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Starting an IT Project

  1. Assess Risk/Severity – Determine oversight level using the IT Project Assessment Tool
    • In Washington State, all major IT investments are subject to the approval and oversight of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO).
    • An important first step for any IT investment in Washington, is to determine whether or not it is considered “major,” which requires oversight as described in Policy 121 – IT Investments – Approval and Oversight
    • A preliminary determination of whether or not a project is “major” can be made using the IT Project Assessment Tool.
  2. Project Concept Review
    • All major investments are required to conduct a Project Concept Review with the OCIO as described in Procedure 121
    • Complete the Concept Review template and submit it to the OCIO (
  3. Project Approval

    • All major investments are required to obtain approval from the OCIO.
    • Submit an investment plan to the OCIO ( for approval of all major IT projects.
    • Investment plan approval is required prior to signing a contract with a vendor. 
  4. Transparency – IT Project Dashboard

    • By statute (RCW 43.105.245 and RCW 43.105.255) the OCIO is required to approve and monitor all major IT projects occurring in any executive branch agency or institution. (See Oversight requirements – Appendix F)
    •  By statute (3ESSB 5034; Section 944) the OCIO is also required to provide web-based transparency into the documents that support approval and oversight of these projects. (See Reporting requirements – Appendix G)

Investments that are not considered major may still require OCIO approval.  Agencies must contact the OCIO to determine if OCIO 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 OCIO approved technical standards
  • 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

A limited number of IT projects have been identified as Information Technology Investment Pool (IT Pool) projects.  These projects follow a unique set of gated funding requirements defined by the Legislature.  If you have questions about an IT Pool project, please contact an OCIO consultant ( for guidance.