IT ServicesStaff


Roles and Responsibilities

The success of a project relies on the clear definition (and understanding) of roles and their associated responsibilities.

Project Board

The following information provides a guideline for Project Boards and senior project personnel which should be tailored to meet specific project needs.

Typically, Project Boards are comprised of senior representation from areas affected by the project. The Project board should at least include representation in the following areas:

  • User
  • Supplier(s)
  • Senior Technology Management

In some cases, a person may fill more than one role.

The project board may change membership throughout the project, especially as it moves through the project lifecycle.

Project Board Responsibilities

  • Act as an advocate for the project's outcomes
  • Input, review and sign-off for the detailed functional and nonfunctional scope and requirements
  • Review and sign-off for any changes or clarifications to the scope and requirements
  • Review and provide input on business process considerations and impacts resulting from the project
  • Oversee communication and engagement with all affected business stakeholders
  • Oversee organisational change management required to support the Technology project (e.g. changes in University policy, procedures & work practices, transition strategies, training impacts, business resourcing impacts, changes to individual and business unit responsibilities etc.)
  • Prioritising and/or securing resources
  • Undertaking project assurance
  • Ensure timely and clear decisions are made
  • Remove any road blocks in other areas of the University
  • Confirm project tolerances
  • Specify quality assurance measures
  • Review completed stages and approve next stage plans
  • Review issues and risks
  • Review and approve changes to the project
  • Approve the Project Close Report

Project Executive (Sponsor)

The Project Executive is ultimately responsible for the project.  They should have sufficient status and authority to ensure the project meets its objectives and delivers the projected benefits.

Overall Responsibilities

  • Ensure that the project delivers value for money as outlined in the business case
  • Approve the Business Case and project expenditure
  • Arbitrate and balance the demands of key stakeholders
  • Manage expectations at senior levels of the University
  • Agreement with the Project Manager on that person's responsibilities and objectives
  • Specification of external constraints on the project, such as quality assurance
  • Ensure tolerances (if any) are set and agreed
  • Delegation of any Project Assurance roles
  • Chair Project Board meetings
  • Gain support for recommended actions if project tolerances are to be exceeded
  • Review each completed Stage and approval of progress to the next
  • Risk ownership where appropriate
  • Approval of changes
  • Assurance that all products have been delivered according to the quality criteria
  • Approval of the End Project  and Lessons Learned Reports
  • Project closure notification

Senior User

The Senior User is accountable for ensuring the Projects products are fit for their intended purpose and the solutions meet user needs and fall within the constraints of the Business Case.  The Senior User will generally require significant support and guidance from other members of the project board and the project team itself.

Overall Responsibilities

  • Ensuring that the project adequately considers and addresses the needs of the University community, being those:
    • who will directly use the product/capabilities being delivered by the project
    • who will need the project products in order to be able to deliver benefits or meet their own objectives or in support of business strategies
  • Facilitating the commitment of user/business resources to the project
  • Assurance that project deliverables/products meet the specified user requirements
  • Contribute to Project board decisions
  • Resolve conflicts

Senior Supplier

The Senior Supplier 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 technical resources.

Overall Responsibilities

  • Represent the interests of those undertaking the technical delivery of the products
  • Commit (or source) appropriately skilled resources to the project
  • Ensure the solution design meets relevant standards
  • Contribute to Project board decisions
  • Resolve conflicts

Project Manager

The Project Manager manages the project on a day-to-day basis on behalf of the Project Board and is responsible for delivering project objectives. This includes all aspects of the project, inclusive of engagement with vendor(s).

Overall, they ensure that the project produces the required products, to the required standard of quality and within the specified constraints of time and cost.

Project Manager Responsibilities

  • Leading the project team and taking responsibility for the day-to-day management of the project
  • Planning and designing the project and proactively monitoring project health and continued alignment to defined scope and quality
  • Managing and resolving any project risks and issues , escalating as required to the Project Executive
  • Delivering the final product(s)
  • Ensuring project alignment with University policy, standards and architectures
  • Ensuring individual projects perform as defined in delivering the new products or services
  • Supporting effective communication between relevant Project roles and the stakeholder community
  • Engaging with senior business stakeholders as required in presenting and representing the project
  • Aligning the project to related and dependent change initiatives underway or planned within The University
  • Managing formal and informal relationships with external vendors and partners involved in project delivery
  • Reporting project progress and health to the Project Sponsor and other relevant stakeholders
  • Preparing the monthly project report for the PMO

Team Manager

The requirement for a separate team manager should be discussed between the Project Manager and the Project Board. If needed the role should be defined and documented during the startup phase of the project or at an appropriate stage boundary. The Project Manager creates work package(s) to specify the deliverables that the Team Manager (or team members) are required to deliver.

The Team Manager is responsible for delivering the project’s products within tolerances defined by the Project Manager. If a Team Manager belong to a separate supplier organisation, the management relationship between the Senior Supplier and the Team Manager must be made clear to avoid undermining the Project Manager’s authority.

The Project Management Team exists within University organisation structure and as such it may not reflect the relative seniority of the persons involved. For example, a Team Manager may be senior to a Project Manager within the University structure, but may report to the Project Manager within the context of the Project.

Project Team

The project team consists of resources allocated to the project to deliver specific work packages.

They are a group of individuals with appropriate and complementary professional, technical or specialist skills who, under the direction of the project manager, are responsible for carrying out the work detailed in the project plan. The size of the team will of course depend on the nature of the work being undertaken but normally consists of the following roles.

Team Manager(s)
Project Support

Team Member Responsibilities

  • Assisting the project manager to deliver the projects objectives
  • Supporting the estimation of work that will be assigned to them
  • Planning and reporting on the status of their work
  • Accounting for the quality of their work
  • Alerting their Project Manager of risks and issues 
  • Producing (or providing input to) relevant documents

Governance Groups

There are several groups involved at various levels in the governance of the portfolio of projects. Each of these groups is involved at different stages of the project lifecycle, and has a different role to play in the overall governance of the portfolio.

Service Management Groups (SMG) 

Currently being planned by Academic & Business Partnering (ABP), the groups will represent the business services delivered by the institution, ranging from professional services to teaching and learning. The purpose of these groups is to ensure that IT Services are delivering change in line with their needs

Change Team 

Has a remit to improve processes across the institution, which cut across Schools and Professional Services. The output of these projects may or may not result in an IT change.

IT Governance Committee (ITGC) 

Provides oversight for the University IT strategy, policy, projects, IT services and information governance. It facilitates co-ordination activities between the schools, professional services and external bodies. It advises the Senate and Council on matters related to the use of Information Technology (IT) and Information Systems (IS) across the University.

Operations Committee

The Operations Committee is coordinated by the planning office, it meets on a monthly basis and approves capital spend for all major IT projects. It also approves the IT Services capital plan. Where a programme / project is likely to require capital funding it is important to note the pre-requisites e.g. ITGC endorsement, stages 1 to 3 and lead time for approval as this may impact the programme / project start date. 

IT Portfolio Board

The IT Portfolio Board (ITPB) is a high level review board chaired by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), the ITPB “…ensures projects with a significant IT dependency are assessed, approved, prioritised, monitored and reviewed in order that the correct projects are being undertaken at the right time, and that they deliver the intended outcomes and benefits”.

Business Change Manager(s)

The Business Change Manager(s) is responsible for ensuring the output or deliverable provided from the project team is embedded into business operations and the resultant benefits are optimised. They are normally drawn from the business or operational area being affected by the change and will have an understanding of people, processes and systems.

Business Change Manager Responsibilities

  • Define benefits and progress towards their realisation
  • Define the future operating state of the business area affected by the change
  • Advise on the impact of changes to the affected operational area
  • Identify organisational changes outside the boundary of the project that may affect the delivery of the projects objectives
  • Preparing the affected operational area for transition to new ways of working
  • Advise on the timing of the release of project deliverables to ensure business readiness
  • Identify measures for ongoing benefit monitoring and realisation