In any project you need to get the right team together in order to deliver a successful result. You will be unlikely to have a full team in place until you have gone through the process of defining and initiating the project fully. This section takes a brief look at some of the key roles in any project and gives some general guidance on forming a team.
Our roles and responsibilities template includes typical examples which can be used to adapt to your own needs when preparing job descriptions for your team.
Successful projects tend to be those that are given direction and support from a high level within the organisation. It is important for any major undertaking to have someone in the senior management team ultimately responsible for the project. This person normally chairs the project board and can be known variously as the executive, project director, or project sponsor. The PRINCE2 methodology refers to this person as the project executive.
The sponsor is unlikely to play an active part in the day-to-day management of the project but he/she will set the objectives for the project in line with the strategic plan, ensure that appropriate resources are committed and resolve issues where necessary.
It follows that the sponsor must have sufficient authority over all parts of the organisation that are impacted by the project. You may not know at the outset whether this is the case but once you have gone through the phase of defining the project you should be in a position to review whether or not your project has an appropriate sponsor.
The project manager is the person responsible for the day-to-day management of the project. The project manager will be involved in defining the project with the sponsor and then ensures that the project is delivered on time, to budget and to the required quality (as defined by the acceptance criteria agreed by the users represented by the senior user).
He/she ensures the project is effectively resourced and manages relationships with a wide range of groups (including all project contributors).
The project manager will agree, manage, and monitor against, the project plan, allocating work packages to individuals within the project team for completion. He/she is also responsible for managing the work of consultants, vendors and other external suppliers, allocating and utilising resources in an efficient manner and maintaining a co-operative, motivated and successful team. He/she will report to the sponsor and project board at agreed intervals and will keep records and logs of the project’s risks, issues, progress and achievements.