Project Management

I. Scope

This policy applies to all George Mason University departments and activities. The university shall follow this uniform policy and the implementing procedures with respect to all University Projects as defined in section III A of this Policy and projects other than University Projects should follow this policy.

II. Policy Statement

The effective management of projects is essential to the fulfillment of the institution’s mission and the execution of its operating strategies. The goals of project management are two-fold:

    1. To assure that University Projects receive institutional review and approval prior to initiation. This review and approval will be with respect to University goals, project objectives, cost, risk and schedule.
    2. To assure that University Projects achieve their approved objectives. In order to ensure efficient and effective coordination with all affected university activities, University Projects will conform with the planning, control and direction of the attached implementation procedures.

III. Definitions

University Project: A non-routine activity that has a significant impact on the university, crosses one or more divisional lines, and is large in scope and/or cost. It comprises a set of smaller tasks to be performed, either sequentially or in parallel, with clear timelines, budget constraints, clients, and deliverables. To determine whether individual projects fall within the scope of this policy, management should complete the University Project Criteria Worksheet on the PMO website,

Executive Council: The President’s advisory group comprising of the President, the Provost, Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff and the Vice Presidents reporting directly to the President.

Project Sponsor: The Executive Council member having final authority for the execution of the University Project.

Project Manager: The person who develops the Project Proposal and completes the implemented procedures for managing University Projects and the individual responsible for and accountable for implementing the approved project.

Project Team: The group of individuals from units directly involved in the project implementation activities. Members of the team are normally representative of those units most directly affected by the project. Participation on a project team may be full or part-time.

Stakeholders & Customers: These are individuals and activities that are actively or passively involved in the project and may be positively or negatively affected when the project is completed. These organizational units and individuals may provide input for the project proposal and may participate on the Project Team.

IV. Responsibilities

  1. Executive Council reviews and approves/disapproves University Project proposals. Executive Council members will support the proper lines of authority exercised by Project Managers.
  2. Project Sponsor will take project proposals to the Executive Council. The Project Sponsor monitors procedures, identifies funding, and is responsible for the overall project delivery.
  3. Project Manager develops the Project Proposal and completes the implemented procedures for managing University Projects.
    • Leads the Project Team – Assigns tasks, monitors task completion, evaluates performance, and conducts meetings.
    • Using appropriate “Project Management” tools, implements the Project Plan, completes the project and provides an evaluation of process and results;
    • At designed intervals, reports to Project Sponsor on the project’s progress, including adherence to cost and timeline objectives and feedback from stakeholders and customers; and reports on proposed strategies to mitigate security threats or risks; and
    • Communicates with university officials, stakeholders and customers regarding project progress and issues requiring their involvement.
  4. Project Team
    • Completes assigned project tasks as directed by the Project Manager according to the Project Plan.
    • Ensures coordination with affected university units and provides feedback from customers and stakeholders on project implementation.

V. Procedures

A. Project Proposal Phase

1. Project Manager should complete the University Project Criteria Checklist and obtain necessary signatures.

2. If the task is defined as a University Project, the Project Manager develops the project proposal, using the University Project Approval Form (UP AF).

B. Project Approval Phase

1. The Project Manager submits the UP AF and University Project Criteria Checklist to the Project Sponsor for review and initial approval.

2. The Project Sponsor presents the proposal to the Executive Council for action.

C. Project Implementation

  1. The Project Leader, with approval of the Project Manager, finalizes membership of the Project Team.
  2. The Project Team develops a detailed project plan, defining the work, timing and sequencing of tasks for the entire project. The Project Team includes details on how security concerns will be addressed. The plan also includes a schedule for providing analysis and progress reports and project deliverables to the Project Sponsor and the appropriate Stakeholders and Customers.

D. Project Completion

  1. The Project Team presents deliverables to the owners upon completion of the project.
  2. The Project Manager completes a post-implementation evaluation to summarize total project costs, compare the initial project plan with the executed plan, and capture lessons learned. The report is delivered to the Project Sponsor and Vice President for Operations.
  3. The Project Manager consolidates all project records and submits them to the Project Management Office.

VI. Amendments and Additions
All amendments and additions to this Administrative-Policy are to be reviewed and approved by the Provost and Senior Vice President.

VII. Effective Date and Approval
The policies herein are effective February 8, 2005. This Administrative Policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually, to become effective at the beginning of the university’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.

VII. Signatures


Carol D. Kissal
Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance

Mark R. Ginsberg
Provost and Executive Vice President

Revised: May 18, 2021