2.120.4 Design Coordination

Manual Transmittal

October 04, 2019

Purpose

(1) This transmits new IRM 2.120.4, Engineering, Design Coordination (DC) Process in now within alignment and an Internal Control Section has been added.

Material Changes

(1) Added an Internal Control Section.

Effect on Other Documents

This document supersedes IRM 2.120.4, dated October 3, 2014.

Audience

The DC Process is applicable to all DC Groups and associated Stakeholders.

Effective Date

(10-04-2019)


Sri Rao
Director, Enterprise Services, Solution Engineering

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Overview - This document describes a set of interrelated activities, which transform inputs into outputs, to achieve a given purpose, and states the guidelines that all projects follow regarding the DC process. The format and definitions used to describe each of the process steps of the DC process are described below. .

  2. Purpose -This DC Process Description (PD) describes what happens within the DC process and provides an operational definition of the major components of it. This description specifies, in a complete, precise, and verifiable manner, the requirements, design, and behavior characteristics of the of the DC process. The PD is a documented expression of a set of activities performed to achieve a given purpose. Tailoring of this process in order to meet the individual needs of each project is covered in the Tailoring Guidelines section of this document.

  3. Audience - The DC Process is applicable to all DC Groups and associated Stakeholders.

  4. Policy Owner - The ACIO Enterprise Services is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Design Coordination Process that operates IRS agency-wide Design Coordination Process, SE Director.

  5. Program Owner - The Chief of Process Maturity Group under the Director of Enterprise Services, Solution Engineering Division is responsible for the administration, procedures, and updates related to the program IRM.

  6. Primary Stakeholders - The Primary Stakeholders that utilize DC processes are: Enterprise Operations (E-Ops), Application Design (AD) and Enterprise Services (ES).

  7. Program Goals -Provides guidance and knowledge for DC activities.
    .

Background

  1. A process is defined as “A set of related activities that accomplish a common goal”. The process definition laid out in this document further breaks down these Activities into Tasks, each of which have a complete set of attributes defined such as data and tool specifications and the role(s) responsible for executing the tasks. The document also includes process goal and objectives, metrics, role definitions, policies and other process related attributes.
    For the purpose of this document roles such as: Service Design Managers, Lead Design Engineer and Configuration Management (CM) Lead are provided to describe a set of responsibilities for performing a particular set of related activities. The DC process entails and addresses applications, infrastructure and project activities.

Process Description
  1. The objective of DC is to clearly communicate and define processes interfaces, roles, responsibilities, and collaboration between stakeholders during the design collaboration phase of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) lifecycle.

Objectives
  1. This document describes a set of interrelated activities, which transform inputs into outputs, to achieve a given purpose, and states the guidelines that all projects follow regarding the DC process.


  2. The format and definitions used to describe each of the process steps of the DC process are described below.

    • Purpose – The objective of the process step.

    • Roles and Responsibilities – The responsibilities of the individuals or groups for accomplishing a process step.

    • Entry Criteria – The elements and conditions (state) necessary to trigger the beginning of a process step.

    • Input – Data or material needed to perform the process step. Input can be modified to become an output.

    • Process Activity – The list of activities that make up the process step.

    • Output – Data or material that are created (artifacts) as part of, produced by, or resulting from performing the process step.

    • Exit Criteria – The elements or conditions (state) necessary to trigger the completion of a process step.

Authority

  1. All proposed changes to this document must be submitted in writing, with supporting rationale, to the Senior Manager of Solution Engineering, Process Maturity.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Each process defines at least one role. Each role is assigned to perform specific tasks within the process. The responsibilities of a role are confined to the specific process. They do not imply any functional standing within the hierarchy of an organization. For example, the process manager role does not imply the role is associated with or fulfilled by someone with functional management responsibilities within the organization. Within a specific process, there can be more than one individual associated with a specific role. Additionally, a single individual can assume more than one role within the process although typically not at the same time.
    Many roles are involved in the DC process. This section defines the roles used throughout this document and their responsibilities.
    .

    Role Description Definition of Responsibility
    Service Design Manager
    • Ensure DC Policies and Methods are assigned and being implemented.

    • Coordinate DC activities across project design efforts.

    • Maintain service strategies related to DC efforts.

    • Ensure appropriate milestone exits are done and ensure the SDP is updated.

    • Ensures Configuration Management (CM) is conducted according to documented procedures.

    • Keep Engineering appraised of: Issues, Changes and Risk associated with DC efforts.

    • Approve CR’s that come out of the DC process.

    • Maintain service strategies related to DC activities.

    • Ensure appropriate milestone exit reviews are done when DC CR’s have been completed.

    • Formulate service improvements and responses that come out of the DC process

    • Identify roles and responsibilities related to the service.

    • Ensure cost effectiveness of the services provided.

    Lead Design Engineer
    • Coordinate DC Activities.

    • Monitor DC Progress.

    • Identify/Report Risk and Issues

    • Issue Change Requests (CR’s) where needed.

    • Monitor., track and report all technical solutions coming out of the DC process.

    • Ensure enterprise design standards are integrated into DC efforts.

    • Inform Engineering Manager of current DC efforts and status.

    • Develop/Modify design standard patterns using the CM process.

    Configuration Management Lead
    • Manage DC baselines, risks and issues lists.

    • Manage CR lists and status.

    • Maintain DC documentation libraries.

Program Management and Review

  1. Policies outline a set of plans or courses of action that are intended to influence and determine decisions or actions of a process. Policies provide an element of governance over the process that provides alignment to business vision, mission and goals.

    Process Management The Service Manager will regularly review quantifiable data related to different aspects of the DC process in order to make informed decisions and take appropriate corrective action, if necessary. To be effective, measures of DC should result in an increase in successful changes that deliver the required business outcomes with minimal disruption or other negative impacts on business operations.
    Statement: The Design Coordination process will have a single Process Owner and a separate Process Manager responsible for implementation and ensuring adherence to the process. The process will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it continues to support the business requirements of the enterprise. The process will be designed and developed based on ROI to the business. Process metrics will be focused on providing relevant information as opposed to merely presenting raw data.
    People:  
    Statement: Roles and responsibilities for the process must be clearly defined and appropriately staffed with people having the required skills and training. The mission, goals, scope and importance of the process must be clearly and regularly communicated by upper management to the staff and business customers of IT. All IT staff (direct and indirect users of the process) shall be trained at the appropriate level to enable them to support the process.
    Rationale: It is imperative that people working in, supporting or interacting with the process in any manner understand what they are supposed to do. Without that understanding Design Coordination will not be successful.
    Process:  
    Statement: Modifications to the Design Coordination process must be approved by the Process Owner. The design of the process must include appropriate interfaces with other processes to facilitate data sharing, escalation and workflow. The process must be capable of providing data to support real-time requirements as well as historical/trending data for overall process improvement initiatives. The process must be fully documented, published and accessible to the various stakeholders of the process. The process will be reviewed on a periodic basis in order to ensure it continues to support organizational goals and objectives (continuous improvement). The process must include Inputs, Outputs, Controls, Metrics, Activities, Tasks, Roles and Responsibilities, Tool and Data requirements along with documented process flows. The process will be kept straight forward, rational, and easy to understand.
    Rationale: The process must meet operational and business requirements.
    Technology and Tools:  
    Statement: All tools selected must conform to the enterprise architectural standards and direction. Existing in-house tools and technology will be used wherever possible, new tools will only be entertained if they satisfy a business need that cannot be met by current in-house tools. The selection of supporting tools must be process driven and based on the requirements of the business. Selected tools must provide ease of deployment, customizing and use. Automated workflow, notification and escalation will be deployed wherever possible to minimize delays, ensure consistency, reduce manual intervention and ensure appropriate parties are made aware of issues requiring their attention.

    The tools used by this process are the following:
    [Identify and list the technology and/or tools used in process].
    • Spreadsheets

    • Database Management Systems (DBMS)

    Rationale: Technology and tools should be used to augment the process capabilities, not become an end themselves.

Program Control

  1. Activities involved in ensuring a process is predictable, stable, and consistently operating at the target level of performance.

Controls
  1. Process controls represent the policies and guiding principles on how the process will operate. Controls provide direction over the operation of processes and define constraints or boundaries in which the process must operate.

    This section delineates the activity steps including roles an tools or templates, needed t perform each step of this procedure.

    Name Description
    Define and Maintain Policies and Methods Design teams coordinate and maintain policies and methods to ensure consistent and accurate approaches are implemented during DC efforts. Project management and change management groups collaborate and define policies and practices for all design work
    Plan Design Resources and Capabilities Ensure that the required resources and capabilities are in place to ensure that requirements are addressed and mapped to the actual designs slated for implementation.
    Coordinate Design Activities Coordinate designs across all projects.
    Manage Design Risk and Issues Implement formal risk assessment and management techniques to manage risks associated with design activities and reduce the number of issues that can subsequently be traced to poor designs.
    Improve Service Design Ensure that the goals and objectives of DC are consistently achieved by continually working to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service design activities and processes.
Metrics
  1. Metrics are used for the quantitative and periodic assessment of a process. They should be associated with targets that are set based on specific business objectives. Metrics provide information related to the goals and objectives of a process and are used to take corrective action when desired results are not being achieved and can be used to drive continual improvement of process effectiveness and efficiency.

  2. Management will regularly set targets for process performance, gather quantifiable data related to different functions of the Design Coordination process, and review that data in order to make informed decisions and take appropriate corrective action, if necessary. All Measurements will have a defined data dictionary, map to the organizational strategic goals, and be documented in a Process Measurement Plan. The Process Measurement Plan template is available in the IT PAL.

Tailoring Guidelines
  1. The tailoring guidelines identify the allowable variations of the IT organization’s standard process as needed for adjustments (adding, deleting, modifying) relative to specific operational or functional needs of another organization. Process tailoring is about roles and procedures, not the standard process or major activities defined in this process. All tailoring request, with supporting rationale, must be submitted in writing to and approved by the Design Coordination owner.
    All tailoring requests, with supporting rationale, should be submitted in writing to the Chief, Solution Engineering Process Maturity, and owner of this procedure

Terms/Definitions/Acronyms

  1. Terms/Definitions/Acronyms

Terms and Definitions
  1. Terms and Definitions
     

    Term Definition
    Artifact A work product created by a process or procedure step, e.g. plans, design specifications, etc.
    DC Process The methodology and steps taken that ensure design related activities are coordinated in a repeatable and manageable.
    Feasibility Report A report used to document if a DC imitative can be done within reasonable means based on: Cost, Schedule and without impacting critical functions in a process.
    Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) A collection of best practices, enabling organizations to build efficient DC processes for delivering IT Service Management (ITSM) and ensuring that they meeting business goals and delivering benefits that facilitate business change, transformation, and growth.
    Metric A quantitative way of measuring a process, often provided in the form of charts.
    Request for Change Used when requesting a new functionality in a system.
    Requirements Engineering The act of coordinating, identifying approving, managing and allocating requirements, typically managed by the CM group.
    Requirements Traceability Matrix A cross reference table that ties requirements to functionality that meets old and addresses those requirements.
    Risk An uncertain event or condition that if it occurs, has a negative effect on the project.
    Service Improvement Plan A plan detailing the improvements to be made in the DC process.
    Service Level Agreement Formal agreement between service provider and client detailing in writing what work is to be done and how it is to be verified and validated.
    Tailoring The act of customizing, adding to, or leaving out elements specified in a template. Tailoring of templates must be approved before they are used. This DC PD should not be modified.
Acronyms
  1. Acronyms

    Abbreviations and Acronyms

    Acronyms Description
    BSRR Business Systems Requirements Report
    CCB Configuration Control Board
    CMMI Capability Maturity Model Integration
    CM Configuration Management
    CMS Configuration Management system
    CCB Change Control Board
    COH Computer Operations Handbook
    CR Change Request
    DAR Decision Analysis Resolution
    DSR Design Specification Report
    ELC Enterprise Life Cycle
    ES Enterprise Services
    ESP Enterprise Standards Profile
    FAR Federal Acquisition Regulation
    FSP Functional Specifications Package
    IPM Integrated Process Management
    ICD Interface Control Document
    IRM Internal Revenue Manual
    IRS Internal Revenue Service
    IT Information Technology
    ITIL Information Technology Infrastructure Library
    ITSM Information Technology Service Management
    PAL Process Asset Library
    PD Process Description
    POC Point of Contact
    PMI Project Management Institute
    PRP Programming Requirements Package
    QA Quality Assurance
    RFC Request For Change
    RFQ Request For Quote
    RTM Requirements Traceability Matrix
    SE Systems Engineering
    SDP Service Design Package
    SDS Service Design Standard
    SLA Service Level Agreement
    SLM Service Level Management
    SLR Service Level Requirements
    TS Technical Solution

Related Resources

  1. [Cite sources that were used to develop and/or support this process].

Training

  1. Process training involves training all stakeholders about key processes that are crucial for an organization to deliver business objectives. Training provides clarity to employees on a set of procedures that needs to be carried out as part of the process and the best possible way to do them. List below the training resources available for this process:.

    • Use and application of DC Metrics Design Templates in the generation of or changing of metrics templates

    • Design change management processes and procedures

    • Use of this procedure in implementing DC Processes

    • Training in DC use and application

Process Workflow

  1. A process workflow consists of Activities and Tasks, Inputs and Outputs, Roles, and Flow Diagrams. It describes the tasks, procedural steps, organizations or people involved, required input and output information, and tools needed for each step of the process.

Main Process Diagram

  1. Design Coordination Process Description Flow Diagram

    Figure 2.120.4-1

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Inputs

  1. The following are inputs to this process step:

    • Project Plan: Listing Resources available to be used for DC efforts.

    • Resource availability and capabilities from supplying organizations: To help in planning and resource allocation.

    • Service Level Requirements (SLR): Documenting any resources/capabilities allocated via external organizations for supporting DC.

    • Design Requirements: To ensure DC requirements are documented, and that resources needed to implement them are in-place.

    • Information Security: To determine resources and capabilities required for information security compliance of DC efforts.

    • Architectural Constraints: To identify potential impacts where the as-built architecture may be negatively impacted by DC related activities.

    • Interface Requirements: To help plan/allocate needed resources when external interfaces impact DC planning efforts.

    • Migration Requirements: Depicting the rollout of design changes and steps to be taken.

    • Operational Requirements: To document resources on the operations side of DC, to ensure that operations is part of the overall DC effort and that any DC activity will not negatively impact operations.

Output

  1. The following are outputs to this process step:

    • DC Schedule reflecting resources allocated.

    • Allocated Resource List - Reflecting assigned resources commensurate with and mapped to the DC Schedule.

    • Action Plan addressing missing or marginal resources needed to support DC.

Activities

  1. An activity is a major unit of work to be completed in achieving the objectives of the process. A process consists of a sequence of related activities that transforms inputs into outputs and performed by the roles defined in the process. Activities are measurable in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. Identify the activities in the process and provide a brief description. The activities must correspond with the high-level process flow diagram above.
     

    ID Name Description
    Step 1 Define and Maintain Policies and Methods At this step, design teams coordinate and maintain policies, strategies and methods to ensure that consistent and accurate approaches are implemented during DC efforts. Design coordination, project management, and change management groups collaborate to define policies and practices for all design work
    Step 2 Plan Design Resources and Capabilities At this step the design resources and capabilities are put in place to ensure that requirements are addressed and mapped to the actual designs slated for implementation.
    Step 3 Coordinate Design Activities At this step activities performed entail the coordination of all design activities across projects. This coordination includes: Managing changes, schedules, resources, conflicts, suppliers and support teams involved in the process.
    Step 4 Manage Design Risk and Issues At this step DC uses formal risk assessment and management techniques. This is done to manage risk associated with design activities and to reduce the number of issues that can be traced to poor designs
    Step 5 Improve Service Design The purpose of this step is to ensure that the goals and objectives of the DC service design stage are consistently achieved by continually working to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service design activities and processes.

Procedure

  1. Procedure

Activity and Steps
  1. This section delineates the activity steps, including roles and tools or templates, needed to perform each step of this Procedure.

    A1: Define and Maintain Policies and Methods

    Design teams coordinate and maintain policies and methods to ensure consistent and accurate approaches are implemented during DC efforts. Project management and change management groups collaborate and define policies and practices for all design work.
    Steps Role
    1. Ensure that a DC Plan and PD are in place for the project considered and are in alignment with the service strategy per the SDPs and the ESP. Service Design Manager
    2. Ensure that Risk Management is applied to the project by having a Risk Management Plan and up to date risk management processes and procedures (including reporting). Lead Design Engineer
    3. Ensure that the TS Process is applied to decisions made during DC proceedings. Service Design Manager
    4. Ensure that a CM Plan is in place and that CM tracks and reports issues found in the DC process. CM Lead
    5. Ensure that DC requirements for systems being addressed are documented, managed and tracked. CM Lead
    6. Ensure that security requirements are in place for all systems to be initiated, changed or modified. Service Design Manager
    7. Ensure that all required IRS compliance regulations and Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)s are in place. Service Design Manager
    8. Ensure that all required interface requirements are in place so that DC analysis and implementation in the areas of interfacing systems are clearly defined and understood. Lead Design Engineer
    9. Ensure migration requirements (if required) are in place, understood and implemented in all DC decisions. Lead Design Engineer
    10. Ensure that all required access rights are in place prior to commencement of DC activities. Lead Design Engineer
    A2: Plan Design Resources and Capabilities

    Ensure that the required resources and capabilities are in place to ensure that requirements are addressed and mapped to the actual designs slated for implementation.
    Steps Role
    1. Routinely review and determine if staffing is adequate to support the DC activities as posted in this procedure. Make changes to adjust to resource requirements if required. Service Design Manager
    2. Ensure that schedules are developed that detail activities and milestones to be met for DC activities and that they are assigned to specified staff and approved. Service Design Manager
    3. Ensure that Staff meetings are scheduled, held, agenda’s published, minutes taken and (if required) actions are assigned to DC staff. Service Design Manager
    4. Ensure that risk lists are continually published, so that staff can plan the resources needed to address the risks. Lead Design Engineer
    5. Ensure that current issues lists (with up to date status) are distributed so that resources can be allocated to address issues. Lead Design Engineer
    6. Ensure that a coordination plan is in place that details the assignments, needs, due dates and activities to be accomplished. Service Design Manager
    7. Track and Report Issues and Risks. CM Lead
    A3: Coordinate Design Activities

    Coordinate designs across all projects.
    Steps Role
    1. Formulate requirements for DC analysis with Requirements Engineering and document decisions made. Ensure that a RTM exists for all requirements and maps to the schedule. Service Design Manager
    2. Schedule Coordination Meetings, create agenda’s, take minutes and assign/track action items as required and documenting technical solutions that were developed. Service Design Manager
    3. Ensure that the design selected is specified in the SDP and that all coordination activities to be done are specified (e.g. meetings, design reviews, testing, Verification and Validation and design implementation sequences etc.). Lead Design Engineer
    4. Ensure that DC implementation schedules are in place and activities, milestones and assignments are tracked. Service Design Manager
    5. Use RFC’s for documenting changes, scheduling and coordinating designs that are to be implemented. Use the CCB as the approval forum for all RFC’s. Service Design Manager
    6. Ensure that all interfaces involved are specified and defined. Lead Design Engineer
    7. Utilize the TS Process to coordinate alternatives and design decisions related to DC efforts. Lead Design Engineer
    8. Coordinate and analyze all new requirements. Lead Design Engineer
    9. Perform and document the milestone exit review activities for this phase and ensure the SDP is updated. Service Design Manager
    10. Track DC requirements and manage/control DC documentation. CM Lead
    A4: Manage Design Risks and Issues

    Implement formal risk assessment and management techniques to manage risks associated with design activities and reduce the number of issues that can subsequently be traced to poor designs.
    Steps Role
    1. Ensure that Risk management and Issues tracking plans/procedures are in place to support the DC process. Service Design Manager
    2. Ensure that tools (i.e. spreadsheets/DBMS etc.) are in place to log, track, manage and report issues and risks. CM Lead
    3. Ensure that staff are assigned to manage and report risks and issues. Service Design Manager
    4. Ensure that all risks and issues are assigned, reviewed, and approved for corrective actions. Verify that they are checked to determine if they are closed out (or not). Service Design Manager
    5. Ensure that processes are in place to mitigate and assign corrective actions for risks and issues that have been identified. Service Design Manager
    6. Monitor schedule commitments to ensure that risks in schedules are minimized. Service Design Manager
    7. Perform design reviews so that Risks and Issues can be detected and acted on proactively. Lead Design Engineer
    8. Inform the CCB of all risks and issues. CM Lead
    9. Manage Tracking Tools and publish status reports and ensure that risks and issues are reported. CM Lead
    A5: Improve Service Design

    Ensure that the goals and objectives of DC are consistently achieved by continually working to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service design activities and processes.
    Steps Role
    1. After DC sessions are complete, assign staff to perform Lessons Learned. Service Design Manager
    2. Ensure a process is in place, to submit and follow up on comments and recommendations. Service Design Manager
    3. Routinely audit the process, and based on findings recommend ways to improve it. CM Lead
    4. Ensure that improvements identified are assigned, managed, and that there is a means in place to verify and validate that they have been implemented. Service Design Manager
    5. Periodically review Design Implementation Plans and procedures, looking for process improvements. Lead Design Engineer
    6. Use RFC’s for submitting process improvements. Lead Design Engineer
    7. If SLA’s are used, periodically review them for process improvement opportunities. Service Design Manager
    8. Perform team peer reviews of all work products and look for document feedback from team for process improvements. Lead Design Engineer
    9. Ensure that issues lists and status reports are reviewed and solicit feedback from both management and staff for improvement opportunities. Lead Design Engineer
    10. Establish a metrics process to aid in identification of improvement opportunities. Service Design Manager
    11. Track all corrective measures taken as a response to documented process improvements. Lead Design Engineer
Cross-Functional Flow Diagram
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    Figure 2.120.4-3

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    Figure 2.120.4-4

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    Figure 2.120.4-5

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    Figure 2.120.4-6

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