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Project Planning and Analysis

Accessibility in Project Planning targets IT project managers and analysts. It provides the roles and responsibilities, examples that can be copied and pasted, and easy "How to" instructions that provide key accessibility information for the organizational change management, planning support, vendor selection, and eventual project success.

Organizations that identify accessibility needs during Project Planning and Analysis are prepared to "do it early," and "do it right." "Doing it early" grants the department time to begin its preparation and training of support staff and project team members for full readiness to support accessibility throughout the planning process and into development, implementation, operational support, and beyond. "Doing it right" gives departments the advantage of not being required to engage in rework at a later time. Organizations will gain an understanding of what is needed to complete and support a successful project solution that is usable and accessible.

While this material is specifically tailored to the Project Approval Lifecycle (PAL) process, it is usable for any-sized project, whether it is for a $5,000 non-reportable exempt project, or a $500 million, cross-department effort. The California Department of Technology (CDT) has adopted the Project Approval Lifecycle (PAL) to improve the quality, value and likelihood of success for information technology (IT) projects undertaken by the State of California. More information on the PAL process can be found at SIMM 19 Project Approval Lifecycle Introduction (PDF).

Accessibility during Approval process:

To provide a solution that focuses on the needs of all users, the PAL process project documentation created throughout the lifecycle must also represent the needs and perspectives for accessibility. The Access IT California project will provide a solid foundation, addressing for accessibility needs early in the project planning and analysis processes for state departments.

Roles within the Project Planning Phase

  • An Analyst should:
    • Support the accessibility needs of users, project staff, and customers.
    • Meet with staff from program areas, enterprise architecture, subject matter experts, enterprise oversight, PAL team, etc. to gather project information related to accessibility design, development, and testing.
    • Assist in the development of accessibility business rules, system requirements, financial worksheets, alternative analysis, process flows, market research, and recommendations.
    • Assist in identifying project accessibility risks and opportunities.
    • Verify that prepared all project documentation is accessible.
    • Verify that the solicitation and/or contract language addresses accessibility in both the design and testing of the solution.
  • A Project Manager (PM) should:
    • Provide project plans and project management skills to address accessibility requirements, testing, and documentation as required.
    • Manage contracts and ensure accessibility standards are met in project deliverables and contract scope.
    • Ensure that project training documentation is created with accessibility in mind and addresses any discovered accessibility issues.
    • Ensure that operational staff and program staff can support accessibility needs of the project solution.
    • Ensure the project team has one or more team members with a thorough understanding of accessibility needs and requirements, utilizing outside resources if necessary.