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PRINCE2 - Organisation part 3

Project Manager

The Project Manager is responsible for the day-to-day running of the project.

It will involve team work and others such as:

Project management involvement
CustomerStrategyLine management
Product statusProduct versus project needsChanges
User needsMonitoringPlanning

The project organisation should will take responsibility for some of these and provide support for others.
The appointment is made by the Project Board which sets the parameters.

The project benefits will be defined in the Project Initiation Document.
The Project Manager is responsible for meeting these whilst at the same time making sure that the project produces the required products at the right quality, on time and at the right cost.

The Project Manager runs the project via the use of Team Managers [the process Managing Product Delivery (MP)] and Project Support and liaises with Project Assurance and the Project Board.

The role is responsible for all processes with the exceptions of:

  • Directing a Project (DP) and the pre-project process
  • Appointing an Executive and a Project Manager (SU1)

PRINCE2® assumes that the Project Manager is from the customer and not the supplier.
If the latter is the case the customer may wish to appoint a ‘project director’ to liaise with the Project Manager.

Often the Project Manager does not full control over particular personnel. In this case, agreement should be sought for the resource from their managers for the duration of the project.

Where ever the management of resource lies there must be consideration of who is responsible for other aspects, such as , appraisals, promotion and training.

The Project Manager must maintain a ‘helicopter’ view of the project and not get involved in the fine detail.

Team Manager

This is and optional role and will depend on many aspects.

These are some of the reasons for appointing a Team Manager:

  • The team members themselves are geographically separate
  • The Project Board may prefer this strategy
  • Specialist skills or knowledge is required
  • The size of the project

If not delegated to another person the Project Manager will have to fill this role.

The Team Manager must produce the products defined by the Project Manager to the right quality, the correct timescale and to the right cost.

The role will report to the Project Manager and may have links to the Senior Supplier.
These must be made clear so as not to undermine the authority of the Project Manager.

Project Assurance

It is likely that the Project Board will delegate this position to one or more people as they rely heavily on the actions of the Project Manager.
The Project Board members will be part time on the project and would not be able to easily oversee such a role.

The supplier and / or customer may have a quality assurance function that is charged with ensuring that the project is adhering to their quality management system.

There is clearly a role in a project for monitoring all aspects of the project’s performance that is independent of the Project Manager.
This is the role of Project Assurance.

Each member of the Project Board will appoint a person for project assurance that will represent their area, that is, business, user and supplier. Other roles may be appointed that will cover more specific aspects of Project Assurance.

Whilst systems might be in place to provide for the best possible project outcome this must be checked.
The Project Board must be regularly assured that the Business Case remains valid and that there are no external influences that may alter the validity of the project.

PRINCE2 recognises these Project Assurance functions by aligning them to the individual Project Board member roles.
All Project Assurance appointments must be independent of the Project Manager.

The Project Board is responsible for the appointment of the Project Assurance roles.
If there is any overlap of responsibilities it must be clear who is doing what.
Those in Project Assurance roles could be changed , during the project, at the request of the Project Board.

The use of other personnel in Project Assurance roles should be designed as part of the process Designing a Project Management Team (SU2).

The role of Project Assurance will appear in many of the PRINCE2 processes.

The Project Assurance position will be involved with audit trails of the quality control work as well as checking the product itself.
If roles change during the project there must be consistency of approach.

Anyone appointed to a Project Assurance role should be independent of the Project Manager.
Project Assurance roles should not be combined if it might result in a conflict of interest.

Project Support

The need to use tools for planning and configuration management and the shear quantity of work will usually mean the Project Manager may need help.
This will come form Project Support. There may be little need for dedicated Project Support if the project is small. This may be shared between the Project Manager and the team.

Administrative support may include specific expertise or advice.

The position of Configuration Librarian must be considered depending on the size of the project.
If there is no need for a specific position this will be carried out by the Project Manager alongside any other unassigned Project Support roles.

Project Support must be kept separately from Project Assurance to maintain the latter’s independence.


Location is often a problem when appointing more than one person in a role.
If possible keep all personnel on one site. If this is not possible make sure that all relevant personnel have access to current communication methods and are trained in their use.

If the size of the project allows it may be possible to set up a Project Support Office.
This will have the advantage of permanent staff that will be particularly skilled in the use of software.
The Project Support Office will be able to set standards for planning and control tools, risk management [see 'The Complete Risk Management package’], reporting, change control and configuration management.

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.