When executing a project, there are multiple roles to be considered to ensure a smooth delivery. Key players are: 

Business Champion

The Business Champion, sometimes called the Project Sponsor, provides guidance, direction, oversight, and political support to the project team. Business Champions must be an Assistant Vice President (AVP) or higher. This individual has the authority to: 

  • define project goals and advocate priority at the enterprise level

  • secure resources and funding

  • resolve conflicts and steer the strategic direction

  • Provide formal sign-off: project documentation, milestones, and acceptance of a project’s final deliverable(s)

Business Lead

The Business Lead is the day-to-day liaison with IT. This individual:

  • Works with the IT Technical Lead and other business stakeholders to develop and approve the scope of work, objectives, project timeline with milestones and deliverables. 

  • Coordinates and communicates with stakeholders

  • Coordinates and/or performs user testing and feedback.

  • Identifies and coordinates communications to the university community.

IT Champion

The IT Champion is a member of the IT team providing guidance, direction, and support to enable successful technical outcomes. IT Champions must be at the AVP level or higher.

  • Partner with Business Champion to create the business case

  • Recruit and coordinate allocation of IT resources

  • resolve conflicts and steer the strategic direction

  • Sign-off on key milestones

IT Technical Lead

  • Provide advice and support during the development of project scope and objectives. 

  • Work with the team to research technical options and develop technical needs. 

  • Works alongside the team on designing, constructing and implementing the solution.

Project Manager

Ultimately, the PM is responsible for the success of the project.  To achieve this, the PM will:

  • Develop, execute and monitor project plan and schedule

  • Manage project constraints (time, scope, budget plus any others) and dependencies, ensuring requirements and expectations are met without unforeseen, unapproved impacts

  • Manage and forecast project costs and expenditures

  • Plan for and execute appropriate cutover and transition processes for the final deliverable(s)

SME (Subject Matter Expert)

The subject matter expert (SME) provides the knowledge and expertise in a specific subject, business area, or technical area for a project/program. 

  • Define procedures or standards, since he/she has the knowledge of what the right or best way to execute a task would be

  • Understand requisite knowledge that underlies effective decision-making and is able to describe where anomalies or flaws may occur

  • Act as the “go to” person within a department or function for questions and problems  within his/her area of expertise

  • Actively test at key milestones as outlined by the project manager


Stakeholders are the groups, units, individuals, or organizations which are impacted by, or can impact, the outcomes of the project/program.