Initiate and Plan Process
Process Owner: Manager, Business Relationship Management
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. It addresses both Agile and Waterfall methodology.
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:
Identify the short- and long-term business need(s) and develop the Business Needs Statement(s) (BNS).
Develop a ROM estimate for the cost/schedule.
Define Change Control Board (CCB) Document and scope management plan.
Develop Initial Project Plan.
New Applications Only: Register in the Enterprise Information Repository (EIR).
Obtain approval for funding to move forward with the project prior to the start of Sprint 0 / Requirements phase.
Ensure that the Certification and Accreditation Process is followed as described in the Handbook AS-805A, Information Resource Certification and Accreditation Process.
Tollgate process only: Perform the BNS Tollgate. See the TSLC Policy for the BNS Tollgate purpose.
PCI in-scope only: Develop and Maintain Secure PCI In-Scope Systems and Applications.
This process applies to all:
Postal Service employees and contracted personnel involved in TSLC activities.
Postal Service technology solutions that require a production change to software code, data, or batch schedule processing. These include, but are not limited to:
All technology solutions and their components (hardware/infrastructure, software, database management services, and/or network) as authorized in the approved Requirements.
All services (including network, server, and mainframe) to be deployed in the Postal Service Technical Environment.
All maintenance releases for services and technology solutions to be operable in the Postal Service Technical Environment; maintenance releases include hardware, software, network, and database management system (DBMS) upgrades.
Implementation and/or configuration of Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) software.
- Other types of technology solutions may be required to follow the TSLC depending on the nature and scope of the change.
This process is composed of the following subprocesses.
- Follow the Certification and Accreditation
- PCI in-scope only: Develop and Maintain
Secure PCI In-Scope Systems and Applications.
- Develop BNS.
- Develop ROM Estimate.
- Define Change Control Board Document and Scope Management
- Develop Initial Project Plan.
- Obtain Documented Approval and Funding to Proceed.
- New Applications Only: Register in EIR.
- Tollgate Process
Only: Conduct BNS Tollgate.
The Business Relationship Management Program Manager (BRM PM) coordinates
For security-related processes and artifacts, follow the Certification and
Accreditation Process as described in the AS-805A.
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
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.
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
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.
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). The BRM PM is responsible for
overseeing the development of the CCB Document as described in the TSLC
The CCB Document and process requirements are provided in the TSLC Policy
and in the CCB
The CCB Document for projects using Tollgates must be approved in the BNS
Tollgate meeting by all voting stakeholders as defined in the TSLC
All changes to the CCB Document after its initial approval must be
approved by all CCB voting members.
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.
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.
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.
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
The BRM PM gathers the following documentation and ensures that it is presented to stakeholders during the BNS Tollgate meeting:
- Master Release Inventory
- Draft CCB Document
- Initial Project Plan (Must include the BNS Tollgate milestone, tasks, and dates.)
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:
- The “Tollgate” option must be selected for the TSLC project.
- An email must be sent to ITSOXCMO@usps.gov that a Tollgate release has been identified within 10 business days of the BNS Tollgate meeting.
- The project must be tracked in the Technology Management Office System
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 BNS documents to be included in the release
- ROM Estimate
- Approved Technology Solution Implementation Costs
- *CCB Document for the release
- Initial Project Plan
- Master Release Inventory (Tollgate)
- Documented Tollgate Meeting Minutes (Tollgate)
- Documented Stakeholder Approval to Proceed (Tollgate)
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. Baseline
artifacts are indicated in this document by an asterisk (*).
- Business Owner (Customer) Business Needs for the Technology Solution
- ROM Estimate
- Initial Project Plan
- *CCB Document
- Documented Approval and Funding to Proceed
- EIR Registration (new applications only)
- Tollgate process only:The following must be uploaded to the
BNS Tollgate folder within 10 business days of the Tollgate meeting:
- *Documented Tollgate Meeting Minutes
- *Documented Vice President Stakeholder Approval to Proceed
- Master Release Inventory
- TSLC Policy
- Develop and Maintain Secure PCI In-Scope Systems and Applications
- SIT – CAT Exemption and Post Production Review Process
- Secure System Review Process
- System Retirement Process
- Handbook AS-805 Information Security [PDF] [HTML]
- Handbook AS-805A, Information Resource Certification and Accreditation Process [PDF] [HTML]
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
Access Supporting Documentation from ITWEB (Internal):
- TSLC Processes [Agile] [Waterfall]
- TSLC Templates [Agile] [Waterfall]
- Application Development Standards
Access Supporting Documentation from USPS.com (external):
- TSLC Processes
- For access to the following documents, contact the US Postal Service. See
Publication 5, Let's Do Business for further information
about local US Postal Service contacts.
- TSLC Templates (including CCB Document Template)
- Application Development Standards
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.
Updated to clarify that the Requirements must be approved, not the Requirements Traceability Matrix document.
Moved the "register EIR" step after the "funding approved" step. Replaced "customer" with "business owner (customer)" to define the customer as the business owner.
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|