A project is a temporary process or endeavour which has a clearly defined start and end, a set of activities and tasks, a budget and a specified business case. It is undertaken to deliver a unique and well-defined product, service, goal or objective or to deliver well defined benefits. ICT projects undertaken within the Queensland Government are managed in accordance with best practice methodologies.
A senior project officer assists the project manager in the management, coordination and contribution to a range of small projects. This role assists with the development and implementation of project plans, policies and solutions. A project support officer also contributes to issue resolution and escalation, research and analysis activities and planning and monitoring activities.
The role assists the project manager in monitoring and tracking the project deliverables and outcomes including preparation of preliminary reports in relation to budget, schedule and resources. This role would ensure compliance to the Queensland Government Project Management Methodology, ITIL change management process, security policies, and quality assurance policies and procedures.
A senior project officer exhibits a combination of capabilities from the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and the Queensland Public Service Leadership competencies for Queensland Framework.
Within the SFIA profile, the project support officer has level 3 and 4 capabilities, i.e. applies and enables the skills outlined below.
Refer to the framework for descriptions of the seven levels of responsibility and accountability.
SFIA skill code
SFIA skill level of responsibility
SFIA skills level descriptor
Methods and tools
Provides advice and guidance to support adoption of methods and tools and adherence to policies and standards. Tailors processes in line with agreed standards and evaluation of methods and tools. Reviews and improves usage and application of methods and tools.
Portfolio programme and project support
Takes responsibility for the provision of support services to projects. Uses and recommends project control solutions for planning, scheduling and tracking projects. Sets up and provides detailed guidance on project management software, procedures, processes, tools and techniques. Supports programme
or project control boards, project assurance teams and quality review meetings. Provides basic guidance on individual project proposals. May be involved in aspects of supporting a programme by providing a cross programme view on risk, change, quality, finance or configuration management.
Takes full responsibility for the definition, approach, facilitation and satisfactory completion of medium-scale projects (typically with direct business impact and firm deadlines). Identifies, assesses and manages risks to the success of the project. Ensures that realistic project plans are maintained
and ensures regular and accurate communication to stakeholders. Adopts appropriate project management methods and tools whether predictive (plan-driven) approaches or adaptive (iterative/agile) approaches. Ensures Quality reviews occur on schedule and according to procedure. Manages the change control
procedure, and ensures that project deliverables are completed within agreed cost, timescale and resource budgets, and are signed off. Provides effective leadership to the project team, and takes appropriate action where team performance deviates from agreed tolerances.
Identifies the communications and relationship needs of stakeholder groups. Translates communications/stakeholder engagement strategies into specific activities and deliverables. Facilitates open communication and discussion between stakeholders, acting as a single point of contact by developing, maintaining
and working to stakeholder engagement strategies and plans. Provides informed feedback to assess and promote understanding. Facilitates business decision-making processes. Captures and disseminates technical and business information.
Queensland Government roles align with the Leadership competencies for Queensland.
Leadership competencies for Queensland describes what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like in the sector. In simple, action-oriented language, it provides a common understanding of the foundations for success across all roles. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 11 leadership competencies required against five leadership streams.
Leadership streams are not connected to a level or classification, but rather reflect the balance between leadership and technical skills required of an individual. Individuals can consider the ‘value proposition’ of roles rather than the traditional lens of hierarchical structures or classification levels.
The five leadership streams are:
- Individual contributor (Leads self and does not supervise others)
- Team leader (leads a team and typically reports to a program leader)
- Program leader (leads team leaders and/or multiple areas of work)
- Executive (leads program leaders or other executives)
- Chief executive (leads the organisation).
When developing a role description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.
Whilst a formal tertiary qualification is considered highly advantageous to work as a senior project officer, it is not essential. Experience working within project teams is essential and experience within the area of ICT is highly regarded. Very strong communication and negotiation skills are essential, as is a thorough understanding of the project objectives and goals.
Undergraduate courses in Information Technology and post graduate courses in Project Management are well regarded. Experience in PRINCE2® Project Management Methodology is highly regarded.
Learning and development
There are a number of ways to develop and improve project management skills. Formal training and on-the-job experience are important ways to improve and develop the required skills.
Skills in project management can be gained by attending courses in project management.
 The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) provides a common language that integrates with an organisation’s way of working, to improve capability and resource planning, resource deployment and performance management. This role profile quotes extensively from the SFIA, under licence from the SFIA Foundation. Information about the SFIA can be found at http://www.sfia-online.org/en.
 The Leadership competencies for Queensland framework plays a key role in translating the government’s ‘talent management requirements’ into clear behavioural terms. The competencies can be utilised in talent management strategies, including workforce planning, talent acquisition, leadership development, capability development, performance management, career management and succession planning. The competences can be accessed here Leadership competencies for Queensland.