PRINCE2 Agile 2016
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Appendix B Roles and responsibilities

In PRINCE2 there are nine roles which are defined with specific responsibilities. They relate to project direction, project management and project delivery, although in the case of project delivery, PRINCE2 only refers to the team manager and not the members of the delivery team.

Appendix C of Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 includes comprehensive descriptions for these roles and they are summarized here in Table B.1.

Role Summary

Project board

The project board is accountable to corporate or programme management for the success of the project, and has the authority to direct the project within the remit set by corporate or programme management as documented in the project mandate.

The project board is also responsible for the communications between the project management team and stakeholders external to that team (e.g. corporate and programme management).

According to the scale, complexity, importance and risk of the project, project board members may delegate some project assurance tasks to separate individuals. The project board may also delegate decisions regarding changes to a change authority.


The executive is ultimately responsible for the project, supported by the senior user and senior supplier. The executive’s role is to ensure that the project is focused throughout its life on achieving its objectives and delivering a product that will achieve the forecast benefits. The executive has to ensure that the project gives value for money, ensuring a cost-conscious approach to the project, balancing the demands of the business, user and supplier.

Throughout the project, the executive is responsible for the business case.

The project board is not a democracy controlled by votes. The executive is the ultimate decision maker and is supported in the decision-making by the senior user and senior supplier.

Senior user(s)

The senior user(s) is responsible for specifying the needs of those who will use the project’s products, for user liaison with the project management team, and for monitoring that the solution will meet those needs within the constraints of the business case in terms of quality, functionality and ease of use.

The role represents the interests of all those who will use the project’s products (including operations and maintenance), those for whom the products will achieve an objective or those who will use the products to deliver benefits. The senior user role commits user resources and monitors products against requirements. This role may require more than one person to cover all the user interests. For the sake of effectiveness, the role should not be split between too many people.

The senior user(s) specifies the benefits and is held to account by demonstrating to corporate or programme management that the forecast benefits which were the basis of project approval have in fact been realized. This is likely to involve a commitment beyond the end of the life of the project.

Senior supplier(s)

The senior supplier represents the interests of those designing, developing, facilitating, procuring and implementing the project’s products. This role is accountable for the quality of products delivered by the supplier(s) and is responsible for the technical integrity of the project. If necessary, more than one person may be required to represent the suppliers.

Depending on the particular customer/supplier environment, the customer may also wish to appoint an independent person or group to carry out assurance on the supplier’s products (for example, if the relationship between the customer and supplier is a commercial one).

Project manager

The project manager has the authority to run the project on a day-to-day basis on behalf of the project board within the constraints laid down by them.

The project manager’s prime responsibility is to ensure that the project produces the required products within the specified tolerances of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits. The project manager is also responsible for the project producing a result capable of achieving the benefits defined in the business case.

Team manager

The team manager’s prime responsibility is to ensure production of those products defined by the project manager to an appropriate quality, in a set timescale and at a cost acceptable to the project board. The team manager role reports to, and takes direction from, the project manager.

Change authority

The project board may delegate authority for approving responses to requests for change or off-specifications to a separate individual or group, called a change authority. The project manager could be assigned as the change authority for some aspects of the project (e.g. changing baselined work packages if it does not affect stage tolerances).

Project assurance

Project assurance covers the primary stakeholder interests (business, user and supplier).

Project assurance has to be independent of the project manager; therefore the project board cannot delegate any of its assurance activities to the project manager.

Project support

The provision of any project support on a formal basis is optional. If it is not delegated to a separate person or function it will need to be undertaken by the project manager.

One support function that must be considered is that of configuration management. Depending on the project size and environment, there may be a need to formalize this and it may become a task with which the project manager cannot cope without support.

Project support functions may be provided by a project office or by specific resources for the project. Refer to OGC’s guidance Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (2008) for further information on the use of a project office.

Table B.1 PRINCE2 roles

In PRINCE2 Agile a set of delivery roles have been defined so that they can be used if appropriate, or they can be used to understand what may be expected of a delivery team using agile. These are described in Table B.2.

It should be noted that roles are not the same as job titles. A role on a project is temporary and is carried out by one or more individuals. Someone could be carrying out several roles on several projects. A job title is different from this in that it is usually defined by a job description and represents a person’s role in an organization (e.g. engineer, administrator, tester, designer, etc.)

Role Description

Customer subject matter expert

A customer subject matter expert (SME) is assigned to the delivery team and plays an active part by acting as a representative of all of the customer stakeholders with a responsibility for ensuring that the project’s products are understood and are correct at the detailed level. The person carrying out this role probably wants, or needs, the final product and is motivated for the project to succeed as they are impacted or helped by it.

Responsibilities include:

  • making appropriate and timely decisions on behalf of the customer at the detailed level
  • explaining and helping to define the detailed requirements of the customer
  • ensuring that the detailed requirements are consistent with the higher-level requirements agreed by the senior user
  • prioritization of requirements at the detailed level
  • ensuring that products have been reviewed appropriately and are fit for purpose from a customer perspective
  • collaborating and communicating with other customer stakeholders (such as customer representatives) in order to ensure that all views and needs relevant to the project are understood and addressed.

Competencies include being:

  • open-minded
  • facilitative
  • attentive to detail
  • respected
  • decisive
  • empowered.

Customer representative

A customer representative is partially assigned to the delivery team or the senior user in order to contribute, or to be canvassed about, specific information that may be of use to the project. This is a consultative role that provides general or detailed information relating to specific areas of the project that may be involved or impacted.

Responsibilities may include:

  • defining requirements for their own specific area of interest
  • highlighting any areas that the project may impact directly or indirectly
  • working with the customer SME(s) to provide a wider and more representative picture of the customer view
  • providing support to reviewing the project’s products where relevant.

Competencies include being:

  • knowledgeable about their own area
  • empowered
  • decisive
  • collaborative.

Supplier subject matter expert

A supplier SME is assigned to the delivery team and provides the appropriate technical skills to build and initially quality check the project’s products. They should be working collaboratively with the customer SME(s) and other customer representatives to evolve the products so that they deliver what is required in order to ultimately achieve the highest value possible for the customer.

Responsibilities include:

  • creating the project’s specialist products
  • being aware of the wider technical view of the products that are evolving
  • carrying out initial technical assurance to check that the specialist products have been produced correctly
  • liaising with the customer to refine initial understanding of the requirements
  • explaining what alternatives there are to satisfy individual requirements
  • ensuring that work is compliant with any organizational or project standards.

Competencies include being:

  • multi-skilled to some degree
  • customer-focused
  • creative
  • technically excellent.

Supplier representative

A supplier representative is partially assigned to the delivery team or to the senior supplier to contribute, or to be consulted about, specific technical or specialist information that may be of use to the project. This is a consultative role that provides general or detailed technical information relating to specific areas of the products being delivered.

Responsibilities may include:

  • providing technical guidance on specific areas where appropriate (e.g. design, performance, releasing into operational use, ongoing support)
  • communicating technical standards and guidance on areas such as technical compliance
  • highlighting any areas that the project may impact directly or indirectly from a technical perspective.

Competencies include being:

  • technically excellent
  • proactive
  • inquisitive.

Delivery team quality assurance

This role is responsible for independently checking that the project’s products are fit for purpose from a customer and supplier perspective at the delivery level. This should be carried out collaboratively by engaging with the customer and supplier SMEs in an iterative style of working as the products and the understanding of them evolve. Customer and supplier quality assurance can be carried out by two separate roles if appropriate.

Responsibilities include:

  • being ultimately responsible for ensuring that products have met their quality criteria from both a customer and supplier perspective
  • advising and supporting the rest of the delivery team on how the products will be assured in order to make the process as transparent and as easy as possible
  • engaging with other stakeholders (customer or supplier) in order to check that nothing is overlooked from the wider view of the project.

Competencies include being:

  • excellent in quality assurance
  • thorough
  • approachable
  • pragmatic
  • independent.

Table B.2 PRINCE2 Agile delivery roles

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