Stand together or fall apart

No project can be successful without the combined support, involvement and commitment of a number of people. Yet how often does a business really get its act together to ensure that everyone in the business, from top to bottom, knows what they need to contribute to ensure ongoing success with projects.

It is like trying to put on a public theatre performance without involving and co-ordinating the efforts of the director, producer, artists, stage hands, dress makers, publicists and general public.

Here are a few tips that we would recommend to all businesses ..

  • Communicate and explain every project role so that people understand the role they themselves are performing and are familiar with all the other roles and how they relate to them
  • Promote the development of people into the roles
  • Evaluate people's performance against the roles they perform
  • Take action when people operate outside their roles and do not fulfil their obligations and responsibilities

The importance of standard project roles

Many projects simply stop of fail at the point when key personnel change. This is crazy if the need for the project still exists and the benefits from the project are still desired.

Having a standard approach to managing projects and standard project roles can make it easier for projects to be transferred to new owners without significant disruption to the project progress.

A new expectation is required that the projects are the focus and need to be pursued to their conclusion, irrespective of how many owners they have along the way.

The Players

Six key players need to work together to secure success. In summary, these players are:

  • The business leaders, who are responsible for creating the right environment and support for teams to perform and projects to succeed and selecting and prioritising which projects are pursued and closed down.
  • The sponsor, who is accountable to the business for achievement of the project role and benefits through the project leader and team. The sponsor provides resource, removes obstacles to progress and ensures the ongoing alignment and viability of the project.
  • The project leader, who is accountable for achieving the project goal on time, to the agreed quality and within the agreed budget, such that the changes are sustained and the benefits realised.
  • The project team, who hold themselves mutually accountable for achieving the project goal in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
  • Customers, who need to be clear about their needs and requirements and prepared to become involved to ensure that their requirements are being met.
  • Stakeholders, who need to make the time to understand the project and develop the commitment and ability to work with the outputs and sustain necessary changes.

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