PRINCE is a registered trademark owned by OGC (Office of Government Commerce).

PRINCE2 is an unregistered trademark owned by OGC (Office of Government Commerce).

Published here November 2002.

Introduction | Project Life Cycle | Management Levels | Authority Documentation
Special Project Management Roles | Document Description
Planning and Scheduling | Control | Summary | Endnotes

Management Levels and Responsibilities

PRINCE2 recognizes four parallel levels of management:[11] "Corporate or Programme Management", "Directing a Project" (i.e. the Project Board, chaired by the "Executive", more often called "Project Director" in North America), "Managing a Project" (i.e. the project manager's level) and "Managing Product Delivery" (i.e. team-level technology management.) In this way, the corporate business or program management interests are closely integrated with both project management at the project level as well as with the management of the project's technology at the team level.

Another interesting feature is the responsibility of the project manager. The Guide defines project manager simply as "An individual responsible for managing a project."[12] The Software Engineering Institute goes further and calls it "The role with total business responsibility for an entire project; the individual who directs, controls, administers, and regulates a project ... [and] is the individual ultimately responsible to the end user."[13]

In sharp contrast, under PRINCE2 the project manager is "The person given the authority and responsibility to manage the project on a day-to-day basis to deliver the required products within the constraints agreed with the Project Board."[14] These constraints are referred to as "tolerances" and prescribe the ranges of acceptability of each of scope, quality, time and cost within which the project manager must manage. Any trend beyond these limits becomes an "issue" and must be brought to the attention of the project board.

The project board is chaired by a person referred to as "executive" and it is this person who has the real responsibility for the project. This individual ensures that the project or programme maintains its business focus, that it has clear authority and that the work, including risks, is actively managed. The chairperson of the project board, represent[s] the customer and [is] owner of the business case."[15]

To us, this sounds very much like a project director, who provides the leadership on the project, while the project manager provides the managership. By comparison, the Guide does not recognize either "executive" or "project director" but uses the term "sponsor". The sponsor is one of the project's stakeholders and is defined as "The individual or group within or external to the performing organization that provides the financial resources, in cash or in kind for the project."[16] So, one can conclude that under the Guide, it is the project manager who is firmly in charge.

Project Life Cycle and Major Processes  Project Life Cycle and Major Processes

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