Frequently Asked Questions
Enterprise Project Management Office and IT Governance Model
Enterprise Project Management Office - Questions & Answers
Q. How and where do I submit a Proposal Form?
The proposal form is available on the EPMO site, which can be found within the Employee section of MyMohawk: https://mymohawk.mohawkcollege.ca/web/mymohawk/enterprise-project-management-office
The site also contains more information about the EPMO, including updates on current, completed and future projects. Questions about the proposal form can be directed to EPMO@mohawkcollege.ca.
Q. What types of projects will the EPMO support?
The EPMO will support mid- to large-scale, high-priority projects. This may include investment proposals that have been approved by Mohawk Executive Group (MEG) as part of the budget approvals process, projects that require significant investment in terms of funding, resources or time, and projects that align to the strategic themes and priorities as defined by MEG. Examples of projects the EPMO would support include the purchase and launch of a new Learning Management System for the college, major upgrades to existing systems such as Banner, Degree Works (MAP), or implementing new business processes.
Q. What types of projects will the EPMO not support?
The EPMO may not support projects that are smaller in scale or things that are considered operational in nature. Examples include minor software purchases, computer hardware replacement, or ongoing maintenance of hardware and facilities.
Q. How do you know if a project meets the requirements?
Most projects will align to a specific strategic theme and priority. There may be a small number of other non-strategic projects related to regulatory/compliance updates and/or other systems infrastructure related projects that would also meet the EPMO’s requirements for support.
Q. What are the Committees responsible for prioritizing requests?
The Capital Planning Committee and Investment and IT Proposal Committee are responsible for reviewing and prioritizing requests. These committees will review, prioritize requests and make recommendations to the Budget Committee. When making their decision they will do an evaluation of organizational budget and resource capacity, check alignment with our strategic plan and active “in-flight” projects. Finance will be involved to help guide and document the committee’s recommendations.
Q. How does the Prioritization process relate to the annual budget planning process?
A designated cross-functional committee with members from each VP/AVP area worked together to develop the initial project prioritization criteria weighting to be used during the annual and/or in-year intake cycles and provided their recommended ranking to the Budget Committee for a final decision in September.
The Budget Committee through the appropriate committee is responsible for an ongoing process for review of incoming proposals, projects, prioritization and approvals to better support project execution, while considering all active projects against new proposals and/or projects under consideration.
Q. Does the EPMO prescribe and/or support specific delivery methodologies?
No. The EPMO framework and Project Management Lifecycle Methodology is compatible with different methodologies - including waterfall, iterative, agile, etc.
Q. Does the EPMO provide Project Management resources for my project?
The EPMO may provide both Project Managers and/or Business Analysts for approved projects under its oversight.
Q. Is the EPMO creating project documents/templates?
The EPMO is introducing a minimal number of new documents for consistent information and diligence to help project teams move through the project lifecycle. Some projects in the college have been using existing and/or new documents, and we have welcomed and incorporated their feedback.
Q. Can the EPMO framework phases be customized to suit the needs of a project?
Every project is unique and will have some level of customization to reflect its specific needs and delivery method which is compatible with the defined project phases. This new approach/methodology is intended as a guide to drive consistency across the organization.
Q. What happens if the priority of a project changes throughout the life of a project?
If a project’s priority changes the EPMO will work with the project team to re-prioritize the project without disruptions. Even though low priority projects may not require many document deliverables, they should be assessed periodically to determine if the project exceeds its priority/rigour threshold. EPMO can assist you in working through a formal change.
IT Governance - Questions & Answers
Q. Will all IT investment decisions have to go through this framework?
No. Only decisions that meet one or more of the following criteria must be submitted for review through the framework:
- Represents a fairly large initiative typically more than 60 person days of effort from IT (e.g., IT security, privacy assessment, Software assessment, application to be managed by IT Services, solution to be hosted in IT Services data centre, etc.).
- Requires integration with core college network and/or infrastructure.
- Requires the integrative sharing of data between multiple campuses, units, communities and/or systems.
Other common operational IT requests (e.g., help you with setting up access to accounts, purchasing or replacing hardware for you or a member of your team, gaining access to licenced software, providing support for conferences and events, among many other services) can be requested through the help desk or IT Services Web Portal. For a complete list of services and how to access them visit https://www.mohawkcollege.ca/information-technology-services/explore-it-services/end-user-software-delivery.
Q. Will IT budgets be allocated to the IT Governance Council and/or sub-committees?
No. There will be no changes to the existing budget and capital planning processes. IT investments will continue to be funded in the same way they are today.
Q. Whom do I talk to if I have a request that is IT related?
Visit the IT web portal mohawkcollege.ca/ITS. The portal features guides to help you get connected with essential IT services and a catalogue of available services for everything from user accounts, hardware purchases and more. If you don’t find the answer to your answer on the portal you can also speak to IT directly by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Why can’t I just purchase the software/hardware I need? Why does it have to be assessed by an advisory group?
The IT advisory groups have been established to make recommendations and help prioritize IT investment requests within their areas. They are to be the single source for IT purchases, ensuring requests align with the college’s standards and guidelines for IT software and hardware. The advisory groups can advise on what products may already be available to the college, or help determine if a similar product exists in another department.
Q. Who approves the advisory group’s recommendations?
Recommendations from the six advisory groups will be endorsed by the Enterprise Core IT Advisory Group. This group will assess requests based on the college’s IT/Enterprise policies and standards. Successful requests will go to the Information Technology Governance & Collaboration Committee (ITGCC). The ITGCC will assess the financial feasibility of the request, its strategic alignment and how much effort is required to implement it.
Q. Will this delay decisions and important work?
IT decision-making requires “up front” planning and analysis to ensure the College is making informed decisions, identifying and mitigating risk, and enabling the business of the College. Having a framework within which decisions are made in a consistent manner will likely speed up IT decision-making, which currently tends to get stalled in multiple conversations and meetings among disparate groups. There will be an expedited process for urgent decision-making and to ensure that unit or campus-specific IT work and investments are not unduly delayed.
Q. Who can submit IT-related ideas or proposals?
Any group or unit will be able to submit ideas and proposals (with endorsement and approval from their Directors or Managers where necessary) which will be discussed within the appropriate governance advisory groups to determine whether they will be taken forward for action or investment.
Q. Will there be full visibility into the full portfolio of IT requests?
Yes. A consolidated portfolio of all IT requests will be compiled and made available to all members of the advisory group(s) and ITGCC and provide information on their status, strategic alignment, and whether they have been endorsed or potentially deferred and rationale.
Q. Does my area have an advisory group?
Every effort has been made to ensure that the advisory groups are representative of the college’s existing organizational structure. The structure and membership of the groups will be evaluated on a regular basis.
The advisory groups will be made up of representatives from the following areas:
- Academic and Student Services (includes: LMS, Orbis, registration)
- Applied Research and Emerging Technology (includes: IDEAWORKS, The Joyce Centre)
- Enterprise Data Governance (self-service reporting, standards, classification)
- Enterprise Solutions & Services (includes: Banner, Fast)
- Administration Services (includes: communications, one-card, Alumni)
- Enterprise Core (standard and policy)