Thursday, December 18, 2014

PRINCE2 Project Board - Can I have Two Senior Users?

- and what about multiple Senior Suppliers?

PRINCE2 recommends for completeness the Project Board should include representation from each of the business, user and supplier interests at all times. The Executive is looking after the business interests and is the single point of accountability. By definition, there should be one, and only one, Executive as you cannot have multiple single points of accountability.

In a PRINCE2 project, the Executive appoints the rest of the board and needs to evaluate completeness and balance of user and supplier interests. The members appointed should be senior enough to make strategic decisions, with the authority to make those decisions and with sufficient control of resources to provide the solutions. According to PRINCE2, can and should the Executive appoint more than one Senior User if multiple user groups need to be represented? And should the Executive appoint more than one Senior Supplier if groups of specialists in the project come from different parts of the organization (or from different organizations)?

Yes and yes, that is exactly what needs to happen. If you have a close look at the Organization chapter in your PRINCE2 manual, you will see a subtle indication that there can be multiple Senior User and Senior Suppliers on a PRINCE2 Project Board: The roles are consistently referred to as Senior User(s) and Senior Supplier(s) with the optional plural (s)…

If you have multiple Senior Users on the Project Board, they should be active members throughout the life of the project. They are responsible for specifying the needs and the benefits, should be actively involved in benefit reviews throughout the project and should have a commitment to realize the benefits beyond the end of the project’s life. The different Senior Users represent different groups of users. This should be documented in the “Roles Descriptions” in Project Briefs and PIDs. 

If you have multiple Senior Suppliers in a project, they are not necessarily all represented on the Project Board at the same time – at least not with the same level of involvement. Throughout the lifecycle of the project, different groups of specialists might be involved at different phases of the project. A Senior Supplier’s involvement on the Project Board should correlate with the respective specialist group’s involvement in the project at any given time.

The Project Board’s involvement is very important for the success of a PRINCE2 project. As a matter of fact, several studies on project management have concluded that it is the most important success factor for any project. Putting some focused energy on constructing a suited Project Board for a project is maybe the best investment you can do for success.
Read more about the PRINCE2 roles on the PRINCE2 Organization page

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