STAR Stage Gate 3 Procurement Analysis Team Kick-Off!
By Statewide Technology Procurement Division Deputy Director, Marnell Voss
We are pleased to announce the Statewide Technology Procurement Division (STPD) kicked-off the newly formed Stage/Gate 3 Procurement Analysis (SG3PA) team this month. The new team represents a collection of several small and large agencies with a wide variety of IT procurement and project experience. The SG3PA workgroup is responsible for advising and assisting in the development of the reportable IT project policy and procedures (as relevant to Stage 3) for the new IT Project Approval Lifecycle. The project team will coordinate and create toolkits to aide in the consistency of procurement activities and processes such as market research, solicitation development, solicitation components, and preparing the department for vendor selection in Stage/Gate 4 Solution Analysis. The team is also responsible for developing deliverables and criteria, including toolkits and guidelines, to support the solicitation collection method. The primary goal is to develop efficient processes and procedures to streamline the submission of reportable IT procurements that allow for efficient and timely reviews, development, and execution. In addition, the SG3PA workgroup will work closely with the Department of Technology’s internal and external stakeholders, control agencies, and the vendor community as necessary. Key elements for collaboration include addressing problematic issues and discussing lessons learned, brainstorming on potential new and innovative ideas, and developing a cadence for ongoing and collaborative dialogue in the procurement community. My senior management staff and I attended the kick off meeting to welcome the members and support the effort. I will continue to champion this process wherever and whenever I can. After all, the success of this project will lay the foundation for all future IT projects in California.
STAR Brings Opportunities for Collaborative Development with Agencies and State Entities
By Patrick Dennis, STAR Policy and Procedures Lead
In support of the STAR Project’s goal of building collaboration into the new IT Project Approval Lifecycle, STAR will implement a collaborative development process. One of our guiding principles that will be applied towards developing new processes is to identify and capitalize on “opportunities for engagement”. Engaging early and often with our business partners helps mitigate risks, create a clear path forward and results in more successful projects for the State of California. The collaborative development process is precipitated by an Agency/State Entity completing and submitting a Preliminary Assessment at the beginning of each stage. The Department of Technology and its critical partners, including the Department of Finance, will review the submission and offer risk mitigation and other strategies to assist and aid the submitting Agencies/State Entities in the development of that stages’ deliverable. During the process of collaborative development, the Department of Technology and its critical partners may provide consultation or assistance in a number of specialized areas of expertise. The Department of Technology may also refer other Agencies/State Entities that have embarked on implementing similar proposals for knowledge sharing and lessons learned. The goals of implementing a collaborative development process are to provide proactive guidance to Agencies/Stage Entities on the development of the Stage/Gate deliverables, and to provide consultation, allowing Agencies/State Entities to call on the Department of Technology for guidance on required deliverable content and insight on how the content will be evaluated. STAR hopes this process will help eliminate “throwing information over the fence and hoping for the best” and result in moving toward an open and collaborative process where expectations are shared, communicated, and understood early. In the next issue of the STAR Newsletter, I will introduce you to the “Collaborative Review” process, which is another concept to be implemented as a result of the STAR Project.
STAR Will Make a Difference at the Department of Water Resources
By Department of Water Resources, Business Services Deputy Director Kathie Kishaba
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is responsible for managing and protecting California’s water. DWR works with other agencies to benefit the state’s people, and to protect, restore and enhance the natural and human environments. With such a critical and wide-ranging mission, it is essential that DWR’s business solutions are delivered on-time, within budget, and meet our stakeholders' expectations to improve the efficient management of California's precious water resources. STAR will help to ensure that our technology investments are aligned with our business objectives. STAR's Stage/Gate framework provides for an upfront investment in collaborative analysis with the goal of streamlining the delivery for those technology solutions that require external approvals from the Department of Technology and the Department of Finance. STAR will also allow us to take an incremental approach to technology projects that will result in a more accurate projection of cost and effort, thus reducing risks to achieve successful outcomes. DWR supports the State's technology approval reform and we look forward to the benefits that the new model will provide in helping us carry out our critical mission.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is viewed as the face of state government. California residents have more direct contact with DMV than any other single state department. Each year, DMV handles approximately 28 million customer transactions at 170 field office locations for driver license and vehicle registration renewals. DMV’s core products include the issuance of 27.3 million driver licenses and identification cards, and 31.9 million vehicle registrations. These functions are performed by approximately 8,807 employees that are geographically located in offices throughout California.
DMV is interested in continuously improving our processes. That is one of the reasons that we are excited about participating in the STAR project initiated in April 2014. We believe that the STAR Project will reduce project risk and improve our project success. Five DMV employees representing three different divisions are participating in the STAR project.
The goal of our employees is to understand, evaluate and determine the best way to implement STAR at DMV. We are currently reviewing and revising our internal processes and protocols to ensure alignment with the policy once it becomes effective in July 2015. We have focused on organizational readiness and ensuring that our senior management is aware of the program and the benefits. A presentation on the STAR project was provided to the executive leaders in September 2014, by DMV employee and STAR Key Member, KayLynn Weathers. Additionally in October 2014, STAR Project leads from the Department of Technology came to present the new Stage Gate Model to the department.
We are considering utilizing our internal Feasibility Study Report team and focusing them on the Stage/Gate process. As part of DMV’s vision of “Driving Change”, the department will continue to participate in innovative solutions that make DMV services quicker, easier, and more convenient for customers while maintaining the high level of privacy and security that our customers expect.
Agencies, State Entities and Baseball Fans Alike Should have Faith in STAR
Submitted by Catherine Hendon, STAR Representative for Department of State Hospitals
Have faith in us departments who will implement STAR—even if it requires a bit of naïve optimism. It’s like hoping the Dodgers will make it to the World Series next year.
The Department of Technology’s task is to revamp the game so that more teams have a winning season. I know that can be daunting when it seems teams don’t even want to play the game. Bottom line, we sometimes feel like an AA club that’s been called up to the show. And we often take the field with holes in our cleats and a crack in our bat. But there are some of us up to the task, and love to play the game.
Not many departments have a budget like the Yankees who can attract the Jeters of project management. Some of us have an Ishikawa or Posey who can help carry our ball clubs to late October. Then there are some of us who rely on Puig in the postseason...to no avail. Regardless of the team, we all want to see our projects approved in the Fall.
So bear with us as we focus on training, rearranging our line ups, and meeting the needs of club owners and fans. We’ll get there.
The STAR project is important, and we’ll continue to do our best to implement it. Ultimately, it’s the rules that make the game great.
Q:How will the new Stage/Gate Model improve the process for how projects are approved?
A: The Stage/Gate Model is being developed as a structured and guided approach towards helping Agencies/State Entities prepare for an IT project. The new process emphasizes planning as a critical step towards project success coupled with an Agencies/State Entity’s due diligence to defining the business case before an IT solution is selected. The Stage/Gate Model has integrated components that address organizational readiness, risk identification and mitigation strategies, and opportunities for collaboration with the Department of Technology, Agency/State Entities and their respective subject matter experts. The new Stage/Gate process anticipates projects to have better cost and schedule baseline estimates as a result of procurement being added to the project approval process. With a more accurate cost and schedule baseline at project approval, Agencies/State Entities will reduce the number of Special Project Reports and/or Budget Change Proposals they submit to ask for more money, time, or resources. Through better planning up front in the project approval process, Agencies and State/Entities will save time, money, and resources at project execution.