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On a project of this magnitude, strong governance is essential to steer the project, monitor progress against plans, resolve conflicts without delay, decide on work priorities, help manage changes and communicate progress to all stakeholders. Effective management and oversight of the project is especially important given a) the high-visibility of Umoja to both Member States and to staff members and b) that it will provide the fundamental infrastructure of the Organization's current and future business processes.

The Umoja Project Director reports solely and directly to the Under-Secretary-General for Management. The Steering Committee, under the chairmanship of the Under-Secretary-General for Management, is fully committed to putting Umoja back on the path to success. Within their areas of responsibility, the members are prepared to take extraordinary measures to support the project. In the build and implementation phase, change control becomes vital, and the governance structure is being put in place to monitor and manage potential impacts to scope, budget, timeline or deliverables. The internal Umoja team structure is also being adjusted to carry out the revised project scope and timeline more effectively.

The governance structure below illustrates the composition, structure and reporting lines of the Project.

The Management Committee receives quarterly updates from Umoja, with a particular focus on monitoring the interdependencies of the Umoja and IPSAS implementation strategies. Involvement of high-level management is a key element of Umoja's risk management strategy and is a critical success factor; therefore, the Management Committee's active engagement in Umoja is welcomed.

The Umoja Steering Committee is chaired by the Under-Secretary-General for Management. The composition of the Steering Committee is depicted in the diagram above.

In April 2012, the Steering Committee took the decision to designate the Under-Secretary-General for Management as Project Owner, the senior responsible owner for the project. The role and key responsibilities of the Project Owner are to: accept ultimate accountability for the project, with the commensurate authority to carry out his/her responsibilities; keep the project aligned with corporate and business strategy and needs; align and drive the necessary business process re-engineering actions defined in the "to be" model, as required by the implementation of Umoja; become an escalation point for issues brought to his/her attention by the Project Director; assist the Project Director to address critical management dependencies and remove inhibitors; manage the process to establish, commit and realize the benefits of the project; and ensure adherence of the project to the decisions and guidelines provided by the Umoja Steering Committee. The present Under-Secretary-General for Management assumed this role when he took up his duties in mid-May 2012. He also chairs the Steering Committee.

Along with naming the Steering Committee Chair the Project Owner, the Committee appointed 5 Process Owners in order to better define accountabilities and accelerate decision-making. Process Owners are selected members of the Steering Committee invested with the authority to enforce the endorsement of the "to be" processes required to implement Umoja. They are the principal change agents for their end-to-end, cross-functional processes, regardless of which UN Secretariat entity or functional area performs each transaction. They become the ultimate authority across the different United Nations Secretariat entities for the processes they lead. The Process Owners ensure acceptance of all necessary changes by the business and manage the readiness of the different functional areas to adopt those changes. In conjunction with the Umoja Project Director, they resolve key business issues (including those relating to data cleansing and migration) and ensure that adequate resources are dedicated to achieving the process change goals. Finally, they are accountable for the statement of benefits associated with their processes, obtain concurrence from the management of every entity and functional area expected to realize those benefits and for ensuring the efficiency gains and cost reductions, as reflected through key process indicators.