Project Team, Role and Responsibilities of Project Manager

Project Team

Successful projects are usually the result of careful planning and the talent and collaboration of a project’s team members. Projects can’t move forward without each of its key team members, but it’s not always clear who those members are, or what roles they play. Here, we’ll describe five roles – project manager, project team member, project sponsor, executive sponsor and business analyst – and describe their associated duties.

Project Manager

The project manager plays a primary role in the project, and is responsible for its successful completion. The manager’s job is to ensure that the project proceeds within the specified time frame and under the established budget, while achieving its objectives. Project managers make sure that projects are given sufficient resources, while managing relationships with contributors and stakeholders.

Project manager duties:

  • Develop a project plan
  • Manage deliverables according to the plan
  • Recruit project staff
  • Lead and manage the project team
  • Determine the methodology used on the project
  • Establish a project schedule and determine each phase
  • Assign tasks to project team members
  • Provide regular updates to upper management

Project Team Member

Project team members are the individuals who actively work on one or more phases of the project. They may be in-house staff or external consultants, working on the project on a full-time or part-time basis. Team member roles can vary according to each project.

Project team member duties may include:

  • Contributing to overall project objectives
  • Completing individual deliverables
  • Providing expertise
  • Working with users to establish and meet business needs
  • Documenting the process

Project Sponsor

The project sponsor is the driver and in-house champion of the project. They are typically members of senior management – those with a stake in the project’s outcome. Project sponsors work closely with the project manager. They legitimize the project’s objectives and participate in high-level project planning. In addition, they often help resolve conflicts and remove obstacles that occur throughout the project, and they sign off on approvals needed to advance each phase.

Project sponsor duties:

  • Make key business decisions for the project
  • Approve the project budget
  • Ensure availability of resources
  • Communicate the project’s goals througout the organization

Executive Sponsor

The executive sponsor is ideally a high-ranking member of management. He or she is the visible champion of the project with the management team and is the ultimate decision-maker, with final approval on all phases, deliverables and scope changes.  

Executive sponsor duties typically include:

  • Carry ultimate responsibility for the project
  • Approve all changes to the project scope
  • Provide additional funds for scope changes
  • Approve project deliverables

Business Analyst

The business analyst defines needs and recommends solutions to make an organization better. When part of a project team, they ensure that the project’s objectives solve existing problems or enhance performance, and add value to the organization. They can also help maximize the value of the project deliverables.

Business analyst duties:

  • Assist in defining the project
  • Gather requirements from business units or users
  • Document technical and business requirements
  • Verify that project deliverables meet the requirements
  • Test solutions to validate objectives

Role and Responsibilities of Project Manager

The role of the project manager encompasses many activities including:

  • Planning and Defining Scope
  • Activity Planning and Sequencing
  • Resource Planning
  • Developing Schedules
  • Time Estimating
  • Cost Estimating
  • Developing a Budget
  • Documentation
  • Creating Charts and Schedules
  • Risk Analysis
  • Managing Risks and Issues
  • Monitoring and Reporting Progress
  • Team Leadership
  • Strategic Influencing
  • Business Partnering
  • Working with Vendors
  • Scalability, Interoperability and Portability Analysis
  • Controlling Quality
  • Benefits Realisation

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