The broad remit of the Project Board is to support the Senior Responsible Owner in providing overall direction and management for the project. However, PRINCE2 makes it clear that the project board is not a democracy controlled by votes. The SRO remains the key decision maker and is ultimately accountable for the project's success.

Purpose of the project board

The Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) in a project is ultimately accountable for project success. To maximise the chances of success the interests of both the project users (those who specify the business requirement) and the project suppliers (those providing the products or services to meet the business requirement) should be represented on the project board (‘the board’).

The board should always be chaired by the SRO, who takes executive responsibility for decisions relating to the project. Its membership should include a single individual who represents those senior managers who have an interest in, and whose activities will be affected by, the project. This person should also represent end users to promote their concerns and interests.

In addition, a senior representative of the suppliers or delivery agents can be invited to the project board to provide their perspective and expertise. Depending on the nature of the project other people's expert opinion may be sought to provide input to decisions made by the SRO and the project board. For example, the views of corporate management, technical specialists and other key stakeholders (perhaps from other agencies) may be required. Membership of the board should be kept to the minimum level necessary to make effective decisions and provide clear leadership and direction. For some projects a more effective model may require expanded user and supplier representation as well as assurance input from specialists. This may reflect the project’s technical complexity or its range of stakeholder involvement.

The project board provides the SRO with stakeholder and technical input to decisions affecting the project but ultimate authority and accountability reside with the SRO.

Specific responsibilities of the SRO, senior user and senior supplier


The SRO (as chair of the board) is responsible for:

  • appointing a project manager, agreeing a remit and delegated authority
  • signing off the project brief and project initiation document or equivalent
  • agreeing all major plans
  • authorising any major deviations from the agreed stage plans
  • signing off completion of each stage, including the deliverables, and giving approval to start the next stage
  • communicating information about the project to organisations and stakeholder groups
  • ensuring the required resources are available
  • resolving any conflicts escalated by the project team, client, supplier or delivery agent
  • agreeing the project tolerances for time, quality and cost
  • providing overall strategic guidance for the project
  • establishment of an effective risk management strategy
  • establishment of effective quality assurance arrangements
  • providing advice and direction to the project manager
  • approving the end-project report and lessons learned report
  • ensuring that a post-project review is planned and scheduled
  • resolving deviations from plans or escalating if necessary
  • mediating and resolving conflicts between project team, end users, suppliers and delivery agents or escalating if necessary

In construction this role is known as project sponsor and is the named individual responsible to the SRO for the client's interest in the project.

Senior user

The senior user is responsible for:

  • ensuring the desired outcome of the project is specified
  • ensuring progress remains consistent with user perspective
  • promoting and maintaining focus on the desired project outputs
  • ensuring the required user resources are made available
  • ensuring products are signed off once completed
  • prioritising and contributing user opinions to board decisions
  • resolving user requirements and priority conflicts
  • providing the user view on follow-on action recommendations
  • briefing user management on all aspects of the project

Senior supplier

The senior supplier is responsible for:

  • agreeing objectives for supplier activities
  • ensuring progress remains consistent with supplier perspective
  • promoting and maintaining focus on the desired project outputs
  • ensuring the supplier resources are made available
  • ensuring products are signed off once completed
  • contributing supplier opinions on board decisions
  • arbitrating and resolving supplier priority or resource conflicts
  • briefing non-technical management on supplier aspects of the project

Skills and attributes of project board members

Board members should be able to:

  • understand project plans and monitor progress against plan
  • set tolerance levels within which the project manager must operate
  • understand and act on those factors that affect the successful delivery of the project
  • have the authority to release necessary funding and resources from their respective user and supplier communities
  • broker and maintain relationships with stakeholders within and outside the project
  • provide delegated authority, as required, to ensure the project meets its objectives
  • be aware of the broader perspective and how it affects the project
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