PS 018 – Updated SIMM 19 Project Approval Lifecycle (March 2022)

Procedures and standards update


Agency Chief Information Officers (AIO)
Chief Information Officers (CIO)
Information Security Officers (ISO)



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California Department of Technology (CDT) released the Project Approval Lifecycle (PAL) process in 2015 and 2016 as part of the reforms to the state’s IT project approval process. PAL introduced a Stage/Gate model tailored for IT projects planning. SIMM 19 includes PAL process documentation.

PAL is intended to ensure projects are undertaken with clear business objectives, accurate costs, and realistic schedules. It includes Stage 1 Business Analysis (S1BA), Stage 2 Alternatives Analysis (S2AA), Stage 3 Solution Analysis (S3SA) and Stage 4 Project Readiness and Approval (S4PRA).

In July 2021, PAL forms were updated to ensure they were in accessible format to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Government Code section 11135, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).


This iteration simplifies and streamlines the forms to align with the projects using agile project management methodology and a challenge-based procurement. This will also allow CDT to publish Stage-3 documents to our website rather than waiting until Stage-4 approval.

Note: This iteration of PAL updates 2022 does not include policy changes.

Some highlights of the updates include:

    • Renumbered multiple subsection
    • SIMM Sections 19A S1BA:
        • Dedicated section to Business Outcomes Desired
        • Separated reportability assessment to be used as a tool for departments before, during, and upon approval of S1BA
    • SIMM Sections 19B S2AA:
        • Adapted Mid-Level Solution Requirements to fit both iterative and predictive methodologies
        • Removed Preliminary Assessment
        • Renamed and divided Staffing plan into two sections: Project Organization and Project Planning
        • Added Statewide Procurement Assessment Form as an attachment with S2AA,
          S3SA and S4PRA Forms
    • SIMM Sections 19C S3SA:
        • Removed Preliminary Assessment
        • Combined Solution Development Template Part A and Part B
        • Renamed Form to “Solution Analysis”
        • Renamed section to Detailed Solution Requirements and Outcomes to allow for detailed requirements / user stories
    • SIMM Sections 19D S4PRA:
        • Removed Preliminary Assessment
        • Added Business Objectives Valuation section to quantify the objectives from Stage 1 before moving to Project Execution


    • The following reference materials are associated with this procedures/standard update
        • Government Code Section 11545 and 11546
        • Public Contract Code (PCC) Section 12100
        • Statewide Information Management Manual (SIMM): 05A, 10, 17, 19, 30, 45, 50
        • State Administrative Manual (SAM) sections: 4800, 4900, and 5200
        • Technology Letter (TL): 15-02, 16-02, 16-07, and 16-08
        • Procedures and Standards Updates: PS-015


Direct questions regarding this announcement to the Department of Technology, Office of Project Delivery (OSPD) at