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Flashcards in People in Projects Deck (32):

Key Project Roles


Project sponsor

  • Initiates project
  • ensures that project benefits are realised
  • accountable for project

Project manager

  • ensures project meets its objective
  • responsible for project

Work package manager

  • Ensures completion of work package deliverables


  • Produces deliverables

Customer / User

  • Involve the user in as many steps (appropriately) #agile


Diagram of relationships between project stakeholders


Role of Sponsor

Sponsorship of a project, programme or portfolio (P3) is an important senior management role.

  • initiates project
  • accountable for project
  • ensures benefits realisation
  • adds needed authorisation
  • ensures that project remains a viable proposition
  • resolves issues outside the control of the PM
  • accountable for ensuring that the work is governed effectively

  • stays after completion



Top drivers of project success

  1. Actively investing in engaged executive sponsors 
  2. Avoiding scope creep
  3. Maturing value delivery capabilities

In my opinion,

  • situational leadership
  • clear project scope
  • well-defined requirements
  • purpose-driven project
  • close, trusted, and frequent communication


Effective Sponsorship

  • play an active role in the project, but don’t micromanaging on day-to-day activities
  • be visible, available, and champion the project within the rest of the organisation
  • legitimise the project and actions of the PM (authority)
  • ensure the project remains aligned to the strategic objectives
  • the PM needs to manage up (to the sponsor) and drive progress


Sponsor and first scoping sessions

The project sponsor should be there (even briefly) in the first scoping session with the project team. Someone with that seniority sets a good tone for the team.


Role of Project Manager


  • develops and leads the project team
  • manages the stakeholders
  • responsible for day-to-day management of the project and must be competent in managing the six aspects of a project: time, cost, quality, scope, risk, resources
  • set behaviour norms, decisive, allocate responsibilities, build morale


Project Responsibilities — RACI


Project Management Office (PMO)

  • Stays even after the project is finished.
  • Take the administrative burden from the project manager.
  • Help the PM to highlight risks and help with estimates that may have been missed. 
  • Strives to standardise and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects. They can assist with different terminology that exists in different organisations. Methodological consistency reduces misunderstanding.


Team Selection Checklist 

  • Who is available? 
  • Who is interested in this project — keen to contribute and believes in the importance?
  • Who has special technical skills/experience and that are needed? Who has special non-technical skills (communication, interpersonal skills, etc.)?
  • Who has organisation clout/credibility/connections to help the team? Who has external networks that might be useful to the team?
  • Who can represent important interest groups (e.g. clients, end users, etc)? Who represents/understands the “antis”/opposition?
  • Who will “fit” with the way we want to work?
  • Who would benefit through self-development or corporate exposure from being associated with this project?


Questioning the team members motivation

  • What’s in it for them? 
  • Who allocated them to the project?
  • Did they want to be part of it? 
  • Do resource managers put their best people on projects when asked to allocate a resource?


Describe Leadership

  • Honesty,
  • Forward-looking,
  • Inspiring,
  • Competency,
  • Self-confidence,
  • Visionary,
  • Adaptability,
  • Credibility,
  • Sociable communicator,
  • Decision maker,
  • Political awareness,
  • Energy,
  • Empathy


The PM and the team throughout the life cycle (waterfall)


There are three basic types of organisational structure:

Functional – resources are controlled totally from within their respective functional unit; 

Project – resources are allocated to a project

Matrix – hybrid; resources are controlled functionally by their functional head and concerning their project requirements by the project manager


Pros & Cons of the Functional Organisational Structure


Pros & Cons of the Project-ised Organisational Structure


Pros & Cons of the Matrix Organisational Structure

weak, balanced, strong matrix

strong = the project manager is the more senior one



Summary of Pros & Cons of all 3 types of organsational structures


General Responsibilities of PM

  • Always document
  • Need to be specific and clear (don’t assume anything)
  • Get team members to review and agree (in writing)
  • ‘Agree’ on approach to task management and control
  • ‘Sell’ the aims and objectives to the project resource / team member to get them motivated
  • Be open and agree with functional line managers (if structurally applicable) of project resources to overcome clash of needs
  • Best practice is to try and make sure achieving on your project is built into or aligned to that resource’s individual goals and incentivising structure


Stages of Team Development


Enabling Team Development

  • Communicate vision
  • Clear objectives
  • Clear roles and responsibilities
  • Learning opportunities
  • Situational leadership
  • Team identity
  • Discuss overall team purpose and success criteria
  • Develop methods of communication
  • Draw out underlying concerns (task or team related), prohibiting wholehearted commitment


Situational Leadership Model

New team members have different levels of commitment and skill compared to long-term members (see lower image).

Identifying the employee's readiness is crucial for any leader. It helps them to identify the optimal leadership style givent he context of the team member.


Elements of a Communications Plan

Key messages:

  • Mission
  • Objectives
  • People issues


  • Team
  • Senior management
  • Other departments
  • Customers
  • Contractors


  • Face-to-face
  • Cascade briefings
  • Team meetings
  • Paper notices/memos
  • E-mail/web


Schedule / frequency



Define conflict

different objectives and attitudes between two or more parties



How can conflict be good?

  • increases creativity
  • alternative perspectives
  • the project is looked at more critically
  • avoids ‘groupthink


program vs. portfolio

Program - A temporary flexible organisation structure to coordinate a set of related projects; usually spans several years. Includes a programme manager.


Portfolios - Collections of projects grouped together for management convenience, often using a common resource base and which therefore may compete for scarce resources.

  • Portfolio Management - Aiming to maximise the value delivered to the organisation by maximising the throughput of projects within the applied constraints. A way of organising your stuff.


Advantages of Programme & Portfolio Management

  • Helps see if a change may impact another project
  • Coordinate resource conflicts better
  • Having a program manager for a project is going to elevate the visibility of projects activities
  • Identity dependencies
  • Increase overall efficiency and better economic return
  • Central co-ordination and prioritisation


How does the governance structure of P3 look like?



Programme Tranches

The programme may be sub-divided into tranches or identifiable stages that will each realise benefits (ideally), which will be reviewed

Tranches balance the cumulative impact of changes.


Typical (linear) programme lifecycle


project vs. programme


Corporate Governance involves...

A set of relationships between a company’s management, its board, its shareholders and other stakeholders. 

It provides the structure through which the objectives of the company are set, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance are determined.


Governance of Project Management (GoPM)

Effective governance of project management ensures that an organisation's project portfolio is aligned to the organisation's objectives, is delivered efficiently and is sustainable.