Project Roles

The following are the roles that are generally utilized in state projects along with a brief description of their responsibilities:

Project Manager (PM):  Responsible for ensuring that the Project Team completes the project. The Project Manager develops the Project Plan with the team and manages the team’s performance of project tasks. It is also the responsibility of the Project Manager to secure acceptance and approval of deliverables from the Project Sponsor and Stakeholders. The Project Manager is responsible for communication, including status reporting, risk management, escalation of issues that cannot be resolved in the team, and, in general, making sure the project is delivered within budget, on schedule, and within scope. See also Project Manager Functions.

Oversight Project Manager (OPM):  A project manager assigned from EPMO who provides support and guidance to the Project Manager on all IT related projects with a lifecycle cost greater than $500,000.  The OPM will keep the office of the State CIO informed as to the overall health of the project. In order to ensure project success the OPM will ensure that the PM is following project management best practices and that required documentation is being completed.

Executive Sponsor:  The highest-ranking position involved, and ultimately accountable for securing spending authority and resources for the project. The Executive Sponsor acts as a vocal and visible champion, legitimizes the project’s goals and objectives, keeps abreast of major project activities, providing support and direction to the Project Sponsor.

Project Sponsor:  The manager with demonstrable interest in the outcome of the project, and responsible for obtaining resources for the project. The Project Sponsor acts as a vocal and visible champion, legitimizes the project’s goals and objectives, keeps abreast of major project activities, and is a decision-maker for the project. The Project Sponsor will provide support for the Project Manager; assisting with major issues, policy conflicts, and removing obstacles. He or She approves scope changes and signs off on major deliverable. The Project Sponsor may elect to delegate any of the above responsibilities to other personnel either on or outside the Project Team.

Business Lead: The primary point person from the business area that's sponsoring the initiative or impacted the most.  This is often an Operations Manager or Director from the business area.  Larger projects with an equal impact on several business areas (i.e. several departments within an agency) may have a Business Lead from each area.  Business Leads are a primary resource of information and often make many of the day to day business decisions along the way as well as assist in defining business goals and objectives and assist with acceptance and sign-off.

Technical Lead: The primary technical point person/contact for the project. It is his/her responsibility to understand the features and functionality available in the solution, as well as create and communicate a vision for how best to implement the solution to meet business requirements.  He/she will lead/facilitate technical work/task identification and planning, including resource assignment; proactively identify technical issues and facilitate their resolution; ensure solutions are in compliance and alignment with State enterprise technology strategies; and provide oversight for the project’s technical contractors. Working in partnership with the Project Manager and providing clear and timely communications on technical issues/topics is also critical to this role.  

Stakeholders:  The groups, units, individuals, or organizations, internal or external which are impacted by, or can impact the outcomes of the project. This includes the Project Team, Sponsors, Steering Committee, and Customers affected by the change due to the new product or service (i.e. modified workflows, logistics, quantity or quality or means of use or availability).  Key stakeholders are a subset of the stakeholder group who have a special interest in the outcome of the project.  Their support and participation in the project is generally critical for project success. 

Steering Committee:  generally includes management representatives from the key organizations involved in the project oversight and control, and any other key stakeholder groups that have special interest in the outcome of the project. The Steering committee acts individually and collectively as a vocal and visible project champion throughout their representative organizations; generally they approve project deliverables, help resolve issues and policy decisions, approve scope changes, and provide direction and guidance to the project. Depending on how the project is organized, the steering committee can be involved in providing resources, assist in securing funding, act as liaisons to executive groups and sponsors, and fill other roles as defined by the project.

Business Analyst (BA):  Responsible for ensuring that the Customers objectives, success criteria, and other related information necessary to present the requested project and associated recommendations for approval. The BA will also work throughout a project with the Project Manager and other Team members wherever analysis, estimating, and process documentation are needed (current and future state).

Subject Matter Experts (SME):  Internal and external resources who are identified and made available to the project for their subject matter expertise. Their responsibility is to accurately represent their business units’ needs to the Project Team, and to assist in identifying requirements and/or validating of deliverables. They attend project meetings as requested by the Project Manager, and review and approve deliverables as required.

Vendors or Contractors:  Contracted to provide additional products or services the project will require and are another member of the Project Team. For system implementations, the vendor generally has their own project manager, who based on contractual obligations may fulfill some of the obligations of the State project manager.

Project Team Members:  Comprised of all the individuals that have assigned roles and responsibilities for completing the project. Project Team Members are responsible for executing tasks and producing deliverables as outlined in the Project Plan and directed by the Project Manager, at whatever level of effort or participation has been defined for them. 

Change Agents: Staff assigned by the agencies/departments impacted by the implementation of the project. Change Agents are an extension of the core Project Team, ensuring details about the project reach the affected users, whiling ensuring user feedback is communicated back to the Project Team.