IT Governance

The Process

VCU IT governance process, developed with the assistance of the Gartner Group, seeks to combine the best practices in IT Governance with VCU’s unique needs as a major research institution of higher education. 

VCU’s ability to undertake new technology initiatives is limited by available resources, both capital and human.  Accordingly, it is critical to insure that the initiatives which provide the greatest benefit to the University are given the highest priority.  VCU’s IT Governance process evaluates all investments in technology fairly and openly to determine their contribution in six essential areas:

Strategic Alignment

Financial Impact

Customer Impact

Business Process Impact

Risk Avoidance

Technical Architecture

The Project Proposal is the instrument that begins the IT Governance review process.  The time to submit a Proposal is when the requirements have been analyzed and defined such that potential technology solutions can be evaluated.  No specific solution should have been arrived at or identified in the Proposal.  Any member of the University community may submit a Proposal for a potential investment in IT by completing the form and submitting it to the Project Management Office.  The Committee evaluates all Proposals in a timely manner (normally within 5 business days) using an electronic process that provides each member with three options:  (1) Approve (2) Approve with Questions (3) Decline with Explanation.  Results are tabulated in total without individual member votes being identified.  Any questions are directed to the investment’s sponsor for resolution and the answers sent directly to the Committee for their final determination.  Requesting sponsors are then notified of the result of the Committee’s evaluation.  Should an investment Proposal be declined, the requesting sponsor is sent the associated explanations from all members.  It is always possible that issues with a declined Proposal may be addressed by the requesting sponsor and the Proposal resubmitted at a later date.

Those investments in IT that are significant in cost, time, resources and risk qualify for Portfolio Management.  After receiving an approval for their Proposal, the sponsor of the qualifying investment is required to complete the Project Initiation Form which provides the information the Committee needs to determine the investment’s priority vis-a-vis all other IT investments in the portfolio.  The portfolio of UAAITSC approved investments is updated monthly and sent to the University Information Technology Executive Leadership Team for review and approval.  Any adjustments to the portfolio by the UITELT are incorporated and the result is the approved list of VCU’s prioritized investments in IT. The current portfolio is available here.