How IT projects add up in Iowa

Iowa attempts to take some of the mystery out of the return-on-investment evaluation process by using a scoring system to assess a project's standing in the overall information technology enterprise.

The Information Technology Department's project office, an independent arm

of the chief information officer's office, and the Information Technology

Council assign points based on how well each project addresses what the

state sees as the 10 most important elements of an IT project, for a possible

100-point total.

* Does the project fulfill a statutory requirement, legal requirement,

federal or state mandate or health, safety or security requirement or issue,

and/or is it required for compliance with enterprise technology standards?

(up to 15 points)

* Will the project improve customer service? (15 points)

* Does the project have a direct impact on citizens? To what extent does

the project help reconnect state government with Iowans? (10 points)

* Does the project provide a sufficient tangible and/or intangible return

on investment? Will it generate savings or income? (10 points)

* Does the project make use of IT and its practical applications in re-engineering

traditional government processes consistent with the goals and objectives

of the state's strategic plans? (10 points)

* What are the risks associated with the project (for example, internal

and external risks, doing vs. not doing the project, technological advances,

potential cost overruns, changing citizen demands and needs)? (10 points)

* Is the funding needed to continue a project begun prior to the year for

which funding is being requested? If so, does the project have proven past

performance? Is the funding part of a multiyear strategy? (10 points)

* Will the project support only one agency, multiple agencies or the statewide

government enterprise? (10 points)

* Has the applicant maximized his or her own and other resources for the

project? Is alternative funding unavailable? (5 points)

* What is the credibility of the requester based on past performance on

other projects? (5 points)

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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