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

Special Project Management Roles

PRINCE2 does not define management jobs, instead preferring to define roles, that may be allocated, shared, divided or combined according to the project's needs.[23] In addition to the usual roles of project board, project manager, team manager and so on, and executive as described earlier, PRINCE2 introduces a number of other distinctive roles to facilitate its methodology. For example:

Project Support Office (PSO) is conceived as a central pool of skilled resources, such as clerical, configuration librarians and even PRINCE2 consultants serving a number of projects.[24] The manual states that a PSO is not essential, but it can be useful to support managers with their administrative tasks and ensure proper use of PRINCE2 across all projects. To the above list we would add other expertise such as planning and scheduling, estimating, forecasting and project accounting. In fact a number of other special responsibilities are suggested in the role description.

Executive, as noted earlier, is the person who chairs the project board. Supported by the senior user and the senior supplier, executive is the single individual with ultimate responsibility for the project. He or she ensures that a project or programme meets its objectives and delivers the projected benefits.[25]

Senior User, a member of the project board, is responsible for the specification of the needs of all those who will use the product(s), for user liaison with the project team and for monitoring that the solution will meet those needs within the constraints of the Business Case in terms of quality, functionality and ease of use.[26]

Senior Supplier, also a member of the project board, represents the interests of those designing, developing, facilitating, procuring, implementing and possibly operating and maintaining the project products.[27] The senior supplier is accountable for the quality of products delivered by the supplier(s) and must have the authority to commit or acquire supplier resources required.

Note that both these roles may each be represented by more than on person, and that they liaise directly with the team members who are responsible for producing the project's products. Therefore, great care must obviously be taken to ensure that the project manager's authority on the project is not circumvented and that his or her ability to manage the project is not thereby undermined.

Project Assurance covers all interests of a project, including business, user and supplier.[28] PRINCE2 requires that this service is independent of the project manager and therefore cannot be delegated there. Project assurance is a responsibility shared between the executive, senior user and senior supplier.

Configuration Librarian is a role responsible as custodian and guardian of all master copies of the project's products. It also maintains the project's issue log.[29] Although this refers primarily to management documents and product documentation, rather than physical objects, nonetheless it is not a trivial task on most projects. It includes controlling the receipt, identification, storage and retrieval of all such documents, providing information on the status of all projects, as well as numbering, recording, distributing and maintaining the project's issues records. The role is part of project support.

PRINCE2 does not discuss the ever-popular-in-North-America subject of people management, as does the Guide in its chapter "Project Human Resources Management".[30] However, PRINCE2 does describes in detail the responsibilities of ten project management team roles that are included in its methodology.[31]

Authority Documentation  Authority Documentation

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