Application System Development Policy

I.  Criteria

This Policy applies to major application system development or enhancement. "Major" means either a system that has users in more than one department, or a single-department system that is expected to cost more than $100,000, to develop and implement. Cost includes hardware, software, and contract personnel.

This policy applies to all departments (administrative and academic) on campus, and covers both purchased vendor packages and systems created by in-house developers (programmers). It pertains only to applications in the administrative and student services areas.

II.  Responsibilities

The project ownership of a major application system resides with the department(s) that will use the system--even for campuswide systems that Information Systems and Technology (IST) develops or operates.

Each major application system should have a "primary department", the department that will use the new system the most, or the one that "owns" the data.

Where a unit of IST plans to develop a system that will support multiple departments independently, the Associate Vice Chancellor of IST or his/her designee will request interested departments to volunteer to represent the user community, and will formally create a system committee consisting of employees from user departments.

III.  Feasibility Analysis

A formal feasibility study must be presented to Administrative and Student Services Computing Subcommittee (ASSCS), if requested by that body. An initial, comprehensive budget for the system should be included.

Where the proposed approach is to purchase a vendor package, Campus Purchasing should be notified. Campus Purchasing may issue a Request for Information (RFI) to potential vendors, asking for vendor-specific information that will help the Campus evaluate whether the proposed approach is appropriate.

IV.  Budget and Time Estimates

Each new system should have a detailed budget showing both projected initial (one-time) costs and projected on-going costs of the system (both programming and operational). Any budgetary (hard dollar) costs that are expected to be reduced, such as the cost of operating a system to be replaced, or additional revenue that is expected to be generated, should be stated and explained at the very beginning of the system development process. Costs should include existing staff and other resources covered by an existing departmental budget that are being shifted to the development of the new system.

Projected costs and time estimates made in the early phases of the development of a system should be stated as a range of possibilities. The focus of both cost and time management should be the cost and time estimated to complete each phase of the development process.

The primary department is responsible for informing departments that will be affected by the implementation of the system, (1) what the time estimates are and (2) when there is a significant change in the scope of the initial implementation of the system or in the projected implementation time frame.

V.  Guidelines

It is recommended that the Application System Development Guidelines, which describe in detail the phases of the development process, be reviewed and followed. The Guidelines are available from IST.