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Best Practices for Project Management for the Child Nutrition Programs System Replacement or Upgrade

EO Guidance Document #
FNS Document #
SP02 CACFP02 SFSP02-2020
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy Memo (312.61 KB)
DATE: October 2, 2019
SUBJECT: Child Nutrition Information Technology Solutions: Best Practices for Project Management for the Child Nutrition Programs System Replacement or Upgrade
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

This memorandum is the third in a series of memoranda to support state agencies administering the child nutrition programs as they enhance or build Information Technology (IT) solutions for their state agency operations. The series will provide state agencies with best practices and practical direction on child nutrition (CN) IT system planning, procurement, project management, data ownership and intellectual property, and testing.

In FNS memorandum SP01 CACFP01 SFSP01-2020, Best Practices for Defining the Child Nutrition Programs System Replacement or Upgrade, FNS provided best practices for conducting a feasibility study and features to consider when developing a proposed IT system project plan. This memorandum discusses the principals of project management as they relate to a state’s CN IT solution. Specific highlights in this document include: establishing a project team; having a dedicated Project Manager; identifying stakeholders; developing a Project Management Plan; preforming quality assurances; controlling scope and monitoring risk; and project closure.

The attached relies heavily on information incorporated in FNS Handbook 901: The Advance Planning Document Process: A State Systems Guide to America’s Food Programs which was developed to assist SAs administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) navigate through a formal, mandatory planning process for IT projects. Although the information contained in this document is not mandatory for child nutrition programs, the Handbook 901 contains a multitude of best practices and procurement information that is also applicable to child nutrition agencies. For more in-depth information, you are encouraged to reference the Handbook 901 at: Link to FNS Handbook 901.

State agencies with questions may contact the appropriate FNS regional office.

Sarah E. Smith-Holmes
Program Monitoring and Operational Support Division


  • Introduction
  • Part I: Establishing a Project Team
  • Part II: Dedicated Project Manager
  • Part III: Initiating – Identifying Stakeholders
  • Part IV: Planning – Developing a Project Management Plan
    • Planning Project Schedules
  • Part V: Executing – Performing Quality Assurances
  • Part VI: Monitoring & Controlling – Controlling Scope & Monitoring Risks
    • Controlling Scope
    • Monitoring Risk
  • Part VII: Closing – Project Closure
Page updated: January 13, 2022

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.