Project Management Office (PMO)

Project Prioritization at Mt. San Antonio College

Welcome to Mt. SAC's Project Prioritization website! This platform functions as a central hub designed to aid the campus community in distinguishing between project proposal requests and non-project related services managed through our Information Technology (IT) service catalog. Our goal is to provide clarity on the criteria that define a project, facilitating smoother navigation of our support system and ensuring that resources are appropriately allocated to both types of initiatives.

The Project Management Office (PMO) has established a streamlined Project Proposal Intake process to effectively manage the influx of project requests received by IT. The Project Prioritization Intake process is designed to guide stakeholders through the identification of essential elements crucial for successful IT project delivery. This includes understanding such factors as strategic alignment, financial requirements, people resources, risks and timing constraints that may impact the project. Project proposal submissions will undergo thorough review by the IT department and relevant business stakeholders. Once approved, the project will be scheduled for implementation.

Is this a project or a service request?

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to achieve specific goals and objectives, typically characterized by a defined beginning and end, a set of deliverables, and dedicated resources. Projects often involve significant planning, execution, and monitoring phases, aiming to bring about transformative changes or introduce new technology within the college. Conversely, a service request pertains to a specific task or support requirement submitted by an individual or entity within the organization, seeking assistance or resolution for an existing issue or routine service provision. Service requests are typically ongoing and recurrent, addressing operational needs, maintenance activities, or troubleshooting efforts to sustain the functionality and performance of existing systems, processes, or infrastructure.

The IT department understands it may be difficult to determine if your request is a project or a service request. Please refer to the sections titled "Submit a Project Proposal if.." and "Submit a Service Request if..." below for additional guidance. If you are still not sure what to do, please contact our project implementation team at

      • Submit a project proposal if...
        • Efforts are estimated to take a minimum of 200 hours or more.
        • Has a defined beginning and end date.
        • There is a defined scope of work/effort.
        • Is not a routine operation.
        • Requires the creation of a distinct product, service, or result that differs from current operations.
        • Tasks require cross functional collaboration and dedicated team of resources.
      • Project Definition

        A temporary and organized effort with a specific set of objectives and goals aimed at creating, developing, implementing, or improving technology-related solutions or systems within an organization.

      • Examples
        • New software of application implementation
        • System integrations
        • Network installations/configurations
        • Website Redesign Projects
        • Interactive Portal Cards
      • Submit a Service Request if...
        • Efforts are estimated to take less than 200 hours.
        • Issue pertains to an existing issue or routine service.
        • The issue is ongoing or recurrent.
        • Issues are primarily focused on addressing operations needs or end user support services.
        • The issue requires prompt attention and resolution to minimize disruptions to current business operations.
      • Service Request Definition

        Formal or informal request made by an individual, department, or entity within an organization to the IT department or service provider for assistance, support, or resolution of an issue related to IT services or infrastructure. 

      • Examples
        • Password resets
        • Request changes to an existing Argos report
        • Software installation
        • Software provisioning
        • Update to system configurations

All available Service Request (SR) are in our Service Catalog found here: FreshService SR Catalog 

    • Project Prioritization and Scheduling 

      Project proposals are reviewed quarterly, following the academic calendar. Project proposals are measured against the campus strategic goals, operational alignment, feasibility, resources, and current technology. The project prioritization process includes:

      1. Project scoring: Use of a project prioritization matrix allows for structured decision making. An overall weighted score is generated that represents the project’s value to the campus. The higher the score, the more value. The scoring is performed by Information Technology managements, with final approval provided by Executive Management.
      2. Funding availability: Ability to secure funds to carry out the project and maintain the project.
      3. Resource capacity evaluation: Availability of Information Technology and/or other department staff resources to ensure project team is available to work the project.
      4. Project scheduling: A project is scheduled based on its scoring, including funding, and resource capacity. A high scoring project may not be able to start immediately if resources and/or funding are not available; in turn, lower scoring projects with available resources may start ahead of a higher scoring project. Projects with a future start date can be scheduled based on the future availability of resources and funding.

      The rating criteria provides a structured and quantifiable approach to decision making and prioritization of project proposals. The matrix provides a means for ranking project proposal requests based on criteria that are determined to be important. A prioritization matrix or criteria supports structured decision-making in the following ways:

      • Helps prioritize complex or unclear issues when there are multiple criteria for determining importance.
      • Provides a quick and easy, yet consistent, method for evaluating options.
      • Quantifies the decision with numeric rankings.
      • When used with a group of people, it facilitates reaching agreement on priorities and key issues.
      • Facilitates conversations about what is important.
      • Establishes process transparency and accountability.
      • Rates projects based on strategic alignment, value to the customer and technological risk.
      • Prioritization ensures that resources are allocated appropriately and according to priorities.
    • What are the benefits of the new intake process?
      • Resource Optimization: With limited resources such as budget, time, and personnel, prioritization ensures that these resources are allocated to projects that yield the most significant impact or value to the college.
      • Alignment with Strategic Goals: Prioritization ensures that IT projects are in line with Mt SAC's strategic objectives. It helps prevent initiatives that might not contribute directly to the organization's goals from consuming resources unnecessarily.
      • Risk Management: By prioritizing projects, IT can address high-risk projects early on, ensuring that potential risks are identified and mitigated in a timely manner.
      • Stakeholder Engagement: Involving stakeholders in the prioritization process fosters collaboration and ensures that the projects selected are aligned with the needs and expectations of various stakeholders across the college.
      • Time Management: Prioritization helps in managing the workload effectively by identifying which projects should be tackled first, thereby reducing delays and ensuring timely delivery of critical initiatives.
      • Transparency and Accountability: A structured prioritization process provides transparency into how decisions are made regarding project selection. This transparency fosters accountability among team members and stakeholders, ensuring that everyone understands why certain projects are prioritized over others.
      • Adaptability to Change: Prioritization allows the IT department to adapt to changing business needs and market conditions by continuously reassessing and reprioritizing projects based on emerging requirements and opportunities.

Ready to submit a project proposal?

Who can submit a project proposal? Staff and faculty can submit project proposals that have Sponsor approval. 
Do you have a designated sponsor? A “Sponsor” is a leader in your department or division who is authorized to assign resources (people/funds) to the project, supports the business need, and is responsible for the success of the initiative. 
Please note the following information is required to submit the project proposal intake form. Additional details for these items are available on the intake form. This information will be expanded upon following the submission of the request.

  • Project Sponsor
  • Business Impact and Objectives
  • Estimated Budget/Cost
  • Project Title and Description
  • Anticipated Project Start and End Date
  • Project Scope and Technical Requirements
  • Project resource requirements
  • Stakeholders impacted by this project.
  • Any compliance, mandates, or contract end dates
  • Vendor SOW, Contract,  HECVAT, Demo, etc. 

To submit a project proposal, please complete the IT Project Proposal Intake Form

Need help? Please submit a consulting service request here: IT Consulting SR

Project Proposal Submission and Cutoff Dates: