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What PRINCE2™ Recommends for Project Boards – Ownership of the Project and Accountability of the Project Board (#8 in the series Looking for Your Sponsor? The PRINCE2™ Project Board Approach to Senior Management Engagement)
By Jay Siegelaub – MBA, PMP, PRINCE2

Exhibit 1 represents the Project Board in a PRINCE2™ project.

The Project Board

A PRINCE2™ Project Board owns the project, and is accountable for its results. Collectively, their responsibility is to oversee the project by providing resources, direction and insight, and making decisions about the ongoing viability of the project. Their accountability is to a higher level of management (represented in Exhibit 1 by “Corporate or Program Management”), determined by the nature of the project and its possible relationship with other projects (e.g., as part of a Program). That accountability can be either self-accepted (“I am willing to be held accountable for project results”) or by assignment (“you are being assigned to the project board of this project, and will be held accountable for its results”). Accountability seems difficult to apply in the context of PRINCE2™ Project Boards – but it is no different from any other business accountability. It appears to be different because someone else (the project manager) is doing the work. However it is appropriate business practice to assign accountability and ownership to those who have requested a project for which organizational resources are being allocated.

Jay Siegelaub has over 30 years of professional experience delivering and supporting projects in information technology, insurance systems, banking, and nonprofit strategic planning, as well as in the pharmaceutical, financial service, consulting, and consumer products industries. As a recognized educator he has trained thousands of project managers over the past 23 years, including 13 years as the Project Management tutorial instructor for the Drug Information Association.

Jay’s recent responsibilities included leading the North American Change Management and Training practices for a UK-based management consulting firm, training corporate consulting professionals in project and program management, and supporting clients in managing the “people” issues of their business change initiatives. He has authored articles on training, project management and information technology for various publications, and often presents at conferences, including the PMI North American Congress (1999, and 2004 – 2007), ProjectWorld and ProjectSummit.

In addition to his PMP® certification, Jay has his MBA in Organization Management from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and is an accredited PRINCE2™ Practitioner, Instructor and Examiner. He has taught and consulted in PRINCE2™ in North America for 10 years (the first US-accredited PRINCE2™ instructor), and worked for the company (and with the authors) that wrote the PRINCE2™ Manual for the UK government.

He has provided Change Management and Project Management consulting and training (including PRINCE2) to companies such as Sun Microsystems, NATO, the United Nations Development Programme, Bechtel, IBM, Philip Morris, Credit Suisse, JPMorganChase and Diageo.

Jay also consults in Organizational and Professional Development.

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