The purpose of the Organization theme is to define and establish the project's structure of accountability and responsibilities.


PRINCE2 is based on a customer/supplier environment. It assumes that there will be a customer who will specify the desired result and probably pay for the project, and a supplier who will provide the resources and skills to deliver that result.


One of the principles of PRINCE2 is that all projects must have a defined organizational structure to unite the various parties in the common aims of the project and to enable effective project governance and decision making.


A successful project management team should:

  • Have business, user and supplier stakeholder representation
  • Ensure appropriate governance by defining responsibilities for directing, managing and delivering the project and clearly defining accountability at each level
  • Have reviews of the project roles throughout the project to ensure that they continue to be effective
  • Have an effective strategy to manage communication flows to and from stakeholders


PRINCE2 defines a project as "a temporary organization that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed Business Case". It needs to be flexible and is likely to require a broad base of skills for a comparatively short period of time.


Three project interests

The PRINCE2 principle of defined roles and responsibilities states that a PRINCE2 project will always have three primary categories of stakeholder, and the interests of all three must be satisfied if the project is to be successful.


projInterestsPRINCE2 recommends that for completeness the Project Board should include representation from each of the business, user and supplier interests at all times:


  • Business The products of the project should meet a business need which will justify the investment in the project. The project should also provide value for money. The business viewpoint therefore should be represented to ensure that these two prerequisites exist before a project commences and remain in existence throughout the project. The Executive role is defined to look after the business interests
  • User PRINCE2 makes a distinction between the business interests and the requirements of those who will use the project’s outputs. The user viewpoint should represent those individuals or groups for whom some or all of the following will apply:
    • They will use the outputs of the project to realize the benefits after the project is complete
    • They will operate, maintain or support the project’s outputs
    • The outputs of the project will impact them
  • The user presence is needed to specify the desired outputs and ensure that the project delivers them. The Senior User(s) will represent this stakeholder interest on the Project Board
  • Supplier The creation of the project’s outputs will need resources with certain skills. The supplier viewpoint should represent those who will provide the necessary skills and produce the project product. The project may need to use both in-house and external supplier teams to construct the project product. The Senior Supplier(s) will represent this stakeholder interest on the Project Board.


Levels of Organisation

Since senior management may not be available on a day to day basis to make decisions, PRINCE2 separates the direction and management of the project from the delivery of the project's outputs, by using the principle of Management by Exception.


The project management structure has four levels, three which represent the project and Corporate sitting outside of the project:prjMgmtTeamStructure


  • Corporate. Responsible for:
    • Commissioning the project
    • Appointing the Executive
    • Defining project level tolerances, for the project board
    • All this information should be documented in the Project Mandate
  • Directing. The Project Board is responsible for:
    • Overall direction & management
    • Accountable for success of the project
    • Approve all major plans
    • Authorise any deviation that exceeds tolerance
    • Approve completion of each stage
    • Authorise start of next stage
    • Communicate with other stakeholders
  • Managing. The Project Manager is responsible for:
    • Day to day management of the project within constraints set by the Project Board
    • Ensure the require products are delivered in accordance with the time, cost, quality, scope risk and benefit goals
  • Delivering. The Team Managers are responsible for:
    • Delivering the project’s products to an appropriate quality within a specified timescale and cost


Project Management Team Structure

A project management team is a temporary structure specifically designed to manage the project through to its successful delivery.


The Project Board has the authority  and responsibility for the project within the instructions (initially contained in the project mandate) set by corporate or programme management. Their duties include:

  • Accountability for success or failure
  • Providing a unified view
  • Delegating effectively
  • Facilitating integrating the project management team with the participating parts of the business
  • Providing the resources and authorising the funds required
  • Effective decision making
  • Providing visible and sustained support for the Project Manager
  • Ensuring effective communication with all stakeholders

The Executive is appointed by Corporate or Programme management during the pre-project process of starting up a project. The role is vested in one individual so that there is singular accountability for the project. The Executive's role is to:

  • Design & appoint the rest of the project management team, including the other members of the board
  • Provide responsibility for the Business Case
  • Ultimately be accountable for the project's success and is the key decision maker
  • Ensure the project is focussed on achieving its objectives and delivering a product that will achieve the forecasted benefits
  • Ensure that the project gives value for money, balancing the demands of the business, user and supplier

The Senior User is responsible for:

  • Specifying the needs of those who will use the project's products (A.K.A deliverables)
  • User liaison with the project management team
  • Monitoring that the solution will meet the needs within the constraints of the Business Case in terms of quality, functionality and ease of use.
  • Committing User resources
  • Specifying the benefits
  • Demonstrating that the forecast benefits were realised

The Senior Supplier represents those designing, developing, facilitating, procuring and implementing the project’s products and is also responsible for:

  • Accountability for the quality of the products
  • The technical integrity of the project
  • Ensuring that proposals for designing and developing the products are feasible and realistic

The Project Board also has a Project Assurance role that is:

  • Responsible for all aspects of the project's performance and products independently of the Project Manager
  • Aligned to their respective areas of concern - business, user or supplier
  • Accountable for the quality aspects of the project
  • Responsible for supporting the Project Manager by providing advice and guidance to the on issues such as the use of corporate standards or
    the correct personnel to be involved in different aspects of the project
  • Independent from the Project Manager and should not assign any Project Assurance roles to the Project Manager


Change Authority

At project initiation, consideration should be taken as to who is permitted to authorise requests for change or off-specifications. The Project Board has the responsibility to agree each potential change before it is implemented. The Project Board should define in the Configuration Management Strategy a scale of severity ratings for requests for change and, depending on the severity, the request for change could be handled by:

  • Corporate or programme management
  • The Project Board
  • Delegating to a Change Authority
  • Delegating to the Project Manager


Example of a change Authority

A Project Manager is given authority to approve changes to individual products only if the changes would:

  • Cost less than a pre-arranged limit
  • Impact the project timescales by no more than one week
  • Not require any changes to the Project Product Description or any other product

Any changes that fall outside of these limits would have to be escalated to the Project Board


Reporting Structure

The Executive is responsible for agreeing a suitable team structure and tailoring it to the project's size, risk and complexity. The Project Board needs to:

  • Represent the needs of all interested parties and involve any (internal or external) suppliers
  • Be kept as small as possible (to allow appropriate and timely decision making)


Producing a matrix of stakeholders against the project's products also helps split the project stakeholders (who need to be engaged as part of the Communication Management Strategy) from the project decision makers (who need to be on the Project Board).



Project ManagerprojMgr

The Project Manager:

  • Is the single focus for the day to day management of a project
  • Has the authority to run the project on behalf of the Project Board within the constraints laid down by the Project Board
  • Role should not be shared
  • Is responsible for the work of all the PRINCE2 processes except for the Directing a Project process and appointing the Executive and the Project Manager in the pre-project process Starting up a Project
  • Delegates responsibility for the Managing Product Delivery process to the Team Managers
  • Manages the Team Managers and Project Support and is responsible for liaison with Project Assurance and the Project Board

In projects with no separate individual allocated to a Team Manager role, the Project Manager will be responsible for managing work directly with the team members involved. In projects with no separate Project Support role, the support tasks also fall to the Project Manager, although they may be shared with team members.
As the single focus for the day-to-day management of a project, there are many different aspects to the Project Manager role!



Team Manager

The Team Manager:

  • Ensure production of the product's allocated by the Project Manager
  • Reports to and takes direction from the Project Manager
  • Role CAN be assigned to the the Project Manager
  • Uses Work Packages to allocate work to Team Managers / members


Project Support

Project Support is the responsibility of the Project Manager, who can delegate some of this work to a project Support role:

  • Administrative services
  • Advice / guidance
  • Project planning
  • Risk Management
  • Administering the Configuration Management tools and procedures

Project Support and Project Assurance roles should be kept separate in order to maintain the independence of Project Assurance.




Individuals or groups that are not part of the project management team, but who may need to interact with the project, may be affected by the project's outcome. These people may:

  • Support or oppose the project
  • Gain or lose as a result of the project delivery
  • See the project as a threat or enhancement to their position
  • Become active supporters or blockers of the project and its progress

It is therefore important to analyse who these stakeholders are and to engage with them appropriately.


Stakeholder engagement, is the process of identifying and communicating with those who have an interest or influence on the project's outcome.

Example of Stakeholder Engagement

  • Identifying stakeholders (Who?) Identifying the individual stakeholders involved in, or affected by, the project and perhaps grouping similar stakeholders together so that key messages can be targeted effectively
  • Creating and analysing stakeholder profiles (What?) Gaining an understanding of the influences, interests and attitudes of the stakeholders towards the project and the importance and power of each stakeholder. For instance, is a particular group likely to be negative, irrespective of the message, and therefore require particular care? Stakeholders’ influence and interests, whether rational or emotional, must all be taken into account. They have the potential to affect the success of the project. Perceptions may be mistaken, but they must be addressed. The stakeholder’s perception of the benefits should be quantified where possible
  • Defining the stakeholder engagement strategy (How?) Defining how the project can effectively engage with the stakeholders, including defining the responsibilities for communication and the key messages that need to be conveyed. For each interested party, agree the:
    • Information the party needs from the project
    • Method, format and frequency of communication
    • Sender and recipient of the communication
  • Planning the engagements (When?) Defining the methods and timings of the communications. These are best planned after defining how the project will engage with the different stakeholders. When selecting the senders of information, it is important to select communicators who have the respect and trust of the Audience. Their position in the corporate organization and expertise in the subject matter will greatly influence their credibility. Many projects have a formal commencement meeting to introduce the project and its aims to the corporate organization. If this type of meeting is used, it is important that the members of the Project Board attend to show their support and commitment to the project
  • Engaging stakeholders (Do) Carrying out the planned engagements and communications. The first two steps in stakeholder engagement – identifying and analysing – also engage stakeholders to some degree
  • Measuring effectiveness (Results) Checking the effectiveness of the engagements. Project Assurance could be involved in checking all the key stakeholders, their information needs and that the most appropriate communication channels are covered.



The Communication Management Strategy

The Communications Management strategy contains a description of the means and frequency of communication to all (internal and external) parties involved with the project and facilitates engagement with stakeholders through the establishment of a controlled and bi-directional flow of information.


The Project Manager is responsible for  creating the Communication Management Strategy, which should also be reviewed and updated (if necessary) at each stage boundary to ensure it includes all the key stakeholders.

Responsibilities relevant to the Organisation theme

Role Responsibilities

Corporate or

Programme Management

  • Appoint the Executive and (possibly) the Project Manager
  • Provide information to the project as defined in the Communication Management Strategy
  • Appoint the Project Manager (if not done by corporate or programme management)
  • Confirm the appointments to the project management team and the structure of the project management team
  • Approve the Communication Management Strategy
Senior User
  • Provide user resources
  • Define and verify user requirements and expectations
Senior Supplier
  • Provide supplier resources
Project Manager
  • Prepare the Communication Management Strategy
  • Review and update the Communication Management Strategy
  • Design, review and update the project management team structure
  • Prepare role descriptions
Team Manager
  • Manage project team members
  • Advise on project team members and stakeholder engagement
Project Assurance
  • Advise on selection of project team members
  • Advise on stakeholder engagement
  • Ensure that the Communication Management Strategy is appropriate and that planned communication activities actually take place
Project Support
  • Provide administrative support for the project management team


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