Project Team Roles

Topic: Training and Project Management | Author: Bill Umstead

Assembling the right people for your project team is one of the most important activities to ensure a successful project execution. Determining who is part of this project team should be a joint decision by the Project Sponsor, the Project Manager, and the various Department heads.  MEDVACON can assist with development of the project team. 

One of the first questions to be asked by the management team is how important is this project to the strategic goals of the company and what is its priority vis-à-vis other company priorities. Once the project priority is established, then the second question to discuss is who of the existing staff is essential to the success of the project implementation and what is their current workload. Are these key individuals available to work full-time on the project, or will their involvement be part-time due to other important work load?  

The answers to these questions determine whether the project implementation will be achievable in the expected time period. Will additional support (secondary) people be needed to maintain scheduled project deliverables? The management team should consider peoples’ interest and enthusiasm as well as the required skillsets. Secondary support people may require additional training and mentoring to work as part of the project team.   

Project Sponsor 

All projects need to have a project sponsor. The Project Sponsor is the individual who acts as the representative of, and liaisons with, company senior management. Project sponsors are usually senior managers or executives who have a higher authority than the project managers. The Project Sponsor may appoint the project manager during the initiation phase, or have a direct input into the PM selection process. Depending upon the size of the organization, the Project Sponsor may report into a company steering committee. The steering committee is typically a group of executives and business leaders who oversee projects from a business management standpoint and protect the interests of project stakeholders such as business managers.  

The Project Sponsor is very important to the project team in that she or he speaks for the company’s senior management. The Project Sponsor champions the project with senior management, and helps the project team be successful in meeting project goals and schedule objectives. She or he runs interference with senior management and delivers to them the bad news as well as the good.  

The Project Sponsor attends project meetings when required. The Project Sponsor should be a silent member of the project team so to not undermine the PM’s authority, except when senior management input may be required such as significant schedule slippage or unforeseen cost overages. 

Project Manager 

The Project Manager is the person in charge of project execution- project planning, scheduling, budgeting, and tracking of deliverables against the schedule milestones. She or he is the person sitting behind the desk with the placard that reads “The Buck Stops Here.” 

The project manager has the fundamental role of guiding the team through the project life cycle through thoughtful team discussions and decision-making. The Project Manager has the responsibility for creating a project plan, developing the project schedule, leading project team members, monitoring the project health and ensuring accurate and updated project management documentation. In addition, project manager is the liaison between the project team and project stakeholders. The PM has the responsibility to keep the project stakeholders informed of project progress and schedule milestones so the stakeholders can have their line staff support ready as needed.

MEDVACON and our team of Quality Experts have conducted several CQV projects, some of which involved multidisciplinary teams and others with just one or a few resources.  MEDVACON can scale to handle your CQV project. 

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