Project Management Roles & Responsibilities

In any project, we will see different project management roles. These project management roles you would typically see in any project.

Eventually each of these project management roles has specific responsibilities to play.

In this blog post we traverse through some of the common and key project management roles and responsibilities, that we encounter during a typical project.

Furthermore some of these roles you may not see in every project, depending on the type of organization that you are working on.

Project Management Roles

Key Project Management Roles

Here are the key project management roles that we look into this post.

  1. Project Manager
  2. Functional Manager
  3. Project Expediter
  4. Project Coordinator
  5. PM (Project Management) Team
  6. Project Team
  7. Project Management Office (PMO)
  8. Senior Management
  9. stakeholders

Let us see these roles and responsibilities in detail one after the other.

Just in case, if you have not read, here is the link to my recent blog post on the key differences between work performance data Vs work performance information Vs work performance reports.

Project Manager

Ultimately the project managers exist in Projectized and matrix organizations, but not in the functional organizations.

Depending on the type of organizations you are working in, project manager is responsible to manage all the project constraints.

Project manager is responsible and accountable for the success or failure of the project.

Functional Manager

Essentially functional managers exist in functional or matrix organizations.

They usually lead the departments or specific functions in the organization. They primarily head the domains, and people management responsibilities pertaining to these domains.

So project managers have to work with functional managers for resource management functions.

Project Expediter

The Project expediter’s prime responsibilities are shown below.

  • Coordinates meetings with the team
  • Record the status time to time
  • Update the management and other stakeholder about the project status.

Nevertheless to say, the project expediters does not have authority on project to make any decisions.

Project Coordinator

Essentially the project coordinator is very similar to project expediter, except to that they generally report to someone in the top management.

The project expediter do not have any authority to make decisions on the project. However the project coordinator have authority to make minute decisions on the project.

PM (Project Management) Team

For smaller projects, you would typically see one project manager to work with the project staff to manage the project constraints such as scope, time, cost, quality, resources, and risks.

However for larger projects, the project management team may contain multiple members for assisting the project manager. However the main project manager would work as SPOC (Single point of contact) from project management perspective.

Project Team

Project team or project staffs are the people who are working for the deliverables of the project. So their main responsibility is to work on the deliverables to meet the project requirements.

Just in case, if you have not read, here is the link to my recent blog post on triple constraints of project management.

Project Management Office (PMO)

PMO is a department which standardized the management of projects in the organization. Furthermore, it has set of processes, principles and templates for the project management practice in the organization. PMO can be of different forms:

Supportive PMO

A supportive PMO only provides the required procedures, templates and methodologies for managing the projects in the organization. It will never be involved in the project directly. It has the lowest level of control on a project.

Controlling PMO

A Controlling PMO is the subject matter experts on project management. And they provide consultancy on how to do project management and provide help other people to learn the project management.

In comparison to supportive PMO, this has better control on the projects.

Directive PMO

A Directive PMO provides project managers for different projects, and is responsible for the results of these projects. PMO is involved in the projects directly. This type of PMO has the highest level of control over projects.

Sponsor

Sponsor is the one who funds the project. He is the one who convinced the organization to take the project forward and has shown how it is going to benefit the organization.

Eventually sponsor is ultimately the accountable person for the success of the project in the organization. So project success is sponsor’s ultimate aim. And the project manager is the one who is responsible to make the project success.

So sponsor works with the project manager all the time to make the project success and get the project benefits to the organization.

Senior Management

Senior management is one or more people, who have more power and influence than the project manager.

Eventually the primary responsibility of senior management is to see all the projects, priorities to achieve organizations strategic objectives.

Senior management helps the project manager in case of any resource issues or conflicts.

Stakeholders

Stakeholders are any people or organizations whose interests may be positively or negatively impacted by the project or its product, internally or externally.

For example, some of the stakeholders are staff of the performing organization, project team, senior management, sponsor, customer side staff, end-user of the product or service, etc.

All the above mentioned roles are impacted by the project. Hence all these people are stakeholders of the project.

External stakeholders for example could be third party vendors who are external to the organization.

Throughout the project, project manager takes the input from stakeholders and keep them informed on project updates and meet their expectations.

Negative stakeholders are those who are negatively impacted by the project in the organization.

So it is also important to deal with negative stakeholders, understand their issues and try to work out a solution and explain him the importance of the current project to meet the organization strategic goals.

Just in case, if you have not read, here is the link to my recent blog post on Project Life Cycle Vs Project Management Life Cycle – Detailed Analysis.

Conclusion

All the above mentioned roles belong to any typical project.

However based on the complexity and scale of the project, there could be more structure and additional roles in the project.

All these roles will interact with each other in order to progress in the project.

Notably every role has specific and clear responsibilities to fulfill.

Nearly 80% of the project manager’s effort will go on communicating with the stakeholders.

So, one of the primary responsibilities of the project manager is to understand the expectations from the stakeholder and fulfill them.

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