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Detailed planning – Roles and responsibilities

Define for the team

The success of a project is a shared effort.
Clearly defining who is responsible is very important.

The project schedule may be very detailed down to individual tasks or work packages which could number hundreds or thousands.

These tasks will have attached to them individuals whose job it is to actually carry out the operation.
Who do you actually put as being responsible for each task in the schedule?

It would be very difficult, although not impossible, to identify every single individual for each task and enter them into the schedule.
In practice this will not be the best approach for several reasons.
For example, holidays, illness and inexperience may necessitate changing personnel.

Also, communication is very important and this would be done via the project management team meeting.
Clearly, the project management team will not consist of everyone carrying out tasks in the project.
It will consist of a select party of interested persons.

If the plan clearly distinguishes department activity a representative may need to be on the project team.
That member can then be given the accountability to delegate for all activities within that department.

In other words, the identification of responsibilities in the schedule should be positioned at the highest level of management that will have accountability for the tasks.
This may be a supervisor, Team Manager, departmental manager or even at the highest level of the person actually attending the project management team meeting.

Who ever the person is, it will be up to them to monitor and control the progress of ‘their’ activities and report on them upwards.

The responsibility for carrying out the tasks can be delegated but the accountability cannot.

The approach should be agreed and documented.

Level of authority

Also, the level of responsibility with regard to spending needs to be agreed, especially for programme changes.

This information could be recorded in a Project Team document.

The formation of the project management team is covered under PRINCE2® [see ‘The Complete Project Management plus PRINCE2’] within the process 'Starting up a Project (SU)' via the sub-processes 'Designing a Project Management Team (SU1)' and ‘Appointing a Project Management Team (SU3)’.

PRINCE2® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries.