Standard for information technology project management

Virginia Tech is committed to continuously improving the delivery of information technology solutions within budget, on schedule, within scope and in such a way as to best contribute to accomplishing the university's strategic mission. To this end, this standard is available to assist in the planning and management of information technology projects at Virginia Tech.

Standard for information technology project management

This standard carries out the policy mandate to manage projects in accordance with best practices promoted by the nationally recognized Project Management Institute (PMI), appropriately tailored to the specific circumstances of the university.

Applicability. Information technology-based projects in any university unit must follow the project management methodology contained in this standard. Research projects, research initiatives, instruction, and maintenance and operational activities are exempt from the requirements of the standard, but are free to use portions of the standard as may be helpful. As improvements are identified, the documents required by this standard may be revised, and a revision history published for the required documents. Project managers should retain a dated copy of project documentation. Adherence to the standard practices as of that date will constitute compliance. Alternatively, project managers may opt to use any revised practices incorporated into the standard after the beginning of the project, with appropriate documentation of the change.


  • Every information technology project covered by Policy 7210 must have a project manager.
  • Every project manager must have the Virginia Tech component of project management training in addition to other qualifying training and experience appropriate to the complexity and risk of the project.
  • At a minimum, one of the following collections of documentation must be used, completed, and retained:
    • IT Project Low Risk Project Form (for uncomplicated, low-risk projects)
    • The IT Project Initiation Form, the Project Plan (Microsoft Project template), the IT Project Security Initial Review Form, the IT Project Scope Form, the IT Project Integrated Change Control Form (unless there are no changes), the IT Project Security Final Review Form, the IT Project Closing Form, and the Process Guidelines Checklist.

Additional guidelines and resources are available in the standard for information technology project management website. Guidelines are best practices that should be followed wherever feasible. Resources are additional aids that are neither mandatory nor necessarily "best practices."


For any project, the goal of the project manager and project leader is to take appropriate actions to ensure the success of the project. This includes the preparation of documentation, and the establishment of a plan for oversight, both of which are appropriate to the complexity of the project.

Assessment of the complexity of a given project is the responsibility of the project manager, in consultation with the project's sponsor. The Project Scorecard is intended to provide a rule of thumb to help project managers assess the risk and complexity of a project. Risk and complexity can further be assessed by comparing project characteristics to the table of Project Level Indicators. Project Management Process Guidelines outline a process for each level of project complexity. Project Management Methodology, which can be customized to fit each level of project complexity, gives further details on suggested project management techniques.

The project manager should provide project documentation that is appropriate to the complexity of the project. High risk projects are supported with documentation that is substantially more detailed and thorough than would be expected for a medium-risk, or low-risk project. For many low-risk projects, the full documentation package could be as brief as two to three pages, using the low risk project form. Whereas, the documentation for high-risk projects could easily run to hundreds of pages.

Project oversight and periodic approvals are also designed according to the level of project risk and complexity. The process guidelines forms show when approval is required, and the approval and oversight section of the guidelines shows who are appropriate approvers.