Capital Asset Management Framework: 7. Project Personnel & Management

7.1 Project Personnel

To deliver successful capital projects, agencies need the right personnel with the right mix of knowledge, skills and experience. Care should be taken in identifying, selecting and assigning appropriate human resources and developing appropriate management structures, at all phases of a project’s life cycle.

All personnel and project management choices should reflect the nature, risk and complexity of the undertaking. High-risk projects will require a higher degree of formal project management expertise or management structures, such as a project management committee, compared to routine or low-risk projects. Similarly, the more complex a project, the earlier in the process critical expertise should be assigned and project management structures established.

7.2 Sources of Expertise

The most common source of expertise are:

  • staff internal to the agency
  • resources shared with other public agencies, and/or
  • service contracts with private-sector professionals

In determining whom to secure for a given project (including when and how) agencies should consider:

  • the project’s complexity, scope and risks
  • the internal and external environment and risks that may affect how the project is planned and executed (e.g. process and approval requirements)
  • whether staff with sufficient or specialized expertise are available in-house
  • how frequently dedicated in-house resources may be required
  • the various specialized skills that may be required depending on the nature of the project (e.g. legal and contractual; financial and economic; planning, program and/or public policy; technical design, engineering and environmental; project and contract management; or industrial relations), and
  • issues around conflict of interest and other matters related to the agency’s ethics and integrity

7.3 Project Management Structures

7.3.1 Project Director and Team

Agencies should appoint a project director with clear, overall responsibility and accountability for the project’s success. This responsibility should include coordinating a team with the right skills and experience.

7.3.2 Committee Structures

Agencies should develop project management committees commensurate with the size and complexity of each project.  Common types of committees include:

  • steering committees which guide projects’ planning and implementation (often including evaluating and selecting successful private sector bidders)
  • oversight committees which assess and advise on the integrity of the processes used throughout a project and recommend improvements as needed, and
  • technical or working committees (e.g. financial, legal, design and engineering) which may serve in either an advisory or an evaluative capacity

Project management and steering committees should be representative of the sponsor agency or agencies and relevant governance structures.

7.3.3 Project Charter

A formal project charter may be useful in managing complex or risky projects. A charter is a written statement, usually developed by a project management or by the steering committee, designed to ensure that all parties understand the project and their respective roles and responsibilities. Project charters commonly address:

  • authorization for the project
  • project objectives, constraints and assumptions
  • formalized project responsibilities
  • reporting relationships, and
  • how management overhead will be financed

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