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Policy: Project management


This policy establishes a University wide approach to the approval, development and arrangement of projects including governance frameworks.


This policy supports the strategic direction outlined in ANU by 2020 through Effective Organisation, by providing clear policy guidance to underpin our activity.

The University is committed to a standard project management framework to assist in controlling scope, involving stakeholders, managing risk and maximising project benefits.


The Project management policy applies to projects in the University. A project is defined as a body of work with a distinct start and end date that will involve transformation of a business function and or delivery of one or more products according to an agreed Business Case. A project may involve organisational change through innovation, introduction of a new service, a pilot or proof of concept followed by a phased rollout.

The size of a project can be defined as being small, medium or large. The Project Tiering Guideline can be used to determine the size of a project.

Academic research grants and contract research and associated projects are excluded, as are activities where some external legislation requires a different approach.

This policy prescribes the minimum requirements for the governance and management of relevant projects. Responsible delegates can implement more extensive controls where appropriate after meeting the minimum requirements; such as, but not limited to, alternative methodologies or more detailed project monitoring or compliance practices.

Relevant projects must adhere to the related policies and procedures of the University including risk, management, delegations, procurement and records, managing change, financial management and archives management.

The project governance and management approach is based on good practice project principles and includes initiating, planning, execution, closure, post implementation review and monitoring and controlling activities.

Policy statement

Initiating a project

  1. Projects require a Business Case to be documented and approved by the responsible delegate with the appropriate financial delegations prior to the project being initiated
  2. Upon approval of the Business Case a Project Sponsor and Project Manager must be allocated to the Project. See roles and responsibilities detailed in the Project management glossary.
  3. All Information and Communications Technology (ICT) projects must be submitted to the University Information Communications Technology Committee (UICT) in order to gain funding approval.
  4. All construction projects (new, refurbishments or demolitions) involving an alteration to the fabric of a building, buildings, the natural environment or surrounding infrastructure must be submitted to Facilities and Services for progression (see Alterations in or about University buildings procedure). All construction projects (new or refurbishments) must be submitted to Facilities and Services for progression.
  5. An appropriate governance structure will need to be established for projects determined by the project size (see Project Tiering Guideline). The Project Governance Body will include business user(s) and service provider(s).
  6. Projects defined as large will require a Project Steering Committee.
  7. Project Governance bodies must conform to regular meeting schedules and maintain documentation compliant with, legislative and regulatory requirements, and/or University policy.
  8. Projects require a Project Brief to be documented following approval of the Business Case. The Project Brief should be submitted to the highest governance body established for the project for review and endorsement, prior to seeking approval from the Project Sponsor.

Project planning

  1. Consider the integration of a change management proposal where the project is likely to lead to one or more of the following: relocation of work area; elimination of positions; a change to hours of operation; introduction of significant technological change; or a significant change to work practices or impact on conditions, including change that would be likely to lead to changed responsibility levels (see ANU Enterprise Agreement section 73).
  2. Project management, communication, risk and quality plans are to be endorsed by the Project Governance Body.
  3. Regular reports, which measure progress against budget, milestones, benefits, risks or other metrics, will be prepared by the Project Manager and submitted to the Project Governance Body.
  4. All aspects of the project shall be documented and recorded in a single file that relates to the project, in accordance with the University’s records and archives management policy.


  1. All relevant staff shall be advised of the implementation of the project and where required, business user and acceptance testing conducted.
  2. Organisational changes occurring as part of the project should be conducted in accordance with the ANU Enterprise Agreement (Section 73 Managing Change) and the Organisational arrangements change procedure.
  3. Appropriate training and development will be provided as part of the implementation of project outcomes.
  4. Regular project status reports shall be provided to the relevant Project Governance Body with particular focus on reporting and managing risks, adherence to project schedule and approved budget.


  1. A Project Closure Report including lessons learnt from the Project should be documented and submitted to the Project Governance Body for endorsement and approval.
  2. Handover of all project outputs to operational areas responsible for ongoing support and maintenance is required to ensure continuity of management of project outcomes.

Post implementation review

  1. A Post Implementation Review is to be prepared and must include a measure of the objectives and an update of the Cost Benefit Analysis contained within the Business Case. See the Project Management Framework web pages for more detail regarding this process.

Roles and responsibilities

Project Sponsor: This role is responsible for ensuring the project will achieve its objectives and benefits.

Project Manager: Administration and management of the project, and compliance with this policy. Key project contact and responsible for management of the project team.

Project Governance Body: Oversight of the project ensuring that the project is being executed in line with the approved project documentation. Representation will include business user(s) and service provider(s). The Project Governance Body will be the Steering Committee, Project Board or Project Sponsor/Business Owner, depending on the size of the project.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Project management
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_007003
Version 19
Purpose This policy establishes a University wide approach to the approval, development and arrangement of projects including governance frameworks.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Governance & Structure
Effective Date 16 Dec 2019
Review Date 16 May 2020
Responsible Officer: Director, Service Improvement Group
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Service Improvement Group
Authority ANU Enterprise Agreement 2017 – 2021
Delegations 0
On 9 April 2021, the ANU Council assigned authority to approve academic policy to the Academic Board.