Memorandum M-10-27, Information Technology Investment Baseline Management Policy



Investment in Information Technology (IT) enables efficient operation of agency missions by closing critical performance gaps. The ability to successfully develop and manage IT systems is essential to successful program outcomes and to the vitality of the Federal government’sservice of the American people. If IT investments are not planned well, then cost and schedule overruns occur and expected benefits are jeopardized. When plans change, it’s critically important to understand and document the reasons for the change because of the potential mission impact.

This memorandum provides policy direction regarding development of agency IT investment baseline management policies and defines a common structure for IT investment baseline management policy with the goal of improving transparency, performance management, and effective investment oversight. Diligently tracking the execution of well-crafted plans can provide early warning of potential problems and enable timely and effective mitigation before problems spiral out of control. Continual oversight of projects demonstrates financial and operational control. Baselined plans act as a guide throughout the life of an investment toprovide a basis for measuring performance, identify who is accountable for the deliverables, describe the implementation approach and interdependencies, identify key decisions, and embed quality assurance and reviews. Ultimately, baseline management demonstrates that a project is under financial and managerial control.

To provide a cohesive policy towards baseline management, this memorandum integrates the requirements in OMB Circular A-11, Part 7, and Federal Acquisition Regulation Subpart 34.202 with Federal IT Dashboard practices and guidance, and rescinds Memoranda 04-24 and 05-23.

This policy only addresses the establishment, management, and change to investment baselines. Agencies should reference other OMB requirements, including Circular A-130 and the Capital Programming Guide, to describe full lifecycle management of IT capital investments.

Agencies should create or update existing IT investment baseline management policies within 90 days of issuance of this policy and develop training plans for personnel with investment oversight and program management responsibilities that at a minimum address the policies outlined in Appendix A of this memorandum. Questions and feedback about this memorandum can be addressed to and should have the term “Baseline Management Policy Feedback” in the subject line of the email.