Information-technology plans

Developing IT plans and budgets for two ministries gave me a 360 view of government operations.

These projects were my introduction to business analysis and gave me a good background for working within the government policy-making process.

Role

Technical writer.

Objective

To develop annual and five-year information-technology plans for ministries in the British Columbia government.

Keywords

Requirements gathering; technical writing and editing; stakeholder engagement; client interviews; meeting facilitation; sign-off management.

Description

The plans (in BC goverment–speak, Information Systems Plans and Information Resource Management Plans) were intended as snapshots of ministry operations from an IT perspective: infrastructure, existing systems, current projects, and future requirements. Typically each project ran 4–6 months (part-time), shadowing the IT planning cycle and culminating in a presentation to the central executive. In fact, their main value lay the process itself: gathering technical, business, and strategic requirements; determining priorities; and managing stakeholder sign-off.

Most of my work was on the business side, where I would identify and interview dozens of stakeholders and subject-matter experts to write up rationales for systems and projects. Besides interviews, I carried out JAD sessions to define high-level requirements for new systems, and interviewed senior executives.

The government’ IT-standards agency identified my 1997/98 plan as a model information-systems plan for small ministries.