Phase 3: Project Approval

Evaluate and Approve Planned Investments

Once project funding has been secured, a major project will enter the formal approval process. The purpose of this phase is to make sure the investment has been thoroughly considered, approved by WaTech, and has a plan to move to implementation before significant public funds have been spent as required by RCW 43.105.255.

The first step in this phase is to assess the risk and determine whether the project will be under oversight or not. Follow the IT Investment Intake page when you are ready to submit an IT investment to WaTech to determine tiering and applicable oversight requirements.

Note: Some projects are subject to Gated Funding (section 701 of enacted budgets). A limited number of IT projects are identified as Information Technology Investment Pool (IT Pool) projects in the approved budget. These projects must also follow the gated funding requirements defined by the Legislature.

Next is the project kick-off, an overview of the project and oversight process with the project's leadership, project team and WaTech consultants, and requires the agency to describe in detail all critical aspects of the investment, including:

  • Purpose of the planned investment.
  • Justification, including market analysis, alignment with the state's IT strategy and enterprise infrastructure.
  • Funding, both for the project itself and for the ongoing maintenance and operation of the investment once implemented.
  • Project schedule and management.
  • Evaluation of project risk and mitigation strategies.

Projects with oversight must have the investment approved by WaTech before a project may move into implementation. Follow WaTech policy PM-01 (was 121) – IT Investment Approval and Oversight for details. Significant adjustments to the investment's scope, schedule or budget require prior approval by WaTech.

Investments that are not considered major may still require WaTech approval. Agencies must contact the WaTech to determine if WaTech approval is needed if any of the following apply:

  • The investment is not consistent with the state's IT strategic plan.
  • The investment does not follow WaTech-approved policies, standards, or procedures.
  • The investment is not consistent with the agency's IT architecture.
  • The investment duplicates or competes with an existing system or service provided or offered by another state agency.
  • The investment is a private sector strategic partnership.
  • The investment is an academic strategic partnership for a business or administrative application.

Project artifacts, from intake through the end of the project including investment approval, status reports and deliverables, and other project documentation must be posted to the Project Dashboard (link is external) and are visible to the public. Follow WaTech standard PM-01-04-S Tiered Oversight and Reporting Standard for details.

View Phase 4 of the Project Lifecycle: Implement project.