Strategic project delivery

Undertaking projects is vital to facilitating change and continuous improvement within our University and to achieve our strategic plan. Projects can be big or small, at team level or across the whole University, and involve staff at all levels.

About the University's project management service

No matter what type of project you are working on, you can find information and guidance to help you every step of the way.

Getting started

Project first steps

Find out how to assess a project idea, arrange a kick-off meeting, who to consult and completing the Project Mandate.

Project management framework

The Project Management Framework sets out the processes, tools and templates for proposing, approving, implementing and closing strategic projects.

Project assessment matrix

The project assessment matrix provides criteria for determining whether a project falls under the remit of the Project Co-ordination Group.

Stage 1: Initiation and scoping

Stage 1: Project initiation and scoping

Project initiation and scoping is the first stage of the project management lifecycle.

Benefits realisation management

Benefits realisation management helps get the most from project deliverables and maximise the benefits from the completed project.

Stakeholder analysis and communications plan

Stakeholder management comprises the identification, analysis, planning and implementation of actions designed to engage with stakeholders.

Privacy impact assessment

Guidance on how to assess the impact on privacy during a project process.

Business analysis and options appraisal

If your project contains any system elements you will need to contact the Business Analyst team.

Equality and diversity in a project

Find out what you what equality and diversity considerations you need to cover in your project planning.

Project health and safety

As part of your project planning you need to identify any potential health and safety risks.

Project prioritisation matrix

This matrix is used to assess project's contribution to the University’s strategic aims and how urgently it needs to be addressed.

Stage 2: Project planning

Stage 2: Project planning and defining design and approach

Once the project mandate has been approved, the Project Manager can commence detailed planning of the project.

Project planning workshop

A workshop provides a space for a group discussion or brainstorm to start to define how the project will be implemented and delivered.

Project procurement

Early engagement with the procurement team is vital to the success of your project.

Project resource management

It is essential that projects are planned appropriately (and realistically), and that they report on progress in an accurate and honest way.

Project planning

Planning is an essential component for implementing a successful project and should not be considered as a one-off activity.

Business Case guide

Guidance on completing a project business case.

Product and work breakdown structures

A hierarchical structure of things that the project will deliver and a visualisation of all the tasks or activities that make up your project.

Cost breakdown structure

The process of allocating costs to each activity from the lowest level of the work breakdown structure upwards.

Project meetings

Understanding the practicalities of managing and arranging project meetings is vital to your projects success.

Project risk and issue management

Project risk management is a structured process of identifying and assessing risks, and then planning and implementing actions to respond to the risk.

Project plan

The project management plan documents the outcomes of the planning process and provides the reference document for managing the project.

Dependency management

A dependency is where one project uses or relies on the functionality/milestone of another project or external source.

Responsibility matrix

The responsibility matrix or RACI, is used to assign who in the organisation is responsible for each task.

Stage 3: Implementation and delivery

Stage 3: Implementation readiness and delivery

This stage is focused on the preparation and delivery of the project objectives.

Project change control

The change control of projects ensures proposed changes are considered and introduced in a controlled and coordinated way.

Project glossary

Glossary of project terms with specific reference to their use in project management methodology.

Project reporting

Reporting is required to ensure the correct level of support and resources are in place for you to successfully deliver your project.

Stage 4: Business as usual and benefits realisation

Stage 4: Business as usual and benefits realisation

The purpose of this phase is to handover the project to the business users and to close the project.

Lessons learned log

A lessons learned log gathers all information that may be useful to other projects.

Project governance

Project Manager role and responsibilities

The Project Manager has accountability for the day-to-day running of the project, and defining and creating a project solution which will ensure realisation of the required benefits.

Project Sponsor role and responsibilities

The Project Sponsor is the project advocate and is responsible for ensuring the benefits are achieved and the project is viable at all times.

Project governance

Project governance is the management of the framework in which project decisions are made.

Project Coordination Group (PCG)

PCG is a sub-group of the University's Steering Group (USG) and is chaired by the Deputy Registrar (Infrastructure and Environments).

Capital Planning Group (CPG)

CPG's role is to support USG in the development and implementation of the University's Capital Investment Plan of capital projects.

Support and training

Project support and training

The first points of contact for any project manager, new or old, should be the Strategic Projects Office and the Project Management One Stop Shop guide.


Smartsheet is an online project management tool to support you with project plans, action plans, actions logs and risks/issues registers.


Continuous improvement at Essex

Continuous improvement activities include events, training, mentoring and supporting staff to deliver their own change improvements around the University.

Continuous improvement tools

A range of templates, tools and guides that can be used as resources for change and continuous improvement.