Government of Canada project management

Project management is about improving the likelihood of success of time-limited initiatives by applying certain practices. These practices include establishing clear accountabilities, defining objectives and outcomes, establishing the scope, planning, monitoring, and reporting controls for project activities. Listed below are policies, guidance and resources that the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat has put in place to support sound project management.

Policies, directives and standards

Policy on the Management of Projects
Ensure that the appropriate systems, processes and controls for managing projects are in place, at a departmental, horizontal or government-wide level, and support the achievement of project and program outcomes while limiting the risk to stakeholders and taxpayers.
Standard for Organizational Project Management Capacity
Use the Government of Canada's mandatory process to assess an organization's capacity to manage projects.
Organizational Project Management Capacity Assessment Tool
Tool used to complete an Organizational Project Management Capacity Assessment.
Standard for Project Complexity and Risk
Use the Government of Canada’s mandatory process to assess a project’s complexity and risk.
Project Complexity and Risk Assessment Tool
This tool is used to complete a Project Complexity and Risk Assessment.

Publications and guidance

Business Case Guide
The business case provides the context for an investment decision, a description of viable options, analysis thereof, and a recommended decision. The recommendation describes the proposed investment and all of its characteristics, such as benefits, costs, risks, time frame, change requirements, impact on stakeholders, and so forth. Access the Business Case Template.
Executive Project Dashboard
Within the context of project management, an executive project dashboard is a business management tool used to visually represent the health and status of a project or portfolio of projects, using key project indicators. The dashboard is not intended to replace detailed project status reports, but rather to give an at-a-glance presentation of performance to the project sponsor.
Guide to Using the Organizational Project Management Capacity Assessment Tool
Provide guidance for completing the Organizational Project Management Capacity Assessment in accordance with the Standard for Organizational Project Management Capacity.
Guide to Using the Project Complexity and Risk Assessment Tool
Provide guidance for completing the Project Complexity and Risk Assessment in accordance with the Standard for Project Complexity and Risk.
Guide to a Project Brief
Provide guidance on the level and type of information required in a Treasury Board Submission’s project brief, as per Appendix B – Project Brief of the Policy on the Management of Projects.
Guide to Project Gating
A formalized project gating structure and process involves focused senior management scrutiny on a project at pre-determined points in the project life cycle, in order to make a decision on whether the project will pass through a given gate and what conditions, if any, will apply. Project gates also serve as ideal occasions for considering the insights from independent reviews.
Guide to Independent Reviews
An independent review is a critical assessment conducted by qualified, unbiased, arm's-length experts. The focus is not to assess the requirement for the project or system, but whether the project is well conceived and is likely to deliver the expected outcomes as per the time and resource allocation.
Outcome Management Guide and Tools
Outcome Management is a strategic approach to ensure that initiatives are designed around departmental and government outcomes and that the intended outcomes are achieved. As Project Management deals with the processes necessary to deliver a capability and/or product within a pre-established time frame and budget, Outcome Management focuses on the processes needed to realize the benefits of each initiative. View Outcome Management: Lessons Learned and Best Practices.
Project Charter Guide
The Project Charter is used to formally authorize the existence of a project and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to the project activities. As a comprehensive overview of the project, it allows all parties involved to reach agreement and document major aspects of the project such as the objectives, the scope, the deliverables and the resources required. Access the Project Charter Template.
Project Plan Template
The project plan provides detailed information on the project controls that will be used to manage a project. It includes information on:
  • Interim and final deliverables
  • Managerial and technical processes used
  • Resources required
  • Additional plans to support the project

Additional resources

Callipers is an online application, managed by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, that provides departments with access to the standardized assessment tools that support good project management and oversight on behalf of departments and the Secretariat.
Glossary of Terms for Investment Planning and Project Management
This glossary defines frequently used words and phrases in the context of investment planning and project management in the public service.

Implementation Strategy for the “Policy on Investment Planning: Assets and Acquired Services” and the “Policy on the Management of Projects”

Notice on “Policy on the Management of Projects”: November 12, 2013

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