1 Mar 2013

The PRINCE2 Project Board

Posted by PRINCE2 Canada

The PRINCE2 Project Board

Having trained thousands of people on project management courses there is one topic that comes up regularly – the buy in and involvement of senior management (or lack 0f)!  This is where the Project Board comes in.

All organizations want to deliver projects successfully.  One of the ways to do this is to get the right people involved in the decision making.  To do this you need to consider:

· Accountability

· Stakeholder representation

This is where PRINCE2 offers an organization structure so they can be considered fully.

Accountability

PRINCE2 identifies the role of the Project Executive.  This is the person accountable for the delivery of the project.

Appointing a project manager is simply not enough to turn a project into a success.  Appointing an effective Project Executive can make the difference between success and failure for a project.

The Executive is responsible for directing the project.  The ‘Executive’ is the ultimate decision maker and owner of the Business Case.  As such they will be responsible for ensuring that the project meets its objectives and delivers the means by which the expected benefits can be achieved.  Five key aspects that the Executive should focus on:

· The Business Case drives the project – the projects standard for success

· Involving stakeholders in project direction – well focused stakeholder involvement helps to secure support for the project

· Breaking the project into manageable chunks – tuning the selection of project stages to meet the need for decision making

· Management by Exception – Optimum control with limited effort

· Focus on products – know what you are going to get – start at the end

Stakeholder Representation

PRINCE2 also recognizes that there are three key Stakeholder groups which need to be represented – The Business, User and Supplier.  It is important that these roles are represented at Project Board level to ensure that the right decisions are made and the correct direction is set for the project.

Involvement of right senior people in the governance of the project is critical to its success.  How many times have projects failed because of lack of senior management involvement or buy in.  PRINCE2 looks to the Project Board to fulfil this.

Responsibility for the successful delivery of the project will mean that the Executive will need to ensure the appointment of the appropriate Senior User(s) and Senior Supplier(s) onto their Board.  This will be needed to support effective governance of the project.  By selecting the right people, the Executive will ensure that the Project Board represents the interests of the project:

· Business (Benefits and Value for Money),

· User (those who will use the products), and

· Supplier (those who will deliver the products).

As the Business representative the Executive has ultimate responsibility for the project governance supported by the Senior User and Senior Supplier.  PRINCE2 describes in detail what these roles are and how they should be carried out. Ensuring that the correct people are appointed to these roles is critical and ultimately can help achieve successful project delivery.

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