Information Systems & Technology
University of Waterloo
April 2008

Model for engaging Information Systems & Technology (IST) early in the planning of and implementation of information technology and systems for new buildings, building renovations and new academic programs.

Who should use this document

This document describes the model for involving IST in IT planning and implementation for new university buildings, building additions and renovations, and new academic programs. It is directed to those who lead these university initiatives, to guide them what IST offers, and in how to involve IST.

For new buildings and building renovations, the target audience includes:

  • University architect
  • Plant Operations
  • Project managers and consultants, both external and internal

For new academic programs, the involvement of IST may encompass a wide variety of computing, communications, and systems planning, including identity management, key information systems, services (server configuration and management; email; backups; etc.), and so on. The target audience includes:

  • Deans or Directors of new programs (or operational designate)
  • Project managers and consultants working on the program, both external and internal

In most of these university activities, the Faculties will also be involved in the planning process. It is important to have communication between IST, who is working with the project team, and the Faculty. The communication with IST occurs through:

  • IST Building/Program Planning Coordinator
  • Faculty point of contact for the project

Information Systems & Technology's role

  • IST must be involved early in the planning stages (e.g., building design), and must be kept involved during the implementation stages, to ensure appropriate IT infrastructure and support for smooth operations between the central and new or remote sites.
  • IST must be involved in telecommunications cabling and in wireless, for physical security and surveillance, and for 'voice services' (extension phones, fax lines, directory listings, custom answer recordings, operator entries, etc.).
  • IST may or may not be directly involved in the long term support at remote sites; however, establishing protocols between remote on-site IT staff and IST and Faculty computing support personnel is beneficial to both. The nature of this relationship should be established as part of planning process.

IST services in planning

IST provides services in the areas of consultation and installation. The level of involvement will depend upon capacity and knowledge in some specialized areas. The types of services offered include the following.

  • Assistance with requirements specifications for networking, computing, communications, audio-visual, and security (systems and physical);
  • Consultation on general university IT practices;
  • Sometimes, services extended to the new buildings and programs;
  • Consultation on skills and abilities required by on-site IT support personnel for buildings or programs;
  • Assistance in establishing working relationships between remote on-site IT staff and IST personnel and services.

Model for IST involvement in new building or building renovation

The building's owner will make the originating request to the university architect and Plant Operations. The overall Project Manager will be determined, who will then involve IST through the IST Building/Program Planning Coordinator as soon as it is known that a new building, building renovation, or new academic program will be undertaken (e.g., at the building or academic program design stage). The Coordinator is the primary liaison between the project and IST and the Faculties.

  1. The Project Manager contacts the Coordinator as soon as the project is undertaken.
  2. As part of the process to create a tender, the Coordinator is involved in the following ways.
    • Coordinator obtains an overview of building/program to be put in place, including the timelines.
    • Coordinator involves appropriate IST staff and becomes the liaison to IST for the project.
    • Coordinator needs to sign off, on behalf of IST, before the building goes to tender.
  3. The Coordinator helps define the set of services to be provided by IST.
    • The Coordinator, in conjunction with the Project Manager and an appropriate IST Team, develops an outline of the involvement of various areas of IST.
    • Within IST, each area of IST involved in the process will have one or more staff members who work with the Coordinator to provide the agreed-upon services.
  4. The Coordinator works with the Project Manager to determine the timelines for IST involvement in stages of the new building or academic program project.
  5. The Coordinator helps to interpret and apply the standards related to information technologies and services. (See Standards section below.)
  6. The Coordinator determines the methods for maintaining IST's involvement in, and knowledge of, the process (series of meetings, regular email check-ins, specific reports, etc.).

Standards for IT