Once a governing body, such as a particular Local Board, has established a budget and created a project, the responsibility for making it happen will be delegated to a project sponsor. The project sponsor is responsible for helping the governing body to make decisions about the project and for managing the budget. A project team will be formed to help the project sponsor make informed decisions during the design and implementation processes.
The project team will typically represent a range of council interests and areas of expertise relevant to the project and will usually include: council officers, and members of the design team (usually the project sponsor, project manager and design lead). The officers involved in the project team vary, depending on the nature of the project, but can include the parks advisor, heritage advisor and sports turf advisor, amongst others.
The governing body or the local board may also appoint a representative to work alongside the project team. The project team needs to be set up in a way to involve the representative in a meaningful and useful way. Having a member of the governing body or local board on the project team allows a high level of ownership of the project by the project governors.
In some cases, it may be beneficial to form a steering group for the project, which can oversee critical milestones, sign off key decisions, and review escalated issues that cannot be resolved by the project team.
It is important to establish how input from the project team can be successfully captured and incorporated into the design and delivery process.
This can be achieved in a number of ways, by:
- ensuring roles and responsibilities are clearly defined early on
- agreeing terms and principles for ongoing participation, collaboration and action
- encouraging team members' participation
- helping to keep the project on track by managing the budget, monitoring time and quality
- signing off key stages of the project promptly
- gaining consensus through collaboration and sticking by group decisions
- holding essential meetings only, that are efficiently chaired, minuted and circulated
- avoiding the use of jargon
- being generous with praise
- criticising constructively, in private
- always keeping the big picture in view