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PRINCE2 - Starting up a Project (SU) part 2

Appointing an Executive and Project Manager (SU1)

Fundamental principles

Any project must have a decision maker and someone to carry out the project planning.


There must be a plan for the initiation work and the appointment of the Executive and the Project Management is a prerequisite.

Process description

The objectives are:

  • Identify the Executive from the project’s stakeholders
  • Identify the most appropriate Project Manager
  • Confirm the above persons availability, their acceptance of the roles and their commitment to carry them out
  • Appoint them to the roles

There must be a Project Mandate in existence first.
This indicates the size, type and complexity of the project.
It should show any political and business sensitivity.
It may include a draft Project Plan from earlier work.
The time frame will help in judging the availability of people for the key roles.

The steps needed will be:

  • Ratify the key elements of the Project Mandate
  • Establish any missing information
  • Identify candidates for Executive and Project Manager
  • Establish the responsibilities of each role
  • Appoint Executive and Project Manager
  • Confirm the appointments via agreement to job descriptions by corporate or programme management and appointees

Outlines, which can be tailored in discussions, for the Executive and Project Management roles are given in files ‘Executive.doc’ and ‘Project manager.doc’ in the product package.


This lies with corporate or programme management.

Information needs

These are given in tabular form in the file ‘appointing an executive and a project manager.doc’ in the product package.

They are:

Information needs
Management informationUsageExplanation
Project MandateInput/updateThe trigger for the project
Agreed job descriptions for the Executive and Project ManagerOutputBasis for sign-up by the Executive and Project Manager
Appointed Executive and Project ManagerOutputJob descriptions agreed

These are given in tabular form in the file ‘appointing an executive and a project manager.doc’ in the product package.

Key criteria

  • Will the programme management fill any roles on the Project Board if the project is part of a programme?
  • Will the Executive have the financial and functional authority to perform adequately?
  • Has the availability of individuals been checked against the project time frame to maximise their presence on the project?
  • Is it likely that any candidates for positions will change jobs during the project? If so have allowances been made?
  • Do the appointees have the necessary skills and knowledge for the positions?

If the size of the project warrants it the job descriptions should be signed and copies held with their line management and in the project files.

If it is considered that formal job descriptions are not necessary, for example the project is too small, the persons should at least understand the responsibilities.

If the project is part of a programme they will appoint the Executive and may influence the appointment of the Project Manager. The Executive will appoint the rest of the Project Board.

This product contains EVERYTHING in the publications:

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 - 2005 edition
Managing successful Projects with PRINCE2 – 2009 edition
Directing Projects with PRINCE2.
The Complete Project Management package.

And much more besides - at a fantastic price.