Project Roles and Responsibilities

Critical project tasks can easily fall through the cracks if it is left unclear who is responsible for doing what.


Clarify, Clarify, Clarify

A vital aspect of ensuring that your project stays on track is clarifying project roles and responsibilities with all involved in your project. Many projects fall short of expectations because too many things fall through the cracks. And nobody catches the droppings because either they did not know they were meant to or because they thought that no one would notice. Avoid this trap by clarifying who is responsible for what right at the outset of your project.

Types of Project Roles

Project roles will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project and the industry you are in. The project governance model your organization uses is especially important here. Who will be responsible for overseeing the project deliverables and project performance and for overcoming obstacles —the Project Sponsor or a complete Steering Committee? Which project team members will be working on the project full-time and which will also share a reporting line with their line manager?

Below is a summary of the major project roles and responsibilities that could apply to your project.

Role Project Activities
Project Sponsor provides agreement for funding the project and executive intervention to overcome organizational roadblocks
Steering Committee guides project progress and provides senior level advice for aspects outside the realm of influence of the Project Manager
Project Manager responsible for ensuring that the project is delivered on time, on scope and on budget
Stakeholder any person or group that has an active interest in the project outcome or process
Business Analyst analyses an organization's structures and processes to determine areas for improvement and creates a requirements specification
Team Leader manages a group within the project to achieve a specific block of project activities
Project Administrator responsible for administrative tasks throughout the life of the project
Projects Office coordinates the organization's project resourcing, high-level reporting, project management coaching and facilitation services

Critically review the list above to determine which project roles should apply in your case – and then go and check that the respective people in your project have the same understanding as you.

Expert View Author: AIMM MAITD

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Learn more about project governance and the various project roles and responsibilities with our down to earth guide and customizable project templates. Whether you are new to project management or have some experience, you will find plenty of valuable tips for making your next project a success.

A Guide to Project Management

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