A project manager must clearly show the roles and responsibilities of management, team members and other stakeholders, and may use a responsibility assignment matrix to do so.
The Role of the Project Sponsor/Initiator A basic definition of a sponsor is one who provides the financial resources for the project, but the exam will attribute more duties than just providing the financial resources to the sponsor.
If the project is being done for an outside customer (you are the seller) the customer may fulfill the role of the sponsor as well as customer, and some of these functions would be taken over by senior management in the performing organization. (Management is anyone senior to the project manager in the organization(s).)
Think about your management as you read this. Do they know what their role is? Do you? How can you help them to better understand their role? Without having the sponsor or someone in management performing the following functions, the project will suffer, wasting time and resources. Management must serve as a protector of the project.
Read over the following list carefully to understand the role and characteristics of the sponsor and/or senior management in an organization.
Since the list is so long and since most project managers have large gaps in their knowledge here, I have organized this section by process groups.
The Role of the Team The team is a group of people who will complete work on the project. The team members can change throughout the project as people are added and removed from the project. Team members may have some project management responsibilities in addition to responsibilities for implementing the work.
See the role of the project manager.
Generally it is the team’s role to help plan what needs to be done (WBS) and to create time estimates for their work packages or activities. During the project executing and monitoring and controlling process groups, the team members simply complete work packages or activities and help look for deviations from the project management plan.
More specifically, the team may help:
Depending on the size and complexity of the project, the team role might also include helping the project manager do the following:
The Role of the Functional Manager The individual who manages and “owns” the resources in a specific department such as IT, engineering, public relations, or marketing and generally directs the technical work of individuals from the functional area working on the project.
The amount of involvement of the functional manager depends on the form of organizational structure. In a matrix organization, the responsibility to direct the work of individuals is shared with the project manager.
In a projectized organization, the project manager does all of the directing. The project manager does little directing in a functional organization. To avoid conflict, the project manager and functional manager must coordinate their respective needs regarding the use of resources to complete project work. It is generally the responsibility of the project manager to manage this relationship.
The specific activities performed by the functional manager vary greatly based on the type of organizational structure as well as the type of project.
They MAY include:
The Role of the Project Manager The project manager is responsible for managing the project to meet project objectives.
Some project management activities could be completed by team members. Whenever this is the case, the PMBOK® Guide refers to these people as the project management team. In order to assume this role, team members must have project management training. To avoid confusion, this course refers only to project manager or team.
People have failed the exam due to a lack of understanding of what is the project manager’s role! Ask yourself whether you are able to do the things listed throughout this course. Do you have the knowledge, ability and authority? Do you really plan and control your projects? Are you the one person really in charge of the project?
In today’s project environment, most people managing projects do not realize they are lacking knowledge of what good project management involves. Many companies also do not understand what project management is and why it is so important. Many people with the title of project manager are not really project managers at all, but some form of project coordinator (see the Framework lesson). It is important that you not only understand the project manager’s role but also all the other roles on projects!
The project manager’s role is described throughout this course. The project manager’s level of authority can vary depending on the form of organization.
On this exam, such authority generally means the project manager: