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Governance, Roles & Responsibilities

University Sponsor

  • Owns the visions for the initiative and is accountable for initiative's success.
  • Accountable for the initiative’s oversight and decision making; chairs the overseeing body.
  • Ultimately accountable for delivery, ensuring initiative realises expected outcomes.
  • Provides direction and leadership throughout the initiative’s lifecycle.
  • Oversees the key strategic risks arising from the initiative.
  • Owns the business case , securing funds and key initiative resources.
  • Manages the interface with key senior stakeholders, keeping them engaged and informed.
  • Maintains the alignment of the initiative to the university’s strategic direction.
  • Is the face of the initiative – visibly champions it.
  • Is responsible for assurance of initiative.

Business Lead

  • Acts as delegated sponsor on day to day basis.
  • Provides day to day steer.
  • Responsible for benefits definition and realisation to the desired outcome.
  • Advises PM on risks and issues.
  • Responsible for the initiative ‘roadmap’ and prioritisation of deliverables in achieving initiative’s outcomes.
  • Oversees activity of Senior User(s) and Supplier(s).

Project Manager

  • Holds primary responsibility for planning the successful delivery of the outputs and capabilities.
  • Supports Academic / Service lead and sponsor in determining oversight structure and helps set it up. Ensures good oversight and assurance takes place throughout lifecycle.
  • Plans and designs the initiative.
  • Monitors and shares progress.
  • Ensures issues have resolution and risks have mitigations with owners.
  • Manages dependencies and 3rd party contributions.
  • Manages initiative budget with support of Finance Manager and Academic / Service Lead.
  • Manages resource allocation with support from HR Manager and Business Lead.
  • PM can be a Project or Programme Manager.

Senior Supplier(s)

Suppliers are defined as those people who represent the interests of internal or external providers of expertise or materials used in the design and the delivery of the initiative (e.g. IT, Finance, HR, Estates).

  • Responsible for quality of outputs, ensuring quality procedures are adhered to.
  • Advise on design, development and acceptance methods for the outputs.
  • Make effective use of supplier resources within budget, ensuring they are agreed and made available.
  • Oversee management of supplier staff assigned to initiative.
  • Communicate on supplier progress, issues and risks.
  • Own supplier roadmap which underpins business roadmap for delivery.

Senior User(s)

Users are defined as those people who consume or use the outputs / service and derive benefit from it (e.g. academics, students).

  • Ensure the needs of those who will use the outputs to deliver benefits are specified.
  • Ensure user liaison with the teams.
  • Ensure that the solution will meet those needs within the constraints of the Business Case.
  • Provide / support user resources.
  • Ensure that the affected business areas are prepared for transition to new ways of working.
  • Oversee timings of deliverables into operations.
  • Prioritise and contribute user opinion.
  • Oversee design and implementation of new processes.

Governance Templates

Governance Strategy & Management Plan 

This document is a combined governance strategy and management plan, including a suggested model, roles and responsibilities break down and terms of reference.

Terms of Reference can be extracted from within this template and circulated separately for specific groups.

The strategy section does not need editing as this is the overarching strategy, aims and objectives of University Governance for initiatives. The management plan sets out the individual initiative’s details to manage the governance and should be edited to reflect the specific initiative.

Governance should be established from the start of the initiative as part of the overall set up. The Governance strategy will remain consistent throughout the initiative and will align to the University standard.

This document should be reviewed and revised for each stage of the initiative. The content is a good starting point but needs to be carefully reviewed, considered and validated on an individual basis to ensure the governance set up works well for the initiative.

Click the DOWNLOAD button to access the Governance Strategy & Management Plan template.



Governance Model

The Governance Model template can be used to show the specific initiative Governance arrangement in organigram form, to communicate the relationships between levels of Governance.  This can also be inserted into the Governance Management plan.

Click the DOWNLOAD button to access the Governance Model Template.