The project team includes the project manager and the group of individuals who work together on a project to achieve its objectives. It consists of the project manager, project management staff, and other team members who are maybe not directly involved with management but carry out the work related to the project. This team consists of people from different teams with precise subject matter knowledge or with the required skill set to carry out the work of the project. The structure and characteristics of a project team usually vary, but the project manager’s role as the leader of the team remains constant. However, the amount and nature of authority the project manager has over the members can differ.
Project teams include roles such as:
The project manager plays the chief part in the project and is responsible for its success and quality. His job is to make sure that the project proceeds and completes within the specified time frame and the ascertained budget, and accomplishing its goals at the same time. Project managers ensure that resources are sufficient for the project and maintain relationships with contributors and stakeholders.
A project manager is entrusted with various duties and responsibilities like:
Developing a project plan
Managing deliverables according to the decided plan
Leading and managing the project team
Deciding the methodology used in the project
Establishing a project schedule and determining each phase
Assigning tasks to project team members
Providing regular updates to upper management
Project team members are mainly the people who work on various phases of the project. They could be in-house staff or external consultants and may be working on a full-time or part-time basis. Their roles can differ according to each project.
Project team member duties can be summed up as the following:
Contribute to overall project objectives
Complete individual deliverables
Work with users to determine and meet business needs
Document the process
The project sponsor is the driver and in-house champion of the project. He has a vested interest in the successful outcome 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. Also, 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 throughout the organization
The business analyst recognizes requirements of the organization and suggests solutions to the problems. In a project team, they make sure that the current project’s objectives can solve existing problems and add value to the organization. They can also help make the most of project deliverables.
A business analyst is entrusted with:
Helping in defining the project
Collecting requirements from business units or users
Documenting technical and business requirements
Ensuring that project deliverables meet the requirements
Testing solutions to validate objectives
Project team’s compositions may differ based on organization’s culture, scope, and location.
Some examples of basic project team compositions are given below:
Dedicated: This is the simplest structure for a project manager. In this composition, all or most of the project team members are appointed to work full-time on the project. The project team has to report directly to the project manager, and the lines of authority are well-defined so team members can concentrate on the project’s objectives. Dedicated project teams are usually seen in projectized organizations, where most of the resources of the organization are involved in project work, and project managers have independence and power.
Part-Time: Some projects are assigned to a team as an additional temporary work, with the rest of the organization’s members carrying out their regular functions. The functional managers have the control over the team members and the resources assigned to the project, while the project manager continues with other management duties. Part-time team members could also be assigned to more than one project at one time. Part-time project teams are mostly seen within functional organizations. Matrix organizations use both dedicated and part-time project teams.
Some compositions vary based on organizational structure, like a partnership-based project where one lead organization appoints a project manager to coordinate the efforts of the partners. Some vary based on the geographic location of its members, like virtual project teams. Virtual teams are usually needed for projects where resources are situated onsite or offsite or both, depending on the project activities.
The success of a project cannot be accredited to a single person. It is the contribution of every member of the team and people associated with the project from outside. It is imperative to keep an account of how many people are related to your project and which role should be assigned to each one of them. A proper training and thorough knowledge of the subject can guide you with the same.
Most individuals focus on the technical knowledge of the employee and neglect the interpersonal and managerial skills, which is a big mistake. The latter is as important as the former because working with an exceptional programmer who is inflexible and not willing to cooperate could be a problem.
Learning about the specifics of the composition and contributions of a project team members would give you an insight of what’s important and what’s not. It would also help you make the most of the existing talent and take steps to minimize flaws present in your group.
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