In January of 2008, the legislature and governor established the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) with the intent of creating an agency to establish policies and standards to ensure that state information technology systems run effectively. Through the State Administrative Manual (SAM) and the Statewide Information Management Manual (SIMM), the OCIO creates statewide policy for the Executive Branch to ensure coordination throughout state government.

Last week, the OCIO released its first two Information Technology Policy Letters (ITPL), which made changes to the SAM and SIMM -- manuals which establish major policies as the agency works to oversee the state's IT activities with a common direction and vision.

The California Project Management Methodology establishes California's IT project management standards. Applying these standards and common reporting will achieve greater project management accountability, transparency and improved investment results. ITPL 09-01 establishes policies to:

  • Create a statewide project management methodology;
  • Use a project management tool kit to standardize documentation used by departments and submitted to the OCIO;
  • Create a project complexity assessment tool;
  • Regularly report on the status of projects, based on their complexity;
  • Participate in training with newly defined, statewide project management standards; and
  • Use a standard software to report on projects.

Established last year to provide a global view of state technology investments, The IT Capital Planning process is a way for the OCIO to oversee the development of state IT projects to ensure they are aligned with state agency priorities, business direction, statewide enterprise architecture, data sharing goals and overall IT strategy. ITPL 09-02 establishes policies to:

  • Provide information concerning the preparation and submittal of Agency and Department IT Capital Plans (July 2009 Plans) to the Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO); and
  • Establish the vision and goals for an agency-level initiative to standardize, virtualize and modularize the state's IT infrastructure through consolidation.