Subscribe to My Feed   Follow Me On Twitter   Join Me On LinkedIn   Friend Me On Facebook

Define Roles and Responsibilities Early on in the Project

It is important for project managers to define roles and responsibilities early on in the project to avoid confusion and resource issues later on. While there will always be individuals who roll on and off projects, some key project personnel should be committed to the project from the beginning and have the time to fulfill their responsibilities on the project.

These key roles include:

Team Leads (especially for larger projects). Team leads should be responsible for engaging their direct team reports on the project and reporting up to the project manager as to the status of their, and their team’s, assignments.

Team members assigned to major tasks in the project plan. These may or may not be team leads. These team members may work with others to accomplish sub-tasks/activities for each major task component, but are ultimately responsible for ensuring the work on their component of the project is completed.

Technical team members/team leads (especially for IT-focused projects). These individuals will be primarily responsible for technical project components and should be selected based on their expertise and knowledge of the technology. They will be needed for problem solving on the project.

Stakeholder support committee members. These individuals are not working on the day-to-day work of the project but provide a connection between the project team and the end users/stakeholders of the project. They help with communications and sharing information between the project team and the stakeholder pool. They are especially essential for larger initiatives.

Vendor points of contact. For larger initiatives with multiple vendors, it is wise to have team members who provide the primary point of contact with the vendor.

Project sponsor. The project sponsor has a key role on the team! While (s)he is likely not doing the day-to-day work of the project, her/his responsibility is to provide a point of contact to the executive team for the project manager and ensure that resources and funding are committed to the project. The project sponsor also clears barriers encountered so that the team can accomplish the objectives of the project.

Risk leads. For larger projects with more identified risks that will need to be managed, consider individuals fulfilling the role of “risk lead.” These individuals will be responsible for monitoring for that risk and managing it should it occur.

I am sure you can add to this list! What other key project team roles do you see on your own projects?