Monday, 27 August 2012

Project Governance - roles and responsibilities

To date, in the Metadata Stores Program, 11 Universities have established Project Steering Committees or Project Management Groups. Some of these groups meet monthly, some quarterly. Some are formally constituted with Terms of Reference (TOR). Some have ANDS representatives on them and some will continue on after the ANDS project completion date.

For those of you still working towards some form of Project Governance, the following outline of the various roles and responsibilities is intended to help.

Ideal structure




Roles and responsibilities

  • Responsible for the Steering Committee
    • Sets terms of reference
    • Provides direction and guidance
    • Sets priorities
    • Sets funding level
    • Sets timeline
    • Sets deliverables
    • Appoints chair person
    • Provides resources
  • Promotes the project work to VC colleagues and subordinates

Steering Committee or Project Board

  • Provides reports, advice and feedback to DVCR and other senior members of the university
  • Owns terms of reference
  • Monitors expenditure of funds
  • Reviews management of project risk
  • Ensures reports are regularly submitted to higher bodies and DVCR
  • Offer professional advice and support
  • Promotes the project work to colleagues and subordinates
  • Recruits subordinates to assist project work
  • Supports Project Manager
    • Provides resources
    • Provides support
    • Provides feedback
    • Provides guidance, direction and assistance [including direction on how to respond to events or constraints that are outside the control of the project]
    • Reviews project progress
    • Reviews each completed phase and approves progress to the next phase

Key behaviours

Generally, the Committee or Board manage by exception. This ensures that all members of the board are given equal opportunity to participate in Board level decision making processes and feedback from all members is actively solicited Project Board members do not regularly delegate attendance at meetings.

Steering committee/Project board roles

Chair / Executive

The Chair ultimately is responsible for the project, supported by the other board members.They ensure that the project is focused on achieving its objectives and delivering deliverables and outcomes that will achieve the projected benefits. The Project Chair will...

  • Be the decision maker with overall authority for implementing the Project Plan
  • Ensure that there is a coherent project organisational structure and a logical set of plans to deliver the project deliverables
  • Ensure that risks are being tracked and mitigated as effectively as possible

Other members

Represents the interests of their departments to all researchers who will be involved in the project.

Have authority to resolve project requirements and priority conflicts.

Ensure that appropriate quality control procedures are used to ensure the project meets ANDS and the universities own requirements.

Project Manager

  • Responsible to the Steering Committee
  • Promotes the project work to colleagues and subordinates
  • Responsible for day to day work of the project
  • Works with colleagues to deliver project outputs

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