Term Definition
Benefits Profile

The purpose of a benefits profile is to describe the benefit in more detail, define the uplift and articulate how management plan to measure and report on its progress.

A Benefits Profile guide is available to assist with completion of the Benefits Profile template.

Business Case A well-structured document outlining the purpose, scope and justification/s for undertaking a project or program (including its strategic significance and alignment, and the quality and magnitude of potential benefits), and the time, cost, resources, effort, approach and controls that will be required and adopted to deliver the planned outputs and outcomes, manage associated changes and realise the planned benefits.  
Executive Sponsor

The Executive Sponsor is a USMG member who champions the project/program and is the primary link between the project and the VCC.

The VCC determines which projects and programs will have Executive Sponsors and nominates the Executive Sponsor.

Portfolio of Projects and Programs A Portfolio of Projects and Programs comprises all project proposals, projects and programs at a point in time. The portfolio of projects and programs could be defined at UQ level (UQ-wide portfolio), at divisional level or at functional level.   
Program Program comprises two or more projects and associated work that have common or overlapping objectives, outputs, outcomes and benefits. A program facilitates better management of projects interdependencies, changes, issues, risks, resources and benefits. For clarity, this definition excludes academic programs (courses).
Program/Project Manager

Project Managers propose and determine, in conjunction with the Project Owner and the Project Sponsor (or Steering Committee, if established), the best approach to implement the business case in collaboration with key stakeholders and within approved tolerances to realise the planned benefits.

Accountable to the Project Sponsor (or Steering Committee, if established) via the Project Owner, they have overall responsibility for the successful planning and delivery of the project as per approved success criteria and risk thresholds.

Project Managers are responsible for:

  1. Developing and, following approval, implementing the project management plan and ensuring project performance is effective and efficient.
  2. Managing the project on a day-to-day basis including managing and coordinating the work of the project team.
  3. Providing leadership, direction and guidance to the project team and ensuring they are appropriately trained.
  4. Communicating, developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders.
  5. Effecting the sourcing of appropriate resources in accordance with relevant policies and governance requirements.
  6. Ensuring project management documentation is prepared, authorised and maintained.
  7. Ensuring the project or program is executed as per approved plan and governance requirements and timely assurances provided to the project sponsor, project owner and the steering committee.
  8. Actively managing and where required, escalating risks and issues to project sponsor, project owner, and/or steering committee.
  9. Maintaining all required project registers.
  10. Keeping the Project Sponsor and Steering Committee informed of project/program progress.

Program managers have similar responsibilities for their assigned programs.


Project is a temporary venture comprising a set of approved, coordinated and controlled activities designed and undertaken to deliver planned outputs, outcomes and benefits. For a project to be recognised, it must:  

  1. Have precise, documented and approved objectives, and planned benefits demonstrably linked to UQ objectives, focus areas and priorities;
  2. Be designed to deliver an approved product, service, output or outcome to a set quality and within specified cost and resource constraints;
  3. Have definite start and finish dates; and
  4. Not be an ongoing, repetitive business as usual activity.
Project Owner

The Project Owner owns the business case and is accountable for the planning, execution and delivery of the project and planned benefits, and demonstrating proper and authorised use of project funds and resources. Project/program ownership is determined by the primary objective/s of the project/program.

The Project Owner is responsible for:

  1. Articulating, documenting and demonstrating that their proposal and business case are attractive, affordable, achievable and adaptable.
  2. Ensuring their Business Case has been subjected to due diligence and is approved.
  3. Developing and, following approval, ensuring, in conjunction with the Project Manager, the implementation of the Project Management Plan to deliver the planned outputs and benefits.
  4. Ensuring the project is executed as per approved plans and in a controlled manner.
  5. Ensuring the project has effective and efficient controls and that all business case and project risks are effectively managed.
  6. Ensuring the project complies with applicable laws and regulations.
  7. Ensuring any enterprise-level risks and issues including changes associated with the project or program are managed or escalated to the right level in the organisation.
  8. Recommending appointment of the Project Manager to the Project Sponsor.
  9. In conjunction with the Project Manager, leading the change management process and providing direction and support to enable adoption and embedding project outputs/deliverables into business-as-usual operations.
  10. Ensuring that the planned benefits are realised.
  11. Ensuring compliance with UQ policies and associated procedures, tools and templates.
Project Sponsor

The Project Sponsor is accountable for overseeing that the program or project is properly planned, resourced and implemented to deliver planned benefits. The Project Sponsor is an active leadership role within the program/project and will be held by a senior leader (an appropriate direct report to a USMG member) within the University.

The Project Sponsor is responsible for:

  1. Ensuring effective and efficient governance over the project, including, where appropriate, chairing the project steering committee and ensuring the Committee composition (size of the committee and collective capability) is appropriate.
  2. Reviewing, endorsing and approving (subject to the Delegations Framework) the project proposal, Business Case and Project Management Plan (unless the approval of the Project Management Plan and any variations to it has been assigned to the steering committee).
  3. Ensuring the project has appropriate funds, resources and capabilities to deliver the planned output, outcomes and benefits.
  4. Approving, in conjunction with the Project Owner and Steering Committee (if established) the appointment of a project manager.
  5. Being the primary interface with the VCC and other management committees, as appropriate, and keeping executive stakeholders informed of a project/program performance.
  6. Monitoring and seeking assurance from the Project Owner and the Project Manager that the project complies with applicable laws and regulations and UQ policies, and that project risks, including any organisational level risks and issues associated with the project or program are assessed and managed effectively within agreed tolerances, or escalated to higher authority for resolution and/or guidance.

Proposal outlines a concept that has the potential to add net value to UQ if it is implemented. The concept may provide, amongst other benefits, a solution to an existing problem, enhanced capabilities or capacity, and/or the strategy to realise an opportunity.

    Steering Committee

    Program or project steering committees comprise a diverse (preferably cross-functional) group of individuals with appropriate experience, skills, capabilities, attributes and attitude to provide effective leadership, oversight and direction to the program or project.

    Steering Committees are mandatory for projects and programs that are over $10M. The VCC or VC may direct other projects and programs below $10M to have properly constituted Steering Committees. The size and composition of the Steering Committee will depend on the strategic significance of the project/program, its impact and risk profile.

    All steering committees will have a duly approved Terms of Reference. Steering Committees are responsible for:

    1. Providing oversight and direction to the project. That is, assisting the Project Sponsor to govern the project and ensuring the overall direction of the project remains on track (as per approved Business Case and Project Management Plan) to deliver the planned outcomes and benefits.
    2. Reviewing key proposals and decisions and endorsing recommendations for approval by the appropriate delegate (financial and contract delegations to be exercised as per UQ's Delegations Framework).
    3. Approving the performance and risk thresholds for the program or project and defining the acceptable risk profile.
    4. Monitoring the performance of the project or program including management of resources, risks, issues and compliance obligations.
    5. Advising and providing support to the Project Owner, Project Manager and the project team.
    6. Under direction from the Project Sponsor, providing guidance to resolve issues and risks that cannot be resolved at project level or that have major implications for the project/program.
    7. Help resolve any disputes involving the Project Manager and the project stakeholders.
    Value Refers to the financial and non-financial benefits that contribute positively to UQ’s strategic objectives, focus areas and priorities. In the context of programs and projects, benefits are the measurable enhancements or advantages to an organisation, given its vision, mission, values, objectives and strategies. Benefits generally result from the delivery of outputs, outcomes and consequential changes from projects and programs.