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. 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.
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.
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
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. 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.
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
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". However, PRINCE2 does describes in
detail the responsibilities of ten project management team roles that are included
in its methodology.