The Role of the Senior Supplier in PRINCE2 Projects

As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, the project board must hold a range of competencies to conduct its responsibilities. It needs to operate with authority, and access resources required to complete the project. It must also represent the interests of the business, the user, and the supplier.

The project board is chaired by the customer. It must ensure that the project products provide value for money and meets the demands of the business.

The customer is supported on the project board by the senior user and the senior supplier. The senior user is responsible for specifying user needs and monitoring that the project will meet the needs of the users.

In this blog post we’ll discuss the role of the senior user on the project board, and its project responsibilities.

Who is the senior supplier?

The senior supplier represents the interests of all those involved in the design, development, facilitation, procurement, and implementation of the project’s products. It is possible that there could be more than one senior supplier representing all suppliers to the project.

What are the senior supplier’s main responsibilities?

The main responsibilities of the senior supplier are:

  • Accountability for the quality of the products delivered by the suppliers
  • The technical integrity of the project

The senior supplier role on the project board is more fluid than the roles of customer and senior user. The customer could call on specialist suppliers during project progress to be representative of changing suppliers. It might also appoint an independent person to conduct assurance on the supplier’s products.

The senior supplier’s individual responsibilities

In addition to ensuring that the project board’s collective responsibilities are met, the senior user also has the following responsibilities:

  • Assessing and confirming viability of approach
  • Ensuring the quality of and costs for design and development of products are realistic
  • Advising on the selection of the methods by which products are designed, developed and accepted
  • Ensuring that supply resources are made available
  • Making decisions to ensure project integrity is maintained when issues are escalated
  • Resolving conflicts, especially with regard to prioritising supplies and supplier requirements
  • Ensuring that products supplied are of an acceptable quality

The senior supplier may also be tasked with assurance responsibilities. If appropriate, it may delegate these assurance responsibilities.

Like the senior user, the senior supplier plays a key role in PRINCE2 projects. It can have a tremendous influence on the outcomes of the project.

In our next blog, we’ll discuss the role of the project manager in PRINCE2 projects. Meanwhile, if you need advice or assistance with your project, please don’t hesitate to contact us: