Project tend to be complex and require many activities. In order to be efficient
it makes sense to specify roles and responsibilities so that task ownership is
clear. In every company this job only needs to be performed once. On this basis
it is then much more easy to allocate roles to people.
Not every role requires its own person. On the contrary, not every role is a
full time job, so it is quite common that people assume several roles. The only
condition in this regard is that people should not take roles that require a
conflict of interest. For instance, a Product Manager who is the responsible for
the project progress should typically not have the role of a Project Controller
who evaluates the project progress.
The Project Controller is responsible for keeping track of the project
status as independently and objectively as possible. (S)he should be the
single source of truth for all status information. In agile projects this role
does not exist in standard setups even though it is very important. If the
role of a Project Controller is not implemented then the tasks of this role
should be assumed by the Agile (Scrum, Kanban) Master.
The Agile (Scrum, Kanban) Master is responsible for supporting the team in
all aspects that make the team effort most efficient. This can be a coaching
of the team or individual members, conflict resolution, the organization of
infrastructure, or support in any necessary area. If the role of the Project
Controller has not been assigned the Agile Master carries out the project
evaluation and status reporting on behalf of the team.
The Project Team Members make the project happen in its core and do the
operational work. They are also responsible for proper documentation and
manuals. In agile setups project team members organize the work allocation
within their team autonomously.
Larger projects usually have a significant impact in an organization and
therefore bring several stakeholders. Also the project result may lead to
significant changes in the organization itself. The Delegate for Change
Management acts more on the context of the project by making sure that
stakeholders are aligned with the project and that the organizational change
that may be the consequence of the project is running as smoothly as possible.
This is a role which can be assumed next to other roles.
Quality Management is a special challenge in a project. The Delegate for
Quality Management has to ensure that the scope of the project is not
changing such that it puts the whole project in jeopardy. This is a role which
can be assumed next to other roles. Scope creep is that more and more scope is
added, whereas scope bleed is that scope is continuously reduced. Furthermore
this role also need to ensure that the defined quality is delivered in every
deliverable, quality assured and signed off. The quality assurance must not be
done by the person him-/herself but this person makes sure that a working
process is in place.
The Delegate for Risk Management has to make sure that significant,
tangible, and material issues that are realistically threatening the project
success are attended to. Risk Management is not writing risks up but is trying
to find solutions for before mentioned issues in order to reduce their
likelihood or severity. This is a role which can be assumed next to other
roles. The Delegate for Risk Management is typically more concerned with
issues arising from the context of the project rather than from within the
project which rather is the task of the project manager or the agile team.
The Delegate for Knowledge Management has to make sure that the necessary
knowledge is available to all persons involved in the project. (S)he has to
find a data repository, structure the information, provide for the necessary
information, design the push and pull processes on documentation and finally
has to ensure that the acquired knowledge and is handed over from the project
to the successor (e.g. customer or line function). This is a role which can be
assumed next to other roles.
Some companies have Coaches and Mentors. The support project managers or
people involved in their roles, help to train them and also contribute to
overcoming any kind of difficulties. They may also review a project to get a
second oversight opinion.
Companies who are have a higher level of project management maturity usually
have dedicated people in the HR departments and in a Project
Management Center of Competence. These people look into trainings, skill
building, team developments. They support networking amongst project people
across projects. They also debrief project people to make use of valuable past
project experiences for future projects. Finally they maintain all documents,
guidelines, procedures and standards. They also do software selection as a
service to all projects and make sure that the chosen software is most useful
and serves the needs.