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Role definitions

SpendItNow – Draft Role Definitions
Role: Portfolio Management Team

The portfolio management team will have overall control of all programmes. One person or a team may fill this role.

If the latter, then one member of the team should be designated chairperson, and one member given the responsibility for day-to-day responsibilities. The programme managers will normally attend meetings but will not be decision makers. This role includes delegating authority to the programme managers.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Identify, define and establish the projects and programmes.
  • Appoint programme managers and project managers for stand-alone projects.
  • Secure resources; mainly budgets and people.
  • Monitor progress, though most of the day-to-day activity for this will be done by project and programme managers and support staff.
  • Make decisions on receipt of progress reports and specific requests; these will be authorisations to continue, stop or change.
  • Ensure the objectives of the projects and programmes continue to be in line with the strategic goals, and in particular focused on the benefits to be realised.
  • Make go/no go decisions at key points in the life cycle.
  • Make go/no go decisions based exception reports. These will include but are not limited to, unacceptable risk, change outside tolerance limits, and progress variance outside tolerance.

 

 

SpendItNow – Draft Role Definitions
Role: Programme Manager

The programme manager establishes and manages the overall programme plan. The role carries out day-to-day co-ordination of projects in the programme. To do this the programme manager must ensure that the management and support environment for each project is adequate. Project progress, risks, issues, changes, variances and exceptions must be monitored. It is particularly important that the programme manager takes early control of any problems which impact more than one project on the programme.

The Programme Manager is the link between the projects and the portfolio management team and therefore to the strategy of the organisation.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Ensure the projects contain all of the required outputs of the programme.
  • Direct and motivate the project managers.
  • Plan and monitor the programme.
  • Ensure assurance process are in place.
  • Produce and obtain approval for, the programme brief.
  • Prepare programme, tranche and exception plans, with the project managers and project assurance. Get approval to them from the sponsor.
  • Manage programme and business risk, including any contingency plans needed
  • Liaise with the portfolio management team to ensure a full understanding of the programme’s obligations to the strategy.
  • Ensure that dependencies between the projects in the programme and dependencies with other programmes are identified. Liaise with other programme managers to ensure changes in this programme’s projects or other related projects do not cause unacceptable impact.
  • Take responsibility for overall progress and appropriate use of resource, take corrective action where necessary. If corrective action cannot keep the programme within agreed tolerance, report this to the programme sponsor.
  • Report to the portfolio management team at an agreed frequency (highlight reports) and at the end of each tranche. This is the minimum reporting, extra reports will be needed should exceptional circumstances dictate.
  • Determine and agree the overall approach, direction and integrity of the programme.
  • Throughout the programme maintain the lessons log.  Ensure the programme is closed in a controlled manner, and that the lessons learned and any recommended follow-on actions are reported to the portfolio management team.
  • Be responsible for programme administration, including but not limited to the programme filing system and configuration management.
 

SpendItNow – Draft Role Definitions
Role: Project Manager

The project manager is given the authority to run the project on a day to day basis, within constraints and tolerance set by the project sponsor.

The prime responsibility is to make sure the sponsor and stakeholders are comfortable that the project is likely to produce the required output(s). The role must ensure the project delivers these outputs, on time, in budget and to agreed quality standards.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Manage the production of the required products 
  • Direct and motivate the team
  • Plan and monitor the project
  • Produce and obtain approval for, the project brief
  • Prepare project, stage and exception plans, with the management team.
  • Manage project and business risk, including any contingency plans needed.
  • Take responsibility for overall progress and appropriate use of resource, take corrective action where necessary. If corrective action cannot keep the project within agreed tolerance, report this to the project sponsor.
  • Determine and agree the overall approach, direction and integrity of the project.
  • Maintain the lessons log throughout the project.
  • Ensure the project is closed in a controlled manner, and that the lessons learned and any recommended follow-on actions are reported to the programme manager.
  • Be responsible for project administration, including but not limited to the project filing system and configuration
  • Liaise with suppliers.

If the project is part of a programme:

  • Liaise with the programme manager, to ensure a full understanding of the project’s obligations to the programme.
  • Ensure that dependencies between the project and the programme, and dependencies with other projects are identified.
  • Liaise with the programme manager to ensure changes in this project or other related projects do not have unacceptable impact.
  • Report to the programme manager at an agreed frequency and at the end of each stage. This is the minimum reporting, extra reports will be needed should exceptional circumstances dictate.
 

SpendItNow – Draft Role Definitions
Role: Project sponsor

The sponsor is ultimately responsible for the project. He or she, has to ensure that the project is value for money, ensuring a cost-conscious approach to the project, balancing the demands of different parts of the organisation.

Throughout the project, the sponsor ‘owns’ the business case.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Ensure tolerances are set for the project.
  • Ensure progress is within agreed tolerances, time and cost.
  • Authorise the main stages of the project and any exception plans.
  • Approve the end project report and lessons learned report.
  • Organise and chair project board meetings (if a board is required).
  • Recommend future action on the project if tolerances are exceeded.
  • Approve the closure of the project.
  • Overall business assurance, i.e. ensuring that the project remains on target to deliver products which will achieve the expected business benefits, and the project will complete within the agreed tolerances for budget and timescale.
  • Provide ad-hoc support to the project manager.
  • Monitor the business case against external events and the project’s progress.
  • Keep the project in line with the organisation’s strategic objectives.
  • Monitor and ensure business risks are kept under control.
  • Inform and advise the project on any changes in the business environment.

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Geoff Reiss for contributing this book

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Role definitions

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