• Basics
  • Basics
  • The Project Board
  • Project Manager and Team Manager
  • Other roles
  • Overview
  • Relation with processes

You must know and understand:

  • Organization basics
  • The importance of a proper role for line management
  • Roles and responsibilities in a PRINCE2 project
  • The 4 layers in a project organization
  • Project Board composition
  • Role and tasks of the Project Manager and Team Manager
  • Assurance, Change Authority and Project Support
The purpose of the Organization theme is to define and establish the project's structure of accountability and responsibilities (the who?).

Support in projects is important, but extended Project Boards may not the best way to arrange this...

Three interests, Three major stakeholders


Has a stake in the benefits.


Has to use the products and outcomes to realize the benefits.


Should produce the products in such a way that the User will be able to create benefits with them.

Organization in four layers

Customer - Supplier relation

In a project complex relations can exist between customers and suppliers.

The Customer is the party that will fund the project and will actually use it's results to realize benefits.

The Supplier is the party that is responsible for the creation of the products. The Supplier can be internal or external to the Customer organization.

PRINCE2 recognizes three major project interests and so proposes three roles in the Project Board: these are roles, not functions!

Business Executive

When all is said and done it is the Excutive who is responsible for the project: "The Project Board is not a democracy controlled by votes". The Executive owns the business case and should keep the project focussed on gaining the anticipated benefits, while balancing the interests of customers and suppliers.The Executive aims for "Value for Money" and thus focusses on the return on investment.

Senior User

Those who will use the project's products in their daily operations (to realize the benefits) or will be responsible for maintenance and support are represented by the Senior User. The role can be shared among more than one manager, when for instance users are spread over various departments or companies. The Senior User role can be combined with the Executive, both come from the customer side of the project. It is the Senior User's responsibility to make the users needs explicit and to ensure the project actually meets these needs. When participants from the customer side have to be assigned to the project this also is a Senior User responsibility.

Finally: the Senior User is responsible for the realization of the anticipated benefits. The Senior User is therefore likely to be involved after project closure.


Senior Supplier

This is the role that represents those parties that design, develop, purchase and implement the project's products. When support and maintenance after project closure will not be carried out by the customer (but on an ongoing basis by the supplier), this interest will also be represented by the Senior Supplier. The Senior Supplier should make resources and expertise available to the project. It is the Senior Supplier's responsibility to meet the quality demands of the customer. Therefore he should judge if the requirements are feasible and realistic.

The Senior Supplier role can be split over more than one party. When however a greater number of (external) suppliers are to be involved in the project, it is customary to work with a main contractor, who takes on the Senior Supplier role.


The Project Manager

project manager The management of the project from day-to-day is the Project Manager's task. First and foremost the Project Manager is responsible for delivering the agreed products within the agreed plan. Allthough the Project Manager role is subordinate to the Project Board, it is by no means unimportant. It is on this role that many project aspects converge.

Every project has one Project Manager only, preferably from the customer organisation. From the (external) suppliers there will be managers for various parts of the project, for instance for separate parts of the scope, or for different geographies where the project is executed. In PRINCE2 these are called Team Managers. In their own organisation they might be called project manager, but in the sense of PRINCE2 they are not the project manager.


The Team Manager

team manager

The actual production and delivery of the project's products can be delegated by the Project Manager to one or more Team Managers. In big (either in scope or geography) projects, and specifically when external contractors are involved, it is recommended to delegate the direct management of the projects resources. In smaller projects the Project Manager could manage these directly. In this respect the Team Manager role is optional.

Team Managers work to directions of the Project Manager and report to him. When Team Managers lead their own contractor team, a separate reporting line into their own organisation will exist.e.

Project Assurance

assurance Every project needs supervision. This supervisory responsibility, called "assurance", rests with the Project Board, who can delegate the actual supervision tasks to designated persons or bodies with the proper skills and expertise. However, decision making as a result of supervision can not be delegated!

Each Project Board member has his own assurance responsibility, according to his specific interests. For instance, the Senior User, who is responsible for assuring that projects meet the needs of the future users, might establish his own assurance on quality.The Executive might establish assurance on the project's finance or the risk management procedures.


Change Authority

change authority All projects are faced with requests for change, so it is necessary to decide how these requests will be handled, and who can decide on changes. When projects are short, or are performed in a stable environment, where not many changes are to be expected, the Project Board may decide to handle all change requests themselves.

However, when changes increase in number or complexitiy, the Project Board can decide to delegate decisions on changes to a separate body, or designated persons, a Change Authority..

Clarity on the change authority should be created beforehand. In the Configuration Management Strategy different types of changes and their impacts should be distinguished, with each their own delegated change authority. Some types of changes could for instance be handled by the Project Manager to a certain level of budget involved, while others would have to be escalated to the Project Board.

Project Support

support With every project come administrative and logistics tasks and activities. A special type of activity in this respect is Configuration Management. The Project Manager is responsible for these tasks.

The Project Manager can delegate these to a dedicated person or office, Project Support, who will come under his direct authority.

IIn bigger organisations there will often be a dedicated support unit that lends this kinds of services to several projects. When this is not available, or the small size of the project does not warrant the creation of this role, the Project Manager will have to perform these activities himself.

In the project organization all layers and roles should be present

With Starting up a Project (SU)

  • In SU the most important members of the project organization are recruited and, if possible, appointed to their role.

With Initiationg a Project (IP)

  • Role descriptions are defined in the PID;
  • The Configuration Management Strategy will state how a Change Authority will be organized, and what authority this will have;

With Managing a Stage Boundary (SB)

  • At the end of each stage the project management team can be reviewed, and changed if necessary.