Portfolio management is the process to prioritize and plan projects. In IS&T, we manage the project portfolio in partnership with “Portfolio Managers” who represent the major organizations throughout the university.

New Project Request

When someone in the university has a new project request, they should first review the new project request with the appropriate Portfolio Manager. The Portfolio Manager will evaluate the value of the project to the organization, impact on other stakeholders in the university, timing versus other needs in the organization, etc. If the Portfolio Manager supports the new project request, the project request should be entered into IS&T’s project tracking system.

IS&T will work with the client to develop a project proposal for the new project request. This involves understanding the requirements, conducting the vendor selection (if applicable), and drafting the solution approach, so that the total resource needs, costs, and timing for the project are understood and described in the project proposal.

If the project total costs (internal IS&T resource costs plus external costs) are below the governance committee threshold (see below), then the Portfolio Manager reviews the project proposal and decides whether to approve the project. If the total costs exceed the governance threshold, then the project needs to be reviewed through the appropriate IS&T Governance Committee.

Approval for Large New Projects through the Governance Committees

Large projects, that exceed one or more of the following thresholds, need to be reviewed by the appropriate Governance Committee, and in most cases, approved by the University Budget committee:

  • One-time costs >$200K
  • Continuing costs >$100K/yr
  • Require 1 or more incremental full-time equivalent employees

Most large project proposals are reviewed by the governance committees during IS&T’s Annual Planning and Budgeting process. During this annual process, project proposals are vetted and reviewed by the governance committees during the summer and early fall, and submitted to the University Budget Committee as part of the IS&T Budget proposal in late fall. The governance committees play an important role in reviewing and scoring the project proposals based on the following criteria:

  • Strategic Benefits – Alignment with BU’s Technology Plan Capabilities.
  • Financial Benefits – Cost reduction, cost avoidance, and/or revenue generation
  • Organizational Readiness – Amount of business process disruption, process change, and/or training.

The VP of IS&T uses the scores and feedback from the governance committees and decides which large projects to propose in the IS&T budget for approval by the University Budget Committee.