Project Management & Investment Planning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Project Management

Does EITS provide Project Management Services?

EITS currently provides Project Management Services for IT projects being implemented by EITS. The majority of the projects we manage are for our “full service” customers, currently the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Department of Administration (DOA), and the Governor’s Finance Office (GFO). At this time, Project Management is not offered to customers as a standalone service offering provided by EITS.

Investment Planning

Are TIRs required for IT projects funded by grants?

Yes, if the project costs $50k or more. Please refer to SAM 1618 for a full description of TIR requirements.

Do I need a TIR for maintenance efforts (fixing bugs, improving code, improving reports and user screens, etc.)? My department has its own IT shop with staff who maintain our systems.

No. The TIR does not cover internal maintenance and support operations. However, if, you are planning a new module or enhancement to an existing system that costs $50k or more, it might require a TIR, depending on the circumstances; contact EITS Planning at TIRs@admin.nv.gov to discuss your project. If you project does not require a TIR, EITS Planning will provide a memo documenting approval for the project to move forward.

Do I build state IT staff into my TIR?

State IT staff for your project should be included in your TIR Budget Estimate Spreadsheet in order to correctly calculate a 5 year Total Cost of Ownership for the project. However, only include them if they are exclusively necessary for the IT project’s implementation, or ongoing support. Do not include base budget staff in your TIR. Do not include staff required for business programs other than the TIR. If the TIR is not funded you will adversely impact those programs if you include non-project-specific IT staff in your TIR.

If you include State staff in your TIR, the budget office will instruct you to create two decision units in NEBS. One decision unit will be for all costs related to the TIR except for the state staff and related ancillary costs. The other decision unit will be for the state staff and ancillary costs. You will be instructed to reference the two decision units in their narratives to ensure the budget office knows one is dependent on the other.

Who should create our TIR? It’s confusing because it’s a planning document, as well as budget and an IT document. Who should be responsible – program people, our financial people or the IT folks?

Developing a TIR does not result from a single person’s effort, although, you will need a single person to coordinate the effort and be responsible for constructing the final document. TIR development is the result of concerted team effort. As a business document, it is necessary to be sponsored and driven by business management. Business program staff must define the business problem being addressed and create functional requirements. Technical staff develop technical requirements and evaluate IT alternatives. Fiscal staff review the TIR for costs and build a budget for the IT project.

What is the difference between EITS’ TIR review and what happens at the budget office? It seems like we keep going through the same process over and over.

EITS’ role is in providing assistance to agencies in creating a sound business case for an IT solution, and reviewing the resulting TIRs for technical feasibility. TIRs are reviewed regarding IT security standards, as well as how well the proposed projects fit within State IT infrastructure, technical standards and enterprise initiatives. EITS looks for opportunities to provide cost efficient State IT services where appropriate. Since EITS reviews all TIRs, there is an opportunity for facilitating collaborative efforts and cost savings through the coordinated or consolidated use of resources. The Executive Branch role of tracking and approving budget dollars belongs with the Governor’s Finance Office Budget Division, as supported by the Nevada Executive Budget System (NEBS). EITS also manages some of the projects documented in TIRs.

Why do I need a TIR if I already know the best solution?

Determining the best solution involves following a logical process: defining your problem, looking at options, evaluating them based on well stated criteria, and picking the best solution. That is what the TIR process is all about. If you’ve done this, you need to document it in a TIR. Your agency’s management and key stakeholders need to approve and sign the TIR. This assures that project expectations are shared. However, remember that the TIR is not a sole source justification for a vendor solution; you will need to contact State Purchasing regarding that process. If you do need help with your TIR, contact EITS Planning at TIRs@admin.nv.gov.

If I buy a very expensive piece of IT equipment that costs more than the TIR threshold ($50k), do I need a TIR?

The answer depends on context. A project involves people, activities and technology. If the software or hardware product is merely installed, turned on and used, it is a purchase not a project. Similarly, replacement equipment, or equipment for new staff (such as a PC or lap top) do not require TIRs. If however, it is a component which interfaces with other equipment or software that requires conversion or configuration, or impacts other systems requiring them to be modified, then you have a project. Please email questions like this to the TIR coordinator (TIRs@admin.nv.gov). You will get a formal reply that documents the decision on whether it is a TIR or not.

If I’m just changing a service contract with my current vendor to add some additional functionality, do I need a TIR?

Contact EITS planning (TIRs@admin.nv.gov) and ask if the service you are adding requires a TIR. Some of the factors that will be considered include the cost of the new functionality ($50k or more?), the type of additional functionality, the potential to impact state IT infrastructure (including SilverNet bandwidth), and any security implications. If you do not need a TIR, EITS Planning will provide a memo for documentation purposes.