Project Roles & Responsibilities
Project Roles & Responsibilities
Roles can vary greatly from project to project depending on the scale and complexity of what the project is to deliver. Some projects have individuals performing mulitple roles, some have additional roles not specified in this list, and some of the roles listed here may not be required at all.
As a minimum, every project should have a Project Sponsor and a Project Manager.
Possible roles include:
- Project Sponsor
- Project Manager
- Senior User
- Senior Supplier
- Procurement Adviser
- Programme Manager
- Project Board
Project Sponsor / Executive / Senior Responsible Owner
The Project Sponsor is ultimately accountable for the success or failure of the project and has to ensure that the project is focused on achieving its business objectives and delivering the forecast benefits. The Project Sponsor has to ensure that the project gives value for money and adopts a cost effective approach which balances the demands of the business, users and suppliers. Throughout the project the Project Sponsor is responsible for the business case and needs to be able to take a balanced view of the project on behalf of the wider organisation.
This role will normally be undertaken by someone operating at a senior level within the business organisation with significant executive and natural authority. The responsibilities of the Project Sponsor include:
The Project Manager runs the project from day to day on behalf of the Project Sponsor. The Project Manager ensures that the project deliverables are of the required quality, i.e. are capable of delivering the benefits defined in the business case, and produced within the agreed time and cost.
The responsibilities of the Project Manager include:
The Senior User represents those groups who will use or gain benefit from the project and must be empowered to make decisions on their behalf. In practice the Senior User is likely to be responsible for realising the business benefits and may have "business as usual" service commitments after the project is completed.
This role will normally be undertaken by someone operating at a senior level within the user organisation with significant executive and natural authority. The responsibilities of the Senior User include:
In larger or more complex projects a User Advisory Board can be set up to represent wider user interests. In such cases the Senior User will chair this group.
The Senior Supplier represents those groups who will design, develop, facilitate, procure and implement the project and must be empowered to make decisions on their behalf.
This role will normally be undertaken by someone operating at a senior level within the supplier organisation with significant executive and natural authority. The responsibilities of the Senior Supplier include:
In larger or more complex projects a Supplier Advisory Board can be set up to represent wider supplier interests. In such cases the Senior Supplier will chair this group.
The Procurement Adviser provides professional advice and guidance for the procurement elements of the project. This role is mandatory on projects with total external spend (across 4 years) over the OJEU threshold.
The Programme Manager is responsible for the overall integrity and coherence of the programme, and develops and maintains the programme environment to support each individual project within it.
The Programme Manager is responsible for successful delivery of the programme of which the project is part. The role requires effective coordination of the projects and their inter-dependencies, including IS and other resources, and any risks and other issues that may arise. For projects with no Senior Supplier the Programme Manager will take on the responsibilities of the Senior Supplier role.
The Project Board provides direction and management for the project. The Project Board is the overall authority for the project and is accountable for its success or failure. Members must have sufficient authority to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
The collective responsibilities of the Project Board members include:
All projects require an effective governance structure. As a minimum the Project Board should include the Project Sponsor, Senior User(s), Senior Supplier(s) and Project Manager. Other staff such as the Programme Manager can provide support to the Project Manager as required.