NRS SDLC Initiation and Planning Phase

The initiation and planning phase of the natural resource sector (NRS) system development life cycle (SDLC) involves working with business and technical resources to plan and define the scope, approach, budget and work plan.

The mandatory deliverables are the minimum required for a project. Additional deliverables will be decided on with the project management office (PMO).

The purpose of this meeting is to help ensure the SDLC methodology, stage gates, and reporting are understood prior to more detailed planning by the project.

Contact the appropriate PMO, Information Management Branch or Natural Resource Permitting Project (NRPP) to discuss and setup a meeting.

The Complexity Assessment Tool (CAT) is a standard set of evaluation criteria used to assist in the determination of the complexity and risk of work being undertaken for a project.

The CAT is used upfront to guide whether the New Development or Maintenance process of the SDLC applies and further determines the complexity categories of Simple, Moderate, and Complex that relate to the New Development stream.  The results help to determine project deliverables, change control methods, and application delivery approach required for the success of the project.

Standards / Guidelines

The Complexity Assessment Tool standard is for the Business Portfolio Manager (BPM) to fill out the template prior to the Feasibility Whiteboard so the results can be reviewed and confirmed at the meeting.  The minutes, recorded decisions and CAT are all part of the project documentation and must be filed in the appropriate project repository folder(s).

Templates

The following templates are provided:

Complexity Assessment Tool (XLSX) (B.C. Government access only)

Deliverable Requisite

The Complexity Assessment Tool is mandatory for all projects.

Samples

There is no sample currently available.

Resources are the people, facilities, equipment, materials and supplies consumed during the course of the project. Taken together, they make up the total possible costs for the project.

Contact the appropriate PMO to identify resources.

Whiteboard sessions are scheduled at various stages of the project to ensure that the direction being taken is following Natural Resource Sector IM/IT standards.

The purpose of a whiteboard session is to bring together the necessary business and technical resources to determine the best approach and best practices to:

  • Address a business need using information technology;
  • Address a technology issue relating to an application or service provided by the Information Management Branch (IMB); or
  • Achieve decisions that will allow the work to go forward.

There are different types of whiteboards carried out at different times within a project as identified in Usage Within the SDLC.

  • Feasibility Whiteboard – is used to define the business problem and identify potential system solutions that may be viable within the Ministry standard deployments.
  • Technical Whiteboard – is used to confirm the design solution identified by the vendor will fit within the Ministry standard deployment patterns and confirms the technology and servers to be used.
  • Warehouse Whiteboard – is used to get agreement from both DataBC and the operational resources on what and how data will be replicated to the data warehouse.

Standards/Guidelines

Standard booking procedures are available at:

Templates

A whiteboard checklist is available to assist in asking the right questions and documenting the results of the whiteboard sessions:

Deliverable Requisite

A whiteboard session is mandatory for all project complexity levels.

It is expected NRS Projects continue using Whiteboards and Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and Architecture Review Board (ARB) is not intended to replace either Whiteboards or TAGs. If at a Whiteboard or TAG, a solution is recommended that does not conform to NRS architecture, the project must proceed with an ARB Submission and receive exemption before advancing with that solution.

Samples

There is no sample currently available.

Technical Impact Analysis assessment identifies all of the existing business areas, applications and database tables which may be affected/impacted by the project.

It describes the nature and detail of the impact to ensure there is thorough analysis and that required changes to impacted systems can be planned. It confirms the required dependencies in the release schedule for the project to align impacted systems maintenance releases where required. This will help projects to have a clear understanding of possible impacts and communications needed to manage these impacts.

A project manager should use this checklist to confirm they have considered all types of impacts of their project at both a high level during initiation and at a detailed level during the requirements phase of the project.

Standards/Guidelines

The standard is to use the template below to capture the details required.

Templates

Deliverable Requisite

The Project Assessment is optional for all project complexities unless multiple business areas may be impacted by the new application.

Samples

There is no sample currently available.

The Project Charter is a formal document that authorizes the existence of the project. 

It provides authority to conduct a project within its defined scope, quality, time, cost and resource constraints as laid down in the document.

Standards and Guidelines

The standard is to complete the template provided to describe the project you are undertaking.

Templates

Deliverable Requisite

A Project Charter is mandatory for simple, moderate, and complex project levels and the maintenance category. 

Samples

There is no sample available at this time

Includes work breakdown structure and project schedule.

NRS Work Breakdown Structure

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a “deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables" (Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide (PMBOK®)).

Each item in the WBS is assigned a unique identifier (using a hierarchy such as 1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2.1, etc.). These identifiers make up the Code of Accounts. The lowest level items are called Work Packages to which times, costs and resources can be assigned.

Standards and Guidelines

The standard is to complete a WBS according to the deliverables and activities of the project.  The WBS is reviewed and revised regularly throughout the project to help with the executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing of the project.  

Templates

  • A template for a WBS is not available; however, MS Project is a standard tool. Desktop software such as Word or Excel is often used for smaller projects.

Deliverable Requisite

A WBS is mandatory for simple, moderate and complex project levels in the New Development stream of the SDLC, is optional for the maintenance category, and is not applicable for all other categories though it can always be considered optional.

Samples

There is no sample currently available.

Project Schedule

A project schedule is necessary for planning, monitorring and controlling the scope, budget, and schedule. 

With input from the project team, the project manager develops the project schedule.  A sample schedule is provided which has tasks the project must considered. Based on the project type, complexity, and size of project the schedule may look very different than others. During consultation with appropiate stakeholders and the PMO, there maybe tasks in the sample that are not required by the project. If there are tasks that are not required, the project manager is required to document the justification for not using the tasks.

Templates

Samples

There is no sample currently available.

A project plan is a formal document that is agreed to and signed by the project manager and the project sponsor and defines how the project is executed, monitored, and controlled which forms the basis upon which the project’s performance is evaluated.

A comprehensive master project plan is the summation of all iterative planning work undertaken during the Business and Application Planning and Initiation phases. The NRS Master Project Plan ensures that all component plans are effectively integrated into a single source document which becomes the cornerstone of the project's terms of reference. Supplementary planning documents may be prepared in later phases of the SDLC.  The Work Breakdown Structure is a separate deliverable that documents the work to be executed to complete the project in work package format.

Standards and Guidelines

The standard is to complete a plan using the template provided to guide the content of the plan.  Master Project Plans are reviewed at specified times throughout the project to help with the executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing of the project.

Templates

Deliverable Requisite

A Master Project Plan is mandatory for simple, moderate and complex project levels in the New Development stream of the SDLC, is optional for the maintenance category, and is not applicable for all other categories though it can always be considered optional. The template can be scaled to suit the complexity and required deliverables of projects.

Samples

A sample is not available at this time.

The project manager works with the PMO on how this project fits into the NRS Integrated Portfolio Map. The focus will be on interdependencies and impacts.

This is the stage gate review meeting, where a group of stakeholders meet when a stage gate is reached and assess the readiness of the project to move into next phase.

Participants include:

  • Project sponsor (or delegate)
  • Project manager 
  • Business area
  • Strategic Planning & Project Management Office
  • Representation from Architecture
  • Client Business Solutions

The group will make one of three decisions about next steps for the project:

  1. Proceed as planned: Project has met its stage gate criteria and project can proceed to next phase 
  2. Proceed with remedial action: Project has met certain stage gate criteria and can proceed to next phase provided unaddressed needs are addressed immediately
  3. Rework required: Project has not met its stage gate criteria and project cannot proceed to next phase unless criteria is met

The gating process ensures that projects are examined at key decision points and provides assurance that projects can progress successfully to the next stage. 

This Gate is to ensure a common understanding and agreement with the project goals, objectives, approach, scope, schedule, and budget.  Appropriate methods for completing the project successfully are defined and approved.

There are three primary roles for the stage gate:
1. Presenter, likely the project manager
2. Facilitator, likely the PMO
3. Chair, a decision making role

Depending on the project, the individuals in the roles may be different.  This will be discussed during the project initiation meet with the PMO.