Project Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities

In a one person project it'll be pretty obvious who is doing what. However, if you form a project team of 100 people drawn from IT, Marketing, Finance and Logistics, project roles and responsibilities will not be self evident and if they are not properly defined and assigned there could well be chaos and confusion.

Project Roles and Responsibilities - a full description of project roles and responsibilities including the role of the project manager can be found here: Project Manager Role.

Project Roles

I once met a senior business manager who had been given the role of Project Sponsor. I asked him what his responsibilities were as Project Sponsor. In return I got a rather blank look. Someone had asked him if he would like to be the Project Sponsor, he had said yes, and that was it. He had no idea what he should be doing or what he was accountable for as Project Sponsor.

In another instance a company director was listed as Project Sponsor for about 30 projects. In fact he was unaware of the existence of most of them, but the rule was that you had to have someone on the company's board of directors as your sponsor, so you chose the most appropriate director and put his name in your Project Definition Document (see Project Definition).

One organisation had a rather nice Project Definition Document (PDD) template. It came with section headings and a description of what should go in each section and even some sample paragraphs. The Roles and Responsibilities section listed roles - project sponsor, project manager, steering committee, etc. - and beside each there was a box in which to write the name or names. So people did. They wrote in what they thought were the most appropriate names and that was it. That was project roles taken care of. And the nominated people? Well, they'd find out they had the role when they got a copy of the PDD. And, of course, every project had a steering committee whether it needed one or not. Why? Well, the box was there to be filled in so it always was filled in.

Project Roles and Responsibilities

Project Roles and Responsibilities is one of the topics covered in this Free Online Project Management Book. Many roles are described including:

Defining and Assigning Project Roles and Responsibilities

The project management book describes the project roles themselves and also discusses how to go about defining and assigning these roles. The book covers:

Flexibility is key when defining project roles. The roles must be tailored to the needs of the project and the capabilities of the role players. Standard roles, as defined in a set of project management standards somewhere, must not simply be laid on every project in a uniform, bureaucratic manner. Defining and assigning roles is a major task for the project manager. This Free Project Management Book describes how to go about this fundamental task.

Project Management Articles:

Why Do Public Sector IT Projects Fail?

Risk Management

Quality Management in Software Development Projects

The Tale of Three Project Managers

Towards a Project-Centric World

Project Management Proverbs, Saying, Laws and Jokes

So You Want To Be A Project Manager?

I.T. Project Management Books

Project Management in the Public Sector

Can Construction Industry Project Managers Manage Software Development Projects?

Project Bibrilator

Project Roles and Responsibilities

Copyright M Harding Roberts

Clarity in project management roles and the role of the project manager are critical for success in larger projects.
Think not of what your project can do for you, but what you can do for your project.

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