Technology Project Life Cycle


Technology Project Life Cycle


Learn about the 6 stages of the technology project life cycle.

  • Have an idea for your department which will include support from IT Services?
  • How long does it take for an idea to become a launched project?
  • Wondering what it takes for an idea to become a project?


All medium to large sized projects will go through some part of the technology project life cycle. Learn how an idea turns into a project by moving though the 6 stages. The stages include Idea, Analysis, Governance, Contract, Implementation and Operations & Maintenance. Within each of these stages there are many processes which must be completed before a project can move onto the next stage.


Quick Overview of the Technology Project Life Cycle


Step 1:

- Submit Idea
- Review Project Criteria

Step 2:

- Information Gathering
- Vendor Selection
- Project Proposal

Step 3:

- TPPC Review
- Cabinet Review if needed
- IT Roadmap Scheduling

Step 4:

Review and sign off from
Legal, IT Services, 
Finance and other
departments as needed

Step 5:

- Project Kick Off
- Project Timeline
- Project Expectations
- Project Launch

Step 6:

Operations and Maintenance
- Training
- Ongoing maintenance


View detailed descriptions of each of these steps below.


Detailed Description of the Steps

All projects start as an idea.

Submit your idea

Submitting an idea is the first stage of the project lifecycle. This stage is often triggered when a department, team, or individual identifies a project-worthy demand, need or opportunity. 

Once an idea is submitted IT Services will gather -- and facilitate the review of -- Ideas in an effort to best meet the College's IT Strategy. At any given time, dozens of Ideas might be given consideration in the form of research. All ideas submitted will be reviewed to determine if the idea is a standard request or if it meets the project criteria to become a project and go through the life cycle stages.

5 minutes to fill out the project request form

Learn More
What defines a technology project? View the criteria. 
Submit Your Idea


Stage two of the life cycle is where the proposed project will be defined. IT Services will ask many questions to determine if this idea will become a project. During this stage the size of the project wlll also be determined. The size defines resources needed and indicates if a governing committee needs to review.

There are several components to this stage which are: Information Gathering, Vendor Review and Selection, Project Proposal, Presentation preparation for the governing committees.

1 week to 6 months +
Depending on the size of the project this could take anywhere from 1 week to 6 months or more.
Items that impact this timeline are meetings with vendors, vendor follow up, research between different departments on campus, reaching out to other schools, etc. 

Learn More
TPPC Project Proposal - An IT Services advocate will let you know when a project proposal is needed. Fill out only if your project will be presented to a governing committee


Once a project proposal has been created the next step is to present the project to the Techology Planning and Policy Committees.  In some cases the project will need to be presented to the President's Cabinet. An ITS advocate will first help the project sponsor to prepare their proposal for committee review. Second, ITS will help the project sponsor to prepare to present at the governing committee.  
If approved the project will be scheduled into the queue of the ITS Roadmap.

Governance Committees
The Technology Planning and Policy Committee (TPPC) is comprised of one committee which is the Technology Advisory Committee (TAC). The TAC oversees two subcommittees which are the Committee on Educational Technology (CET) and the Enterprise Technology Committee (ETC). A project sponsor will present to either the CET or ETC. If the project proposal is approved it will then move to the TAC. If the TAC approves it will either be scheduled or in some cases the proposal may need to be presented to the President's Cabinet.

Technology Planning and Policy Committees (TPPC) TAC - CET - ETC

Flow of Governance
A proposal is first presented at either the CET or ETC > if approved it will then be presented to the TAC > if approved it is then scheduled. If further review is needed it will then be presented to the President's Cabinet. View the TPPC Governance Workflow (login required). During presentations, the committee will review the project proposal using the Intake and Governance Quantitative Assessment Criteria (login required).

The TAC meets only twice a year. It is important to know when the next TAC meeting is to plan accordingly. The ETC and CET meet at least twice a year and when needed. See the Technology Intake, Governance, Planning and Policy Development Calendar (login required).

Learn More
View the TPPC Committees Overview and Committee Membership by Position (login required).


Once the project has been approved by the governing bodies, the CAR form should be completed to facilitate the contract process.  Before submitting the CAR package to the Business Office, the agreement should be reviewed and signed off by the Chief Technology Officer as well as reviewed and approved by Legal Counsel.  Only the President or the Vice President for Finance and Administration have the authority to execute agreements on behalf of the College.

2 weeks to 3 months +
Contract review can take anywhere from two weeks to three months or longer.  The review process depends on many variables, including the language of the agreement when it is originally received and the negotiation terms that are vetted between the parties.  For more information about the Contract Process, visit the Contracts and Agreement Routing page on the Saint Mary's College website.



Once all of the previous stages have been completed then it is time to execute the project. This is where "the (project) work gets done". This stage starts with a kick off meeting. During this meeting the owner of the project will present the timeline and assign roles and responsibilities to everyone involved in the project.

3 weeks to 18 months
The timeline for implementation all depends on the project and/or vendor. Before a contract is signed the client should have a good idea of how long the implementation will take. For larger projects it is not unusual for implementations to take longer than a year.



Even after the implementation is complete the project will still continue in maintenance mode. 
Remember when a solution involves a new application the owner of the project will continue to maintain the application on an ongoing basis. Over time the product will launch improvements and the owner needs to be on top of any upcoming changes. 

Note: If an existing product has significant updates that require IT Support please submit an idea to kick off the project review. Significant additions or changes to an existing tool could be catagorized as a new project and therefore would need to go through the technology intake and governance process.

Ongoing (and forever, while the contract is still in place)
In order to keep any application up and running there will continue to be ongoing maintenance and care that will be needed. Working with the tool doesn't stop once implementation is complete and the project has launched.