todolist # 8 - Define the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders

Recently I visited an Indian night club at Dubai. Everything started at a slow pitch by around By 12 am the mood changed. People were slightly high and numbers were fast. Suddenly some in the crowd started cheering the singers and the dancers. Some were throwing money at them.

In project management teams also, if the roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined, the scenario wil not be much different. If someone in authority like your work, they will reward you and if someone does not like your work you will not be rewarded. You will have to time your best efforts to be visible just before the performance appraisals, so that your chances of getting a good increment can be better. This is applicable to your team members as well.

Do you think that this is very professional way of working?. Never.

Once I had a sponsor, who just called me and entrusted the project to me, and after that he was not bothered about anything. He never asked for any status updates. Whenever I went and met him, we discussed only non project related matters. His attitude was "Aby, I trust you....pls go ahead". I was not very happy with this. I have had sponsors and project managers who were good in micromanaging as well. This is also equally suffocating.

I remember another sponsor, who never used to reply to my emails (he was a very senior person and was busy with so many other organizational matters). Becuase of this I was wasting lot of time. At last I got an agreement from him "All red mails will be answered in 4 hours time. If the sponsor does not reply in 4 hours, the project manager can take it as an approval". I included this in the roles and responsibilities of the sponsor. After that my life was easy :-)

Defining the roles and responsibilities of all the key stakeholders of the project is the first step towards creating a professional work environment within your project and it is very important for the project's success.

A sponsor is primarily responsible for the project road maps ,funding and initiation, where as the project manager is reposnsible for planning, execution, monitoring and control and closing.

We can use the project charter to define the roles and responsibilities of atleast the project manager and the project sponsor. This can be further detailed and expanded in the project plan.


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