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Roles and Responsibilities

Project Manager

The Project Manager will drive the project forward from the implementation stage to completion and will be responsible for

  • preparing the detailed project management plan from Stage 3 onwards;
  • identifying risks and planning their management/mitigation;
  • ensuring the project’s overall objectives, targets at various key stages, and individuals’ responsibilities are clearly understood by all concerned;
  • monitoring performance against the plan;
  • highlighting areas of slippage and identifying/initiating corrective action;
  • arranging meetings with the independent reviewer at key stages and preparing summary progress reports prior to each meeting;
  • ensuring appropriate communication between the members of the project team and other project stakeholders including, where appropriate, the end users;
  • ensuring that the project complies with all appropriate University procedures and regulations, e.g. personnel, financial and procurement etc.

Project Team

The Project Manager will generally be supported by a Project Team. Depending on the nature of the project, the Project Team will be appointed either by the relevant committee/senior management/Head of School/project Budget Holder as appropriate. The size and composition of the team will vary according to the nature and complexity of the project but will generally consist of those directly involved in implementing various parts of the project.

Independent Reviewer

The Independent Reviewer is appointed from within the University by the project’s ‘internal sponsor’ e.g. relevant University committee, senior management etc. The reviewer will normally be identified, and become involved in the project, towards the end of Stage 2 of the process. He/she is required:

  • to take a broad and independent view of the progress of the project;
  • to decide at the end of each review meeting whether sufficient evidence has been presented by the project manager to justify moving on to the next phase of the project plan;
  • where progress has not been made in accordance with the agreed plan, to submit a report to the internal sponsor giving details, in particular, of any factors which may impact adversely on the successful completion of the project;
  • to ensure that before moving on to the next stage:
    • revised milestones are agreed where appropriate;
    • the necessary time, skills and/or resources are available to complete the next phase;
    • any associated risks for the remainder of the project have been identified and plans for their management/mitigation put in place.

The Independent Reviewer must not be part of, nor replaced by, a Steering Group.

Head of School/Director of Directorate

Within a School/Division, up to three people may be involved in the implementation of the project:

  • the Head of School/Divisional Director given responsibility for implementing the project;
  • the Budget Holder for the project;
  • the Project Manager.

In certain cases, two or more of these roles may be merged.

The Head of School/Divisional Director charged with implementing the project is ultimately responsible for:

  • the management of the Project Manager (possibly through an intermediary such as the project Budget Holder);
  • for ensuring that the project proceeds according to the agreed plan.

Steering Group

For the larger scale/more complex projects, it may be felt appropriate to establish a Steering Group. The Project Management Framework can accommodate such a Group and it can provide a valuable channel for the involvement of, and input from, the clients of the project. However, the establishment of a Steering Group is not a requirement of the Project Management Framework. It should only be set up where there are clear benefits to be gained and it is essential that its role in relation to the other key players is clearly defined and understood by all parties from the outset.

A Steering Group will normally be involved in Stages 1 and/or 2 of the Project Management Framework. The Steering Group should not be involved either in the management or monitoring of the project. These responsibilities rest with the Project Manager/Head of School/Divisional Director, and the Independent Reviewer/Internal Sponsor respectively.

The role of the Steering Group is purely advisory, and it plays no direct role in the operation of the Framework. It may:

  • be involved in needs analysis and/or identification of the project’s objectives (Stage 1 and/or 2);
  • offer guidance on the preparation of the original project plan (Stage 3);
  • advise the internal sponsor on any subsequent changes to the agreed objectives as may be necessary as the project proceeds, and how these changes may be accommodated within the project plan (Stage 3).

The Independent Reviewer must not be part of, nor replaced by, a Steering Group.

Budget Holder

The Budget Holder is responsible for approving the project’s budget and agreeing any additional funding that is required during the project.

Project Initiator

This is the individual or group who identifies the idea for a project.

University Board

This is the body that receives reports on major projects. The board also provide intelligence regarding its awareness of projects that should fall under the Project Management Framework.