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Defining Project-Specific Roles

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

An important step in establishing the project teams is to identify the individuals who are to hold project-specific roles. These include the executive sponsor, the project architect, and the project manager. These individuals are responsible for running the Active Directory deployment project.

After you appoint the project architect and project manager, these individuals establish channels of communication throughout the organization, build project schedules, and identify the individuals who will be members of the project teams, beginning with the various owners.

Executive sponsor

Deploying an infrastructure such as Active Directory can have a wide-ranging impact on an organization. For this reason, it is important to have an executive sponsor who understands the business value of the deployment, supports the project at the executive level, and can help resolve conflicts across the organization.

Project architect

Each Active Directory deployment project requires a project architect to manage the Active Directory design and deployment decision-making process. The architect provides technical expertise to assist with the process of designing and deploying Active Directory.


  • If no existing personnel in your organization have directory design experience, you might want to hire an outside consultant who is an expert in Active Directory design and deployment.

The responsibilities of the Active Directory project architect include:

  • Owning the Active Directory design.

  • Understanding and recording the rationale for key design decisions.

  • Ensuring that the design meets the business needs of the organization.

  • Establishing consensus between design, deployment, and operations teams.

  • Understanding the needs of Active Directory–integrated applications, such as Exchange 2000, and the impact they have on the Active Directory design.

The final Active Directory design must reflect a combination of business goals and technical decisions. Therefore, the project architect must review design decisions to ensure that they are in alignment with business goals.

Project manager

The project manager facilitates cooperation across business units and between technology management groups. Ideally, the Active Directory deployment project manager is someone from within the organization who is familiar with the operational policies of the IT group and the design requirements for the groups that are preparing to deploy Active Directory. The project manager oversees the entire deployment project, beginning with design and continuing through implementation, and makes sure that the project stays on schedule and within budget. The responsibilities of the project manager include:

  • Providing basic project planning, such as scheduling and budgeting.

  • Driving progress on the Active Directory design and deployment project.

  • Ensuring that the appropriate individuals are involved in each part of the design process.

  • Serving as single point of contact for the Active Directory deployment project.

  • Establishing communication between design, deployment, and operations teams.

  • Establishing and maintaining communication with the executive sponsor throughout the deployment project.

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