Management Levels and Responsibilities
PRINCE2 recognizes four parallel levels of management:
"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
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."
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
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."
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
So, one can conclude that under the Guide, it is the project manager who is firmly