Demonstrate a projected return on the investment that is clearly equal to or better than alternative uses of available public resources. Return may include: improved mission performance in accordance with measures developed pursuant to the Government Performance and Results Act; reduced cost; increased quality, speed, or flexibility; and increased customer and employee satisfaction. Return should be adjusted for such risk factors as the project’s technical complexity, the agency’s management capacity, the likelihood of cost overruns, and the consequences of under- or non-performance.
Reduce risk by: avoiding or isolating custom-designed components to minimize the potential adverse consequences on the overall project; using fully tested pilots, simulations, or prototypeimplementations when necessary before going to production; establishing clear measures and accountability for project progress; and, securing substantial involvement and buy-in throughout the project from the program officials who will use the system;
Be implemented in phased, successive segments as narrow in scope and brief in duration as practicable, each of which solves a specific part of an overall mission problem and delivers a measurable net benefit independent of future segments, unless it can be demonstrated that there are significant economies of scale at acceptable risk from funding more than one segment or there are multiple units that need to be acquired at the same time; and
Raines’ Rules were originally issued on October 25, 1996, in OMB Memorandum M-97-02 and were subsequently incorporated in OMB Circular No. A-11 (1997 and 1998 version), Appendix 300A, Principles of Budgeting for Capital Asset Acquisitions.
Note that Raines’ Rules incorporate what has become known as ITMRA’s “three pesky questions.” These criteria are critical because major information systems will not be funded unless agencies can demonstrate the actions they have taken to address them.