GC Enterprise IT Portfolio FAQs

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Home IT Expenditure Application Portfolio Management (APM) IT Plan FAQs

Application Portfolio Management (APM)[edit | edit source]

Question: Do I include GCDocs in APM?

Answer: The official line is that departments don’t need to include GCdocs in their APM if they are hosted by another Department.

That said, some do include it in APM, but set the “Include in Portfolio Assessment” to “No – out of scope”.

There are situations where Departments have many instances of GCdocs, one local for Secret network, and one hosts by PSPC.

Some have also setup Dev/testing environments local, but set the Status to “In Development”.

So it varies, if it’s hosted, you don’t need to include it. The same goes for GCConnex and the GCTools, no need to include in APM.

Question: What value is to be used for the SSC Primary Data Location for Cloud applications? Should this field be left blank for Cloud apps? If so, then on the Dept. Dashboard, the number of cloud applications will show as 'Not Specified' in the Data Centre chart.

Answer: If you have an application in the cloud, please set the "SSC Primary Data Centre" field blank and set the "Deployment Model" appropriately. TBS will adjust the Dashboard for WLM accordingly to outline applications already migrated to the cloud.

Question: Just wondering what value is to be used for the SSC Primary Data Location for Cloud applications. Should this field be left blank for Cloud apps? If so, then on the Dept. Dashboard, the number of cloud applications will show as 'Not Specified' in the Data Centre chart. Please advise.

Answer: If you have an application in the cloud, please set the "SSC Primary Data Centre" field blank and set the "Deployment Model" appropriately.

TBS will adjust the Dashboard for WLM accordingly to outline applications already migrated to the cloud.

IT Plan[edit | edit source]

Question: Why an extract on Feb 28?

Answer: The Feb 28th extract is the next quarterly update after the Nov 15th extract, will be the basis for the written plan numbers.

Between the Nov 15th and Feb 28th, Departments are to work with their SSC Client Executive to confirm capacity and plans for the 2020-21 Fiscal year.

Question: What is SSC 3.0?

Answer: SSC 3.0 will take an enterprise approach that will build upon other Government of Canada programs such as “[Tell Us Once”], the Cloud First Adoption Strategy, and the Directive on Automated Decision-Making for the responsible use of artificial intelligence. SSC is committed to a team-based, collaborative approach that will engage, enable, and empower SSC employees to help provide the digital services Canadians expect. SSC 3.0 will support a government-wide Enterprise Digital Workplace Platform. This means federal public servants will have access to devices ranging from mobile to traditional workstations from anywhere. SSC 3.0 will prepare us to leverage new digital technologies to the fullest across the GC and to deliver the best possible services to Canadians. For more information please see: https://www.canada.ca/en/shared-services/ssc-3-enterprise-approach.html

Question: SSC to define when a BRD is needed vs. a ticket

Answer: Look at SSC catalogue, "how to order" is identified on their site Click on the "Order" button to determine which services require a BRD

Question: Can MAF Q1 apply to activities as well? Gate 6+ was identified in the question

Answer: TBS appreciates the need for clarification on indicator Q1. All IT Plan investments (projects or activities) will be considered as effort to improve the aging IT in the GC. So long as the IT Plan identifies the activity as an ongoing operational activity, it will be included in the numerator of Q1 B and Q1 C.

Question: Where can I get a list of projects which require DARB approval for MAF Q2?

Answer: A list of CEPP projects which may apply to Q2 MAF has been posted here: Question 2B - List of CEPP projects. It is up to the Departments to assess the PCRA level of each project against their OPMCA level.

Question: CIO reporting to DM - Many departments are concerned about the need for continuous updates to IT Plan as well as Deputy Head approval

Answer: TBS is not seeking additional attestation letters from your Deputy Head. However, as per the Policy, your Deputy Head in accountable IT Plan investments no matter when it is added to the system. Deputy Head sign-off is still required before submitting the online data to OCIO. It is up to the Departments to decide the appropriate process to ensure Deputy Head approval of all IT investments since this could have a significant demand on partner organizations. In addition, the ADM CEPP May 8th deck identified that CIOs need a seat at the executive table. The Feb 28th date simply represents the next known date for our usual Quarterly update of IT Plans for CEPP prioritization.

TBS will only be looking for two attestation pieces:

Signed attestation March 31 by Deputy Head

Checkbox in Clarity on Nov 15th to identify Deputy Head and CIO approval of itemized investments

Question: Can you clarify what is happening with services?

Answer: In previous years, services were entered/managed in Clarity and applications were linked to those. There was reference to a new application being implemented for services this year, but yet service information is still in Clarity. Can you clarify what is being done with regard to services? Are they being entered/managed in Clarity or in a different tool?

It’s best to work with the team in your Department who completed the GC Service Inventory to ensure that applications can aligned as much as possible. This list of GC services is stored in another system (outside of Clarity.)

Once the GC Service Inventory is available to our team, we will do some fit-gap reports and share with the community to identify next steps and impacts.

The intent is to eventually have a single list of Services with all application linked to those services in order to inherit the mission criticality.

Further guidance will be forthcoming from TBS regarding the intersection of GC Services, APM, Mission criticality and CBAS in the coming months.

The services team has developed a FAQ which touches upon this question:

En: https://gcconnex.gc.ca/file/view/50149777/faq-english?language=en

Fr: https://gcconnex.gc.ca/file/view/52484313/faq-francais?language=en

Question: November through March, how do you interpret "this fiscal year" in AQ1 and AQ2 if we are looking at next year’s planning? Is it the current year? Or next year?

Answer: The guide states "this fiscal year", however, this would not be effective for next year’s planning activities which are due November 15th. This “fiscal year” should represent the date a project passes Gate 3 (Business case and general readiness ◦For confirmation of funding and business outcomes).

Question: What is the right Level of Detail for the IT Plan items?

Answer: Many departments wonder, “What is the right level of detail for the IT Plan?” Should I report every project/run activity on a separate line item? Should I have 100 line items? 20? It is sometimes hard to know at what granularity to report so the following should give departments a bit of guidance.

Projects should be broken down individually. One line item should correspond to a departmental project.

Run activities should be regrouped and rolled up to a few line items. There are a few ways in which a department may choose to do so:

  • A natural breakdown that already exists internally, for example, by directorate or sectors
  • By service lines
  • By IT Expenditure categories
  • Or other groupings

Regrouping Run activities does not decrease their visibility, it simply bundles them up. These activities are non-discretionary, and do not require a high-level of granularity. TBS does analysis on all the IT Plans and if some discrepancies are noticed (i.e. the Run one year greatly differs from other years), it will be challenged.

Departmental IT Plan data from Clarity is used to report a demand profile at a high level. Analysis is done also at a high level, and when needed, TBS will engage with departments to further understand the data or to challenge it. No conclusions are made solely by TBS on departmental data. Furthermore, departments should be engaging with their account teams at SSC to ensure a common understanding of the data in Clarity.

Question: What if my project is not approved? Should I include it in the IT Plan?

Answer: Yes, the IT Plan is a plan and should give TBS & SSC a forecast for the next three years when it comes to departmental projects and run activities. In the essence of a continuous update model, departments should be updating Clarity regularly to account for new changes and additional information on projects and run activities. We are expecting departments to include a list of their approved projects as well as their forecasted projects/activities for the next two years (2020-2021).

Question: All my prioritization & achievability scores are now 0, where did they go and why?

Answer: When changes were brought to the GC Prioritization Framework, some of the questions were changed and some answers modified. Furthermore, all the questions were included in Clarity to facilitate reporting and generate scores automatically once the answers are selected and answered. In order for your scores to be generated, you will have to answer all of the prioritization and achievability questions.

Question: My score isn’t appearing even though I’ve answered all the questions in Clarity related to the GC Prioritization Framework, why?

Answer: In order for the score to appear, you need to answer all of the questions, save the page and Refresh it as well. This should make your score appear.

Question: What can I expect following the fall submission deadline?

Answer: The initial focus for the first reporting date following the fall deadline on Nov. 15 2019 will the new or additional work requiring SSC Services. Departments are required to include in their IT Plan any new work for SSC for 2020/21 and 2021/22. Including this work early on will give SSC the chance to lay the groundwork needed to be ready to provide the services needed by departments earlier and anticipate their workload.

TBS will conduct analysis and create a demand profile of departmental IT Plan data and work with SSC to create a full picture of demand and supply and what the next two years would look like. Here are a few things that will be analyzed:

  • looking at alignment to priorities
  • sustainability & end-of life, how departments are investing to maintain their application portfolio health
  • SSC services
  • other analysis
Question: How do I request a Clarity license?

Answer: Departments can submit their requests for licenses to CIOB-DPPI IT-Division-TI Template:ZZCIOBDP@tbs-sct.gc.ca and their request will be actioned. Departments are required to notify if any licenses need to be deleted or replaced to keep the licenses as up to date as possible.

Question: How do I export data from Clarity?

Answer: When in Clarity, departments can go into their IT Plan dashboard, and for any given portlet[1], there will be a cog[2], if you click on it, a few options will pop up and you can click on Export to Excel (Data Only). This will give you a table with the columns you see in Clarity into Excel.

Clarity img1.png

  1. A portlet is a table populated with data from a source; in this case, this IT Plan data from your department.
  2. The wheel at the top right corner of the portlet.
Question: Is there a data loader for the IT Plan, like for APM?

Answer: No, there is no data loader for the IT Plan. APM has a linear relationship between its values unlike the IT Plan.

Question: Is the Prioritization Framework and the Decision Framework the same thing?

Answer: No, the Prioritization Framework are a set of questions that the departments answer in order to obtain a prioritization score and an achievability score. Following that, TBS applies a Decision Framework which is a set of business rules to further prioritize the items into three priority groups.

Question: Why do we compare this year’s IT Plan against last years Expenditures?

Answer: The intent of the MAF indicator is not to look at the problem with an auditing or evaluation lens by comparing the same year. We wanted to evaluate the planned expenses of the most recent IT Plan against facts in hand proving good judgment and completeness. It has a goal of nudging behaviour.

The two years can be different, which is the 15% buffer which we have added into the calculation. That said, further justifications to the MAF team can be submitted should there be a need to explain significant differences.

Need help? Contact us.

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