SEM Initiation and Planning Stage

This is the first stage in the lifecycle of an information systems engineering project.  The Project Management Methodology (PMM) and System Engineering Methodology are tightly integrated.  It is imperative that the project manager ensures participation of the business client in the creation of the PMM documents.The majority of the outputs produced during this stage are Project Management Methodology (PMM) documents, such as the Project Charter (PMM-0101) and the Project Management Plan (PMM-0102).  The SEM Maintenance Plan (SEM-0301) and the Software Configuration Management Plan (SEM-0302) are initiated during this stage.

Although the following indented paragraphs focus on PMM processes, a solid project management foundation is necessary for SEM deliverables and subsequent stages.

Project planning applies to all projects regardless of their size.  Planning involves selecting the strategies, policies, programs, and procedures for achieving the objectives and goals of the project.  Planning is deciding, in advance, what to do, how to do it, when to do it, where to do it, and who is going to do it.

The requirements identified in project related materials, (e.g., a business case document, are the primary input to the Project Plan).  The level of detail will vary depending on project size.  The preparation of the Project Plan and related materials involves several critical planning issues such as the identification of preliminary requirements; staff, schedule, and cost estimates; the technical and managerial approaches that will be used; and the assessment of potential risks associated with the project.  This information forms the foundation for all subsequent planning activities.

During this stage, the system owner and users are interviewed to: identify their business needs and expectations for the product; gain a common understanding of the task assignment; and determine how the project supports the State of Michigan's long-range information resource management plans. The system owner is the enterprise unit that is funding the project, and users are the State of Michigan employees and contractors who will use the product.

In this stage, the project team should be focused on identifying what the project will automate, and whether developing an IT solution makes sense from business, cost, and technical perspectives.  If the project is feasible, then time, cost, and resource estimates must be formulated for the project, and risk factors must be assessed.  It is important for the project team to work closely with representatives from all functional areas that will be involved in providing resources, information, or support services for the project (see Touch Points).  The information gathered in this stage is used to plan and manage the project throughout its lifecycle.

This stage involves development of a Software Configuration Management Plan (SEM-0302) to track and control work products and to assure the production and operation of high quality products on schedule, within budget, and within the constraints specified by the system owner and user.