Each project is assessed for its complexity and the respective oversight and governance is set up accordingly.

  • Every project has unique characteristics and expectations set to them. The assessment builds a profile which allows the stakeholders to take those characteristics into account and ensure success of the project.
  • Projects can change over time. Every time a project is altered (e.g. scope modified), the assessment needs to be adjusted accordingly.

All key stakeholders should partake in the assessment.

  • Each stakeholder has their own views and interests in the project. The assessment brings up the various viewpoints and helps the Executive Sponsor to secure all essential aspects.
  • This also aligns all stakeholders together and enables easier and effective governance of the project.


The assessment gives you a good idea of how easy or complicated it might be to deliver the project or achieve the intended benefits. This helps you to plan for and work on aspects which might slow you down or reduce the value of your project.

The assessment is ideally done together with all key stakeholders. This brings in the voice and thinking of the future users (the desired impact to work), the ones developing the project deliverables (the feasibility), reflects on the University priorities, and ensures a shared and balanced view.

The results guide us in selecting the appropriate level of governance, oversight, and process. This "right-sizing" balances ease and efficiency with the breadth of oversight and rigour needed to enable best success.


The project assessment is an Excel workbook with two questionnaires. The answers are multiple choices.

  • The 'Early assessment' focuses mostly on the value the project brings to ACU.
  • The 'Full assessment' deepens the early assessment and also looks at the complexity of the delivery.

Doing both assessments takes often 75-90 minutes when done in a group. If the Executive Sponsor does it alone, it can be completed in 30 minutes. However, please note a trade-off between much better and shared results vs a short, momentary time saving.

In a group, one person should be the facilitator who asks the questions, prompts for clarifications, and records the agreed answers. A Business Analyst, or similar, is often a good candidate for this role.

Open the workbook from the link below. Start with the 'Early assessment' and then complete the 'Full assessment'. The answers range from 'A' (easy, low risk) to 'D' (potentially complex, may add high risk).

Download project assessment


The worksheet 'Results' shows three percentage scores which are based on the answers given. They are used to confirm the complexity tiering and guide the Executive Sponsor and Project Manager in setting up the right governance and process.

The scores can also be used for prioritisation purposes in project approvals and guidance together with the respective committees or executive.


Each project category has its own expectations for the governance and process used, and they are outlined below.

You should use the Project Assessment to determine the recommended tiering of your project. As a rule of thumb, you can also use the characteristics which are presented in this document.

Complexity of the delivery SIMPLE MEDIUM COMPLEX
Key characteristics Add value and enhance the current services.

Low risk, low cost, funded operationally.

Duration up to 6 months.
Change a service or system.

Moderate risk, requires additional funding.

Duration up to 1 year.
Transform a service or fulfil a strategic goal.

High risk high cost.

Duration 1+ years.
Governance Executive Sponsor Project Board (3 members) Steering Committee (max 7 members)
Process Proposal, Project assessment, Financial Model.

Simple schedule, Free-text status updates.
Proposal, Business Case, Project assessment, Financial Model.

Project Initiation Document (PID), Project Status Reports, Post-Implementation Review (PIR).
Everything from Medium, and also additional planning documents.
Benefits management Recommended Mandatory

Project templates are available on the Project Management Templates page.

Project document templates

Page last updated on 31/10/2023

Service Central

Visit Service Central to access Corporate Services.

Other service contacts

Learning and Teaching
Request Something

Make a request for services provided by Corporate Services.

Request something
Knowledge base

Find answers to frequently asked questions 24/7.

See Knowledge Base