Frequently Asked Questions

  • This will help ensure that the solution(s) that solve your problem are appropriately resourced and meet the technical standards required to be sustainable.

    This process also helps ensure that USF invests in projects that are aligned with the institution's strategic goals, helping the university to prioritize and focus resources on the highest value projects. It ensures that the solutions which are implemented are a good fit for both the functional and technical environments at the University.

  • If you are asked to present your concept proposal at a governance meeting you should be prepared to give a brief (5 minutes or less) overview of the request, and be prepared to answer questions the group may have about the project and its goals.

    The concept proposal document will be provided to the meeting attendees prior to the meeting for their review. You do not need to prepare a PowerPoint presentation or any additional supporting materials for this presentation. The governance group will make a recommendation for the next steps after the presentation.

  • IT requires sponsors to be at the Vice-Dean, Dean, Assistant/Associate Vice President, or Vice President level. Sponsors can be Project Investigator (PI) if the request will be funded by an existing grant. Many projects require a significant investment of budget and time to proceed, and that investment must be supported by both the department requesting it and IT. It is helpful if you can find someone who meets this requirement who is also passionate about your request, able to support the project idea in governance and among other stakeholders, and in a position to help secure funding for it.

  • When the concept proposal is submitted, the IT Solution Architecture Governance Workgroup (SAWG) Intake team considers the request and what solutions would be a good fit for the business need. Some solutions are covered under IT's current service levels, some are available for a fee or with extended licensing, and some would entail purchasing new solutions or engaging consultants to meet the need. Without information about a client's potential budget for the request, IT cannot make an effective recommendation for next steps. It also helps IT to prioritize business cases and lean business cases to ensure that the time invested in that analysis will be useful to the clients.

  • During the governance process to review your concept proposal, the Solution Architecture Workgroup (SAWG) will determine whether the request will proceed directly to an IT team's local agile backlog or if it will require approval from one of the IT Governance Workgroup. They may also recommend a business case or lean business case if the solution needs further analysis.

    If it is approved to go to a local agile backlog, it will be assigned to an IT team to be prioritized with other items they have in their queue. A member of the IT team will engage the requester when they are ready to begin discussing the request. If governance recommends a business case or lean business case, the creation of the appropriate document will be prioritized on the backlog with other pending requests. A team will be formed of both functional subject matter experts and technical experts document the necessary analysis. If the concept proposal has been rejected, the requester will receive a notice with the reason the request was denied.

  • A process for the purpose of analyzing technology options that might meet the needs expressed in a concept proposal. The deliverable from the process is a document that includes a full description of each solution option with details like cost estimates, timelines, resource estimates, risks, benefits, etc. to help the stakeholders determine the best-fit. Functional stakeholders and technical experts form a team to execute the necessary analysis, participating in vendor demonstrations, requirements gathering sessions, and technical calls as needed.

  • A business case is used when there are multiple options to solve a business need. A team is formed with both functional and technical personnel to determine the high-level requirements of the business need and to review the pros and cons of the various options. Through this investigation, the team determines which option meets the business needs and complies with USF standards as well as identifying costs, funding sources, software, hardware and personnel required to implement each solution.

    A lean business case is used when a solution fits into a particular product line, but there is additional analysis needed to determine costs and/or technical details. Like the business case process, a team of functional and technical personnel assembles to write the lean business case. They will analyze the requirements, outline the forecasted costs, and provide the development strategy to achieve the minimum viable product (MVP). 

  • Be prepared to give an overview of your request, the solutions considered, and the recommended/chosen solution in a short presentation (around 15 minutes). The governance members may ask questions about the solutions you and the team evaluated and why you recommended a particular solution over another. For these meetings, the full document and an executive summary will be provided to the attendees in advance of the scheduled discussion to allow them to review it.

    The PMO will share the document on-screen during the discussion in case we need to reference any of the details. You will not need to prepare a PowerPoint presentation or other supporting materials.

  • UTSB stands for University Technology Standards Board. It is a group of IT professionals who review and vet potential technology solutions for purchase by university groups. IT reviews requests during weekly Solution Architecture Workgroup (SAWG) Intake meetings. The UTSB form has a field to include the intake number for purchases that have already gone through the Intake and Governance Process. Including this number will assist in speeding up the review.

    Any non-standard requests for technology purchases require approval from UTSB before USF Purchasing will approve the purchase request. If the procurement is non-standard or exceeds the listed thresholds, the purchase requester must  login to USF Bull Marketplace and submit a "Technology Purchase Exception Request (UTSB)” for approval. Please see the IT Knowledge Base article for more information about how to submit a request. The system will route the request automatically to the appropriate personnel for review. If approved, the procurement can proceed.

  • When the functional and technical team members are ready, they will have a kick-off meeting where the group will discuss the process, the deliverable document, who will participate, and establish team expectations. Preparation prior to the business case or lean business case kick-off is not required but can help align all involved parties.

    The team will ensure that all relevant people involved in selecting the system and making critical decisions about what features will and won't be included attend this initial meeting. The team will review requirements and prioritization and answer questions about the project and options, so it is critical the right people are included.

    It is often helpful to reach out to other colleges in the Florida State University System or other peer universities in your area of knowledge to find out what systems and solutions they use for the same purposes. The team may identify products to evaluate as part of the discovery.

    In addition, you can review sample business cases and lean business case documents to understand the kind of information the team will need to gather and deliver to the governance group.

  • Many factors can affect the intake process's timeline, including the priority of the request, the availability of functional and technical resources, and the volume of requests. Concept proposals are typically ready for signature within two weeks of IT’s meeting with the requester. For standard business cases and lean business cases, these can be completed within 1-3 months, depending on the complexity, vendor availability, and team availability. Business cases that require a competitive bid process take four months minimum from the time the call for bids is posted. If you think your project will require a bid process, please ensure that Purchasing and IT are aware before you get started.

  • After each document is reviewed at the selected governance meeting, they will decide the next steps. Since the sponsor and requester should be present at the governance meeting when these are presented, they should be able to relay decisions back to the other stakeholders. If there are extenuating circumstances, then the responsible product owner from IT should be able to inform you of the decision within a week of the governance meeting.

    For the SAWG Intake meeting, the sponsor(s) do not attend. For that meeting and other IT meetings where stakeholders are not present, the business analyst or product owner assigned should be in touch with the stakeholders about the next steps within a week. When in doubt, do not hesitate to reach out to your IT contact on the project.

    Governance meetings typically take place monthly. The current schedule for each is listed below:

    Group Schedule
    ITMC 3rd Tuesday of the month
    SSGW 4th Thursday of the month
    ASGW 2nd Monday of the month
    HTGW 4th Tuesday of the month
    DLEGW 1st Tuesday of the month
    SAWG Every Thursday