Initiate and Plan Process


Process Owners: Manager, Business Relationship Management, and Manager, Solutions Development and Support

Note: An owner must be a PCES-level manager.

This document establishes standard processes for the Technology Solution Life Cycle (TSLC) Initiate and Plan phase within the Postal Service Technical Environment.


The Initiate and Plan process starts the TSLC by defining the business needs and the Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) Estimate for the project cost and schedule and by gaining approval and funding to move forward.

The objectives of the Initiate and Plan process are:


This process applies to all:


This process is composed of the following subprocesses.

  1. Follow the Certification and Accreditation Process.
  2. The Business Relationship Management Program Manager (BRM PM) coordinates this task.

    For security-related processes and artifacts, follow the Certification and Accreditation Process as described in the AS-805A.

  3. PCI in-scope only: Develop and Maintain Secure PCI In-Scope Systems and Applications.
  4. The BRM PM coordinates this task.

    Ensure that all requirements listed and referenced in the Develop and Maintain Secure PCI In-Scope Systems and Applications are met.

  5. Develop BNS.
  6. The business owner (customer) develops the BNS to define the business objective and business value of the Technology Solution. The BNS outlines what is considered in scope, out of scope, and any business assumptions. At a high level, this document will outline business interfaces and functions, reports, and any other information that will help the Technology Service Providers (TSPs) to determine the scope of the TSLC Requirements and Design processes. The BNS is submitted to the BRM PM.

    Tollgate process only: The BRM PM creates a Master Release Inventory. For additional information, see the Master Release Inventory Template. All BNS documents must be collected and prioritized during the Tollgate meeting.

  7. Develop ROM Estimate.
  8. The business owner (customer) contacts the BRM PM to request an estimate on cost and schedule before requirements and design are completed. This is called a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) Estimate because it is not a committed cost or schedule. The more detailed the requirements, the better the ROM estimate. ROMs are used for estimating budgets and for providing business owners (customers) with a quick idea on the magnitude of an effort.

    Upon request for a ROM from the BRM PM, the Technology Solution Coordinator (TSC) has up to 5 business days to coordinate and compile the ROM Technology Solution implementation costs and schedule milestones provided by the TSPs. DARs and large project Technology Solution implementations that will require additional time can request an extension in writing in advance from the BRM PM responsible for the Technology Solution.

    If the business owner (customer) wants to proceed after reviewing the ROM Estimate, continue with the remaining steps.

  9. Define Change Control Board Document and Scope Management Plan.
  10. The CCB for the Technology Solution is developed and documented at this step. The CCB document identifies all stakeholders of the technology solution and the change control process that will be followed either for all releases for the Program (if a Program-level CCB Document) or for this release (if a Project-level CCB Document). A Project-level CCB Document is required only if the project approvers differ from those in the Program-level CCB Document. The BRM PM is responsible for overseeing the development of the CCB Document as described in the TSLC Policy.

    The CCB Document and process requirements are provided in the TSLC Policy and in the CCB Document Template.

    The CCB Document for projects using Tollgates must be approved in the BNS Tollgate meeting by all voting stakeholders as defined in the TSLC Policy.

    All changes to the CCB Document after its initial approval must be approved by all CCB voting members.

  11. Develop Initial Project Plan.
  12. The BRM PM ensures that an initial project plan is developed. The Project Plan TSLC Template may be used. The project plan includes all TSLC processes and deliverables and will include dates completed for all items created in the Initiate and Plan process. All tasks associated with the Technology Solution will be developed in the plan, and this plan will be updated throughout the TSLC.

  13. Obtain Documented Approval and Funding to Proceed.
  14. Upon the business owner (customer) review of the BNS and ROM, the business owner (customer) decides whether to proceed with the project. If approved to proceed, funding is obtained to support the project.

  15. New Applications Only: Register in EIR.
  16. The BRM PM registers the new application in the EIR, which results in the creation of a new TSLC Artifact Library for the program. After the artifact library is created, the BRM PM creates the project folder and uploads the EIR registration artifact to the TSLC Artifact Library.

  17. Tollgate Process Only: Conduct BNS Tollgate.
  18. If a stakeholder has opted to follow the Tollgate process for the release, the first meeting is the BNS Tollgate during the Initiate and Plan phase.

    Tollgate requirements for attendance and approval are provided in the TSLC Policy.

    The BRM PM gathers the following documentation and ensures that it is presented to stakeholders during the BNS Tollgate meeting:

    Documented Tollgate Meeting Minutes and Documented Stakeholder Approval to Proceed are outputs of every Tollgate meeting.

    The BRM PM is responsible for the following required tracking and auditing activities:

  19. Upload Documents to the TSLC Artifacts Library.
  20. The BRM PM is responsible for ensuring that the following documents are uploaded to the TSLC Artifacts Library in the appropriate folders:

    Note: Baseline artifacts are indicated in this document by an asterisk (*).

    All of the artifacts listed above are Tollgate artifacts and must be uploaded within 10 business days of the Tollgate meeting.


Baseline artifacts are mandatory and must be uploaded prior to release to production unless the project is following the Tollgate process. If Tollgate, documents from the Tollgate must be uploaded within 10 business days of the Tollgate meeting. Baseline artifacts are indicated in this document by an asterisk (*).




Access Supporting Documentation from ITWEB (Internal):

Access Supporting Documentation from (external):


Description of Change
1.0 05.10.2013 Agile and Waterfall processes combined; updated for Tollgates, PCI, and general compliance; ownership of TSLC processes transferred from Manager, Solutions Development and Support, to Manager, Business Relationship Management.

Note: This document is Section 508 compliant.
1.1 08.16.2013 Scope:
Updated to clarify that the Requirements must be approved, not the Requirements Traceability Matrix document.
1.2 03.18.2014 Process Description:
Moved the "register EIR" step after the "funding approved" step. Replaced "customer" with "business owner (customer)" to define the customer as the business owner.

Process Inputs/Outputs:
Updated "baseline artifacts" statement to clarify that they must be uploaded prior to release unless the project is following the Tollgate process. If Tollgate, required Tollgate artifacts must be uploaded within 10 business days.
1.2.1 06.15.2015 The annual review for functional accuracy and current PCI DSS requirements has been completed: No changes. CR 81805
1.2.2 06.26.2015 Non-substantive update: Update CR for annual review. Remove link and version of PCI DSS.
1.2.3 03.14.2016 Annual Review: No changes. The annual review for functional accuracy and current PCI requirements has been completed. CR 154951
1.2.4 10.31.2016 Annual Review: The annual review for functional accuracy and current PCI requirements has been completed. CR 223948
1.3 05.03.2017 CCB requirements were updated as a result of the 2016 Lean Six Sigma effort to improve the TSLC process (approved by Manager, Business Relationship Management and Manager, Solutions Development and Support). A project-level CCB is only required if the project approvers are different than the program-level CCB approvers.

Process Owner: Added Manager, Solutions Development and Support.

Removed references to Waterfall methodology. CR 269601
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