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The old expression “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” rings particularly true when you’re 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 easier, more efficient and, ultimately, successful for everyone involved.
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:
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.
Create overall project vision
Make key decisions within the project
Approve budget and changes
Take inventory of project resources
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.
Manage components of the plan
Delegate tasks to key team members
Lead team members through each phase
Pivot directions when problems arise
Communicate to team members and senior management
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.
Solve project objectives
Complete tasks in areas of expertise
Deliver project responsibilities within deadlines
Communicate with project lead on roadblocks
Document progress, setbacks, and new processes
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.
Solve problems with resources
Use available tools to help team members
Document and analyze project requirements
Analyze that resources meet the defined objectives
Assess solutions to make sure they are effective
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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