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Office Space Request Guideline

IRM Guideline 6, Version 4a
Version Date: April 1, 1999


Minnesota Statutes 16B.335, subdivisions 5 and 6 require state agencies to prepare information technology plans before agency requests for capital funding for office space can be submitted to the legislature. The purpose of this guideline is to assist state agencies in preparing the required information technology plan. State agencies requesting office space such as a new building (new construction or acquisition of an existing building), renovation/remodeling or relocation need to prepare this plan and submit it to the Minnesota Office of Enterprise Technology (OET) for review. Agencies should prepare this plan simultaneously with the building predesign package for construction and renovation/remodeling projects or with the relocation request package for relocation projects.

The Office of Enterprise Technology (OET) is required to review the information technology plan before the predesign package or relocation request can be submitted to the legislature.


The scope of this guideline includes a detail description of the elements of the information technology plan related to capital requests for office space.

References and documents

The following Minnesota Statute establishes the requirements for the information technology plan that is needed for capital budget requests for office space: Minnesota Statutes Section 16B.335, subdivisions 5 and 6

When to use this guideline

Agencies should use this guideline during the agency-wide strategic planning process (for example, business, facility and information resource planning) to assess requirements for office space and information technology. Strategic planning may initiate changes in product and service delivery, which in turn may trigger changes in business processes. These business process changes may then result in changing requirements for office space and information technology.

Agencies should also use this guideline during the building predesign and relocation request processes. The Office of Enterprise Technology will prepare a review memo for the plan. A copy of this memo must be included in the building predesign document or in the relocation request package when those documents are submitted to the Department of Administration and the legislature.

Use of information technology

The ultimate goal of using information technology is to provide services to customers in an expeditious and efficient manner. The accelerating rate of technological change results in increasing citizen expectations: "government is expected to embrace technology and deliver services to citizens when and where those services are demanded".

Also, agencies are expected to use information technology to accomplish three legislative goals:

  • Reduce office space
  • Decentralize operations
  • Deliver services electronically

Agencies should select strategies that will accomplish these goals. Business processes that have supported traditional methods of delivering services should be re-engineered or replaced. New business processes should be created and supported by existing and emerging information technologies. Agencies should create a new vision for delivering products and services to customers of government. With a clear vision and strong commitment, information technology can be deployed to achieve these goals.

How to prepare the information technology plan

There are six requirements for the information technology plan:

  1. One-page building or relocation summary
  2. Description of executive leadership
  3. Description of telecommunications network
  4. Description of information resource technologies
  5. Implementation plan
  6. High-level technology model

If agencies cannot provide all of the above requirements, agencies may indicate and submit an intention to fulfill any one or more of these requirements. In that case, the method for fulfilling the requirement and the completion date should be submitted.

1. One-page building or relocation summary

Agencies should provide a one-page capital budget building or relocation summary that includes the purpose for the project and the business needs addressed by the project. The summary should identify the agency and any affected divisions, and describe the specific type of project request, such as acquisition or construction of a new building, renovation/remodeling or relocation. The summary should state the primary purpose of the building or relocation project, such as general office facility, correctional facility, or laboratory and analysis building. If opportunities exist for collocation with other government organizations, those opportunities should be described.

2. Description of executive leadership

Information management requires the active support of top level management, who must assume responsibility for managing and developing the information resources under their control. Because information resources have agency-wide and statewide value and impact, managing them requires authority and accountability that only executive level management can provide. Executive leadership is required for projects to achieve their potential.

  • Agencies should provide the name and title of the executive leader responsible for implementing the information technology plan.

3. Description of the telecommunications network

Business applications and communications should drive the requirements for the telecommunications network. This network is the foundation for voice, data, video and multimedia communications and it is fundamental to the successful deployment of existing and emerging technologies. The telecommunications network system is a collection of compatible hardware and software arranged to communicate information from one location to another. As agencies plan for building acquisition, construction, renovation/remodeling or relocation, it is imperative that the telecommunications network be designed for maximum long-range flexibility and adaptability to changing technology. In addition to technological changes, agencies should assume that expectations of customers and all other stakeholders would continue to escalate.

  • Agencies should prepare a one to two-page comprehensive description of current and future business communications needs.
  • Agencies should prepare a high level description of the telecommunications network needed to support the business communications needs

As the building project progresses over time, a detailed telecommunications and building wiring plan may be prepared in cooperation with the Telecommunications Analyst in the Department of Administration.

The following questions may assist agencies in assessing current and future business communications needs and describing the telecommunications network:

1. What is the hierarchy and range of business communications requirements for the agency and for the building project, for example intra-agency, inter-agency, Federal government, private sector, international?

2. What are the requirements for a wide area network (WAN)? For Internet access? What is the potential for use of interactive voice response or electronic commerce that includes several categories of electronic business technologies such as interactive web-based applications, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), electronic mail and electronic forms?

3. What are the requirements for a local area network (LAN) and for inter-networking?

4. What business information will be exchanged with organizations?

5. What is the potential for:

  • Increasing the use of information technology in business units currently using technology?
  • First-time use of information technology in business units not using technology?
  • De-centralizing services to multiple geographic locations?
  • Providing alternative work locations for employees such as for telecommuters?
  • Collocating with other agencies?
  • Providing information and services directly to citizens using the Internet?

6. What are the current and future requirements for physical infrastructure needed to support the telecommunications network?

  • Topology and media for backbone infrastructure in the building
  • Location and size of computer hardware equipment rooms including environmental systems and security protection
  • Location and quantity of wiring closets and jacks
  • Locations and quantities of personal computers/workstations and peripheral devices such as printers and scanners

4. Description of information resource technologies

Agencies should prepare a comprehensive description of the information resource technologies that would be used to accomplish the three legislative goals

  • Reduce office space
  • Decentralize operations
  • Deliver services electronically
  • Agencies should provide a description of how information technologies used in the new facility would meet the three legislative goals.

Business applications processing technologies, storage technologies and decentralization and delivery technologies are available for accomplishing these goals.

  1. Business applications processing technologies allow business processes to be automated and integrated. For example, business application processing systems such as accounting, procurement, case management, and licensing play a major role in automating business processes. In addition, other technologies such as groupware, electronic forms, electronic mail and shared scheduling/calendaring systems are helpful in automating processes.
  2. Business applications storage technologies allow business documents to be stored electronically while providing the required volume and access requirements, for example, electronic imaging systems and optical disk storage technology.
  3. Decentralization/delivery technologies using an established telecommunications network can be used to decentralize operations and deliver services electronically to customers. Delivery technologies include electronic commerce and the Internet, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), interactive voice response and card technologies.

Examples include:

  • Electronic commerce information and service delivery mechanisms, including interactive web-based application systems
  • New or enhanced business application systems which minimize manual processing
  • Electronic inputs/outputs which reduce paper and storage requirements
  • Electronic imaging and optical disk storage systems for storing massive volumes of information
  • Interactive voice recognition technology which provides information, redirects inquiries, and allows transaction processing from telephones
  • Connectivity/local area networking which allows individuals to share software, data files, workstations, servers, and peripheral devices such as printers and facsimile services
  • Groupware, scheduling and calendaring software which allow individuals to collaborate and coordinate activities
  • Audio and video teleconferencing which allow individuals to communicate and confer over great distances

5. Implementation plan

Agencies should prepare an information technology implementation plan for installing new or existing technology in the new facility. This plan might also include removing and relocating existing technology as well as planning for long-term technology initiatives when the building project is complete. This plan would ensure that information technology for the building or relocation project is planned and executed properly in conjunction with the facility construction or relocation plan. An implementation plan should be provided showing tasks, resources and dates for information technology activities. This plan may be a simple list of high-level tasks with due dates or a complex event network showing prerequisites, tasks and schedules.

  • Agencies should provide an implementation plan for the building/relocation project.
  • Agencies should also include plans for Information Security and provide for Continuity of Operations 

6. High-level technology model

Information resource models help identify impacts across business functions, systems and facilities. Models facilitate planning, decision making and project management. A high-level technology model describes hardware processors, network links and operating software. Hardware processors might be personal computers, minicomputers or mainframes. Network links include routers, modems, lines, etc. Operating software is the software that is required to support and manage data access and transaction operation, including operating systems, database management systems, dictionaries/repositories and programming language facilities. The technology model identifies capacity and compatibility requirements, but does not identify specific vendors or products.

  • Agencies should prepare a high-level technology model for the building or relocation project which describes the required hardware processors, network links and operating software.