IT services, comparing them to what is already provided and spent for similar services. Over time the TAGs will also examine some existing services to see if efficiencies can be found.

    The advantages to this new approach include:

    • Reducing one-off services or duplication of effort
    • A new awareness of existing and available IT services
    • More flexible and rapid decision-making
    • Honoring innovation
    • Engaging IT governance in decision-making
    • Aligning projects with campus priorities, resources and available infrastructure
  • Just what is—and isn't—an IT project?

    An IT project that must undergo this process is an undertaking by a campus unit to create or modify an IT service that is owned by the campus unit, is designed to support the mission and needs of the unit with well-defined outcomes, and employs information technologies to achieve its objectives.

    Examples of IT projects

    • A new IT service for campus operational needs, such as implementing a new CRM system
    • Significantly changing or replacing an existing IT service, such as replacing outside activities reporting
    • A business-process change initiative that requires IT changes
    • Creating a new computer lab for a department
    • Developing a new data warehouse
    • Creating or moving an existing data center

    Examples of projects that don’t need to undergo this process

    • Consuming an existing IT service, such as WiscWeb or MyUW
    • Purchasing IT consulting services that do not result in any technology development or change
    • Replacing hardware in an existing data center
    • Ordering desktop computers for a department
    • Acquiring or developing specialized lab software or
      instrumentation that includes digital technology
    • Operational support and maintenance activities
    • Creating a new report
    • Business process customizations enabled by new vendor releases, such as turning on new ERP functionality
  • Who may submit proposals?

    Divisional CIOs and their delegates may submit proposals.  The divisional CIO should receive a copy of the proposal.

  • Do I need a sponsor for my proposal?

    A project proposal should have a sponsor. Typically – the owner/manager of the business process and/or functionality that the proposed IT service will support. The sponsor must approve the submission.

  • Do I need funding for my proposal?

    Most projects are expected to have their own funding and adequate professional and administrative staff. If a proposal seeks campus funding: The divisional CIO will notify divisional officers (dean/director; associate dean/director; CFO) so they can weigh in on the proposal. A prioritized list will be taken to campus 3 times a year: September, January, May

  • How do I share information about my project with campus?

    The Service Catalog and Project Repository will be used.

  • How long should the approval process take?

    Proposed projects that score and are validated as low impact with no flags raised will be approved within 5 business days. Medium- and high-impact projects will vary depending on which TAG Reviews are required. An estimated range is 30-60 days. An expedited process will be available upon request and approval.

  • Does this apply to my research project?

    The campus IT Project Intake and Prioritization process is a way for the campus to discover, quickly review, and consider the impact of major IT efforts. It is intended for high-impact campus IT projects — not for routine IT purchases or upgrades. Researchers need only answer two questions to determine whether or not their project should go through this process:

    • Will the research project lead to the creation of a new campus IT resource which may become supported for use broadly on campus?
    • Will the research project exceed available physical data center space or require the expansion of physical data center utilities (space, power, cooling), or exceed available network capacity or bandwidth currently available on campus?

    If the answer is “no” to both, no additional action is needed and the project does not need to go through this process. If the answer is “yes” to either or both questions, the researcher should complete and submit the Project Intake form. The initial review for submissions occurs within several business days.  If the submission needs additional review, it may require a few weeks to complete the process depending on the complexity of the project. The aim is not to slow projects, but to quickly evaluate whether or not the proposer and existing IT service providers can help address each other’s needs.

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