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Office of the AVP & CTO


IT Governance Guidelines

Are you planning an initiative that involves new technology or Information Technology resources across campus?
You’ve come to the right place.

What's the Impact of Your Project?

Use the checklist below to assess if your project would benefit from the IT Governance framework. If even one of these factors sounds like your project, we recommended that it be reviewed. Please connect with us at


  • Your project will result in changes to teaching, research and/or administrative processes in multiple academic or business units.
  • It will require integration with enterprise or shared systems.
  • It will require integration with central campus authoritative data sources.


  • Students will experience a noticeable change in experience or service
  • Users in multiple academic or administrative units will have to learn significant new skills, and training is required
  • Users significantly impacted include university leadership at the senior VP level


  • One-time cost exceeds $200K (licencing / resources / implementation).
  • Project involves incremental ongoing costs or resources in excess of $50K
  • Requires ongoing resources (financial, physical or HR) from other Faculty or administrative departments.


  • Potential failure of project results in:
    • Adverse publicity for McMaster
    • Costs to the university exceeding $50K.
    • Loss of research or grant funding
  • Significant IT security risk
  • Potential impact to McMaster’s ability to meet compliance (laws, rules, regulations or contracts)

Information Box Group

IT Governance Scorecard View Scorecard

Are you planning a project that supports the McMaster Institutional Priorities and requires the implementation of new or enhanced technology, integration with existing McMaster Systems or needs IT Resources from central and distributed IT?

Did you receive Strategic Alignment Funding to implement new technology or utilize existing technology in new ways?

Use this guide to determine if the initiative should be reviewed through the IT Governance Framework.

What's involved in the IT Governance Process?

Prior to submitting a proposal or project idea through IT Governance, an Advisory Committee can be formed or consulted to bring together IT providers and users, ensuring broad input is gathered on the initiative. Advisory Committees are often formed during the analysis or discovery phase of a project and typically focus on discussion and recommendations rather than approvals. The Technology Roundtable (TRT) and the IT Student Advisory Committee (ITSAC) are both groups that provide important feedback before projects move through the governance process. Reach out to the TRT chair ( to discuss how to engage this group.

There are four standing committees representing various perspectives and interests at McMaster University. Membership on the committees include cross-functional representation from faculty, research and staff and relevant IT leads (faculty and other university units). The AVP and CTO is a member of each of the committees, but non-IT stakeholders will typically act as Chairs/Co-Chairs. Standing Committees recommend large-scale, enterprise-wide IT projects to the IT Executive and approves smaller projects. There are four Standing Committees are permanent committees that meet regularly:

A project proposal can be reviewed by one or more committees to ensure that proposals have been adequately developed (i.e. analysis, community engagement, and collaboration), represent value for money, and are aligned with the McMaster IT Strategic Plan. The committees act as a decision-making body, providing endorsement before moving proposals forward to the IT Executive for its review, discussion, and endorsement. Connect with to discuss next steps for your project.

Project funding must be sought and secured outside of the IT Governance process as this is not a funding body. Going through the IT governance framework allows you to examine the budget implications of your project and include it in your budget planning process.

Once a project is endorsed by one or more Standing Committees, the proposal will be submitted to the IT Executive Committee for final review and endorsement. The IT Executive is responsible to ensure that the University adopts an enterprise-wide approach to IT and a prudent risk profile.