Partner Spotlight: Project Management Center of Excellence

January 25, 2017

As a member of Administrative Services at UW-Platteville, ITS serves all areas of campus and partners with a wide array of individuals and groups to make sure the campus’s needs are understood and our strategic goals are met. The Project Management Center of Excellence (PMCOE) assists ITS in making sure its resources are utilized most efficiently.

Overseeing IT Prioritizations

Established in 2013 as a result of the Huron Study, the main responsibility of the PMCOE has been to oversee the IT Prioritizations (ITP) process and provide management or guidance for approved projects in IT and other areas.  The ITP process allows ITS to vet technology-related project requests through a multi-committee structure that prioritizes the projects and results in recommendations to the Chancellor for approval. 

There are four IT Prioritizations committees: Education, Infrastructure, Administrative, and Executive.  The first three score each project request based on a list of criteria. The scored projects are passed to the Executive committee, which scores again and makes a final recommendation to the Chancellor.

The goals of the IT Prioritizations process are to:

  • Align IT investment with the strategic mission, direction, and initiatives of UW-Platteville
  • Establish IT policies that support strategic, campus-wide IT priorities
  • Oversee the overall funding model for IT expenditures on campus
  • Define technical standards and ensure institution-wide infrastructure services align with constituent needs.
  • Establish best practices and tools for IT across campus

Not all technology-related endeavors require such rigorous vetting.  To be considered an IT project, requests must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Work requiring more than 24 hours (3 days of IT time)
  • Cost greater than $5,000
  • An existing project cost adjustment greater than 25 percent
  • Work/impact broader than one campus department or equivalent unit
  • Requires coordination across IT
  • Involves starting up a new technology or expanding functionality of an existing solution

The IT Prioritizations process is completed twice a year, for spring/summer and fall/winter.  Deadline for the Fall/Winter 2018 cycle is Friday, Feb. 17. 2017. You will find more details and a request form at http://www.uwplatt.edu/its/it-prioritizations .

The Project Management staff are also responsible for managing projects approved through the ITP process.  Staff consists of Manager Heather Faherty, Tiffany Hintze (project manager), and Tadra Mack (business analyst and project manager).

Examples of projects that have been completed with the guidance of the Project Management office through the ITP process include the implementations of Emma Email Marketing and Highpoint Mobile, a.k.a. PASS Express.

Need help getting started?

Not all projects are approved the first time around, many because of a lack of information, research, or testing. To make sure your request is complete and your information, thorough, contact your ITS Support Liaison at the very beginning of your planning process.  Your liaison will help you estimate IT staff and time resources necessary for your project, a crucial component to ITP success.

Beyond IT

The Project Management office also manages non-ITP assignments as resources are needed or available. One example is the key project implemented by Facilities Management [LINK: Partner: Facilities].

If you would like assistance with a non-ITP project, please contact PMCOE Manager Heather Faherty at fahertyh@uwplatt.edu to discuss the possibilities.

Looking back to move ahead

Sue Traxler, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and CIO, sums up the ITS/PMCOE partnership this way:

“The Project Management Center of Excellence Office is an important investment for UW Platteville.  The work the team has done the past three years has confirmed the importance of investing in project management.   Projects managed by the Project Management team have gone far more smoothly than in previous years.  Because of the team and the ITP process, ITS has a better pulse on upcoming project needs.  With the recent inclusion of non-technology projects, we continue to keep project management an important focus both in IT and on our campus.”

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