Project steering committee

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The project steering committee is a body supporting the management of the project in its activity during preparation and implementation. Mainly, project steering committee make strategic decisions regarding the future investments projects and methods of implementation.

It makes decisions about which of the current projects should be continued, which should be abandoned and what new projects to start in near future. Is responsible for long term management of the project and monitoring of progress and results.

Performs regular checks of the project at the strategic level, verify compliance of the project with the adopted objectives and established framework of: scope, cost and schedule. In case of any changes in the project, they must first be submitted to the project steering committee and then approved. Only then they can be taken into account in the project.

The project steering committee roles and responsibilities, involve evaluating and decision making of proposed activities, basing on the principle of consensus. It is also responsible for co-ordination and coherence with other ongoing projects. The project steering committee appoint members of working groups and selects experts, with which the company will work on the project. Project Manager is responsible before project steering committee for efficient implementation of all planned tasks.

Project manager is required to submit to the committee regularly reports on project status including the status of the work in relation to the schedule, the degree of implementation of the budget, as well as all other information affecting the proper assessment of the project status.

The steering committee may designate to project manager a certain margin of financial discretion, so that spending small amount of money for the common project tasks, does not require every time, consent of the Steering Committee. Size of this margin should be dependent on the experience of the person performing the functions of the project manager and the confidence that he will be endowed by the steering committee.

In the organizational structure of a company, project steering committee plays an important role, it can be placed on the same level as company management board. Usually steering committee includes members of the Board of the company. It consists of members of the Board usually most interested in success of the project.

Frequent reason for the failure of projects is connected with entrusting managing it, to the person that may not have the relevant skills and knowledge in the field of particular project. Therefore, the composition of the Committee should include the key members of the team that brought the final project plan. To function effectively, committee shall have full decisive power, ie.: one that will allow to quickly and efficiently make the most important decisions concerning the project, as well as other supporting activities of the company (resource allocation, etc).

Usually (depending on the adopted rules) committee meets in the presence of at least half of the basic composition and the Chairman of the Committee. In the event that a member of the steering committee, will lose the opportunity to participate in the work of the committee, the competent authority delegates its other representative. People directly involved in the preparation of the project, that are members of the committee, may or may not have a voice in decision making.

Meetings of the committee shall be convened by its Chairman or authorized to his Deputy. Meetings take place in a cyclical manner, according to the requirements of the project.

See also:


  • Brown, C. J. (1999). Towards a strategy for project management implementation. South African Journal of Business Management, 30(2).
  • Cash, C. H., & Fox II, R. (1992). Elements of successful project management. Journal of Systems Management, 43(9), 10.
  • Cooke‐Davies, T. J., Crawford, L. H., & Lechler, T. G. (2009). Project management systems: Moving project management from an operational to a strategic discipline. Project Management Journal, 40(1), 110-123.
  • Kerzner, H. R. (2013). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.