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roles of project management

Roles of Project Management
Do you think everyone who holds a role in your project understands what’s involved in their role?  For example, if you asked your project sponsor  what is expected of them, would they know?
The structure of roles and responsibilities to support a project is temporarily put into place to allow the project to be managed through to a successful outcome.  This temporary management and governance structure provides lines for communications and reporting, along with decision-making meetings.
So what are the project management team roles and responsibilities?
Project Sponsor
The Project Sponsor is usually a senior manager within the organization, who has an interest in the project and is often considered the person who has the biggest gain to achieve from the project.  The role of the project sponsor is to champion support for the project and provide direction for the project itself, while the project manager manages it. It is important that the project sponsor understands their role and doesn’t simply add their name to the project business case!
Project Manager
A project is born out of a business case that outlines the project benefits. The project manager is responsible for producing the final outcome to achieve those benefits.  The Project Board allocates authority to the project manager to run the project on a daily basis and sets tolerances, outside of which, the project manager must seek guidance.
Project Board
The Project Board is a regular meeting where senior people, representing the supplier and customer, make decisions and commitments to the project.  The Project Board comprises 3 roles:
  • Project Executive: represents the customer’s view for the project and is responsible for the project.
  • Senior User: represents those who will use the project’s final output, whether it is a product or a service. The Senior User is responsible for specifying the project requirements.
  • Senior Supplier: represents the service or product developer interests of the project.
It is worth noting that the Project Manager is not a member of the Project Board.
Project Management Office (PMO)
A project management office is a function within an organization that looks after the project management standardized processes, with the aim of ensuring projects are delivered in a standard way, thereby helping maintain high levels of quality and benefits from repeatable, proven processes.
Project Team Member
Each team member in the project will have a defined role.  Team members will be specifically allocated to tasks and will be expected to complete those tasks.  The project team members will report to the project manager. Often this is a matrix-style reporting structure, where team members may be seconded in from other teams.
Project Assurance
Project assurance is about giving confidence that the project can deliver on time, within budget to acceptable quality, and helps manage risk and improves delivery confidence. Project assurance is about the ongoing audit of the project as is progresses. The role for project assurance may be allocated to members of the project board. It is worth noting that the project manager cannot assume the responsibility for project assurance as this leads to a conflict of interest.

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