roles in project management

Project Team Member
Roles and Responsibilities
[Free Template]

The old expression “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” rings particularly true when building a skilled project management team. Without making sure you’ve covered key project members’ roles and responsibilities, it’s like navigating a boat without a crew.

Besides being able to run a project, an experienced and well-balanced team can think creatively, take calculated risks, and bring their shared strengths together to make projects more manageable, more efficient, and, ultimately, successful for everyone involved.

What is a project team?

A project team is a group of individuals assembled with a shared purpose: to collaboratively work toward the successful planning, execution, and completion of a specific project. Each member brings their unique skills, expertise, and experience to the table, contributing to the project's overall goals.

Project teams are often carefully selected to encompass a variety of roles and responsibilities, with a project leader or manager providing guidance and coordination. The dynamics within a project team are characterized by clear objectives, defined timelines, and a collective commitment to achieving the project's desired outcome.

Effective communication, cooperation, and the division of assigned tasks among team members are essential for a project team's success, as they work together to overcome challenges, meet milestones, and ultimately deliver the project within scope, on time, and within budget.

Project management team matrix organization

So where do you begin? If you don’t already have a team in place, you’ll want to create a project management team structure. This can be accomplished with some key team members:

1. Project sponsor

Project team member roles and responsibilities wouldn’t be complete without a project sponsor. This person oversees the project from a high level. They are usually a member of senior management and are responsible for steering the overall vision. The project sponsor will create S.M.A.R.T. goals, resolve conflicts, remove obstacles, and sign off on any major project components.


  1. Create overall project vision

  2. Make key decisions within the project

  3. Approve budget and changes

  4. Take inventory of project resources

2. Project leader

The role of a project leader, or project manager, is primarily to oversee the day-to-day details of the project. Some of the project lead’s roles and responsibilities include making sure the project proceeds within a given timeframe, under the stated budget, and achieves the goals and objectives set. The project manager’s responsibilities also include the people component. This person needs to oversee the project team to keep everyone on task, mitigate problems and make sure that everyone understands their individual role within the greater project.


  1. Create the project plan

  2. Manage components of the plan

  3. Delegate tasks to key team members

  4. Create a project schedule

  5. Lead team members through each phase

  6. Pivot directions when problems arise

  7. Communicate to team members and senior management

3. Project team members

Once you’ve established a project lead, you’ll need to fill in support team members. A project team member could be an external consultant brought in to create a new website or an internal employee who researches and gathers feedback from various department heads. Project team member roles can be both full-time or part-time depending on the project’s unique demands.


  1. Solve project objectives

  2. Complete tasks in areas of expertise

  3. Deliver project responsibilities within deadlines

  4. Communicate with project lead on roadblocks

  5. Document progress, setbacks, and new processes

4. Business analyst or resource manager

A project can’t run efficiently without the necessary resources. A business analyst, sometimes also called a resource manager, makes sure the tools are in place for the project to keep moving forward efficiently. They will also recommend new tools when needed to streamline the overall process and maximize deliverables.


  1. Solve problems with resources

  2. Use available tools to help team members

  3. Document and analyze project requirements

  4. Analyze that resources meet the defined objectives

  5. Assess solutions to make sure they are effective

5. Committees

Projects have various scopes and involve different audiences. Committees can be comprised of senior management (Steering Committee), customers (Project Client) and employees (Project Management Office). Depending on the size and complexity of your project, all three of these committees could be part of your project team.

Steering Committee - This committee represents the company management and other senior-level stakeholders. This group’s goal is to oversee the project by providing strategic direction. They serve as a support for the project and solve problems in which the Project Manager may need some assistance, help steer a project in a different direction, and approve budget changes.

Project Client - If your project has a direct effect on your clients or customers, then it’s smart to include them in your project management team structure. For larger projects, you might even dedicate a second Project Manager to oversee the needs of your clients. This committee can approve project plans, request changes, raise issues, approve timelines, and approve project benchmarks.

Project Management Office - This committee is formed from a group of employees. Their job is to look at the project management structure within your organization. By dedicating time to the project management process, there'll be a better synergy across all company projects. Their tasks include sharing project resources, tools, techniques, and successful case studies to strengthen all future projects.

Other roles and responsibilities in a project team

Within a project team, several additional roles and responsibilities are vital for a project's smooth progress. These roles often vary depending on the project's nature and requirements:

  • Subject Matter Experts (SMEs): SMEs provide in-depth knowledge and expertise in specific areas relevant to the project. Their insights are invaluable for making critical decisions and ensuring the project aligns with industry standards.

  • Quality Assurance Specialists: QA specialists focus on maintaining and enhancing the quality of project deliverables. They establish quality standards, perform audits, and conduct tests to identify and resolve issues, guaranteeing the project's success.

  • Risk Managers: In projects with inherent risks, risk managers are essential. They identify potential risks, assess their impact, and develop mitigation strategies to minimize disruptions to the project's progress.

  • Technical Experts: Depending on the project's technical aspects, IT professionals, engineers, or designers may be required to provide technical insights, solutions, or designs.

  • Client Representatives: When projects involve external clients or end-users, client representatives act as a bridge between the project team and the client. They gather client feedback, address concerns, and ensure the final product or service meets client expectations.

  • Regulatory Compliance Officers: In projects subject to specific regulations or standards, compliance officers ensure that all project activities adhere to legal and regulatory requirements. They maintain records and documentation to demonstrate compliance.

An effective project team is not complete without these key players. By collaborating closely with team leaders and employees, these professionals help drive the project toward success and achieving its objectives.

Best practices beyond people

As much as project member roles and responsibilities play a crucial role within a project, there are a few extra steps you can take to ensure overall project success. Here are some tools and methods to use when getting ready to launch a new project.

1. Project planning

Before you begin, spend time on project planning. A project plan can be a simple high-level document with a few stages or it can be a more detailed, intricate plan. Either way, make sure to include stakeholder needs, project scope, goals, a list of people needed to make it happen, and a schedule with full deadlines.

2. Agile project management software

Another project management tip for success is using agile project management software. By using Kanban-style software, you can keep all your project member team roles and responsibilities organized. Plus, using agile project management methodology lets you move tasks ahead, skip steps, alert, assign new team members brand new tasks, and keep track of project goals… all with the click of a button.

3. Measuring project success

Once you’ve met your primary objectives, it’s important to go back and measure your project’s success. By interviewing team members and various stakeholders, you’ll know what can be improved on, both in the process you followed and the eventual project deliverables. Measure variables like how well you stayed on deadline, the quality of the final project and how close to budget you were. Then make tweaks where needed for next time.

Free template

Every project is different, but by utilizing a few key team members, you’ll ensure your project’s success. Download this template for easy reference before beginning your next project.

Key takeaways

Understanding and effectively implementing project team member roles and responsibilities is fundamental to the success of any project. A well-coordinated team, comprising roles such as project sponsors, executive leadership, team members, business analysts, and committee members, is essential for achieving project objectives.

Moreover, as projects evolve through their respective project life cycles, additional roles like subject matter experts, quality assurance specialists, risk managers, technical experts, client representatives, and regulatory compliance officers may become integral to the project's success.

By embracing best practices, such as comprehensive project planning and Agile project management methodologies, project management professionals can ensure a team project is executed properly. Continuous measurement of project success, as well as the active involvement of an executive sponsor in fulfilling their responsibilities, are crucial steps toward ensuring a successful project.

With each team member performing their defined roles and responsibilities, projects can thrive, industry standards can be met, and overall success can be achieved in collaborative team projects.

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