I had an interesting discussion with a new client. They wanted me to run a series of project management training coursed based on their in-house approach.
I met a couple of the key people in the organisation and asked for all the project documentation they had. As soon as I saw the documentation I realised there was a problem; role descriptions were too scant. I explained that some of the project management issues were brought about by roles not being clear. In addition, people coming on the training will point out the lack of detail.
The client struggled to develop project management roles
The client set about trying to develop the roles based on their own unique situation, but they really struggled to put some flesh on the roles descriptions.
I then suggested we look at two documents they already had:
- The titles of the role holders as set out in their documentation
- The various stages within the in-house project management approach
Using these documents I drew a simple grid and suggested that they look at the grid and develop the roles for each role. The grid looked like this:
Engage project role holders in discussions to agree the roles
I also suggested that they try and discuss the roles and what they mean with the actual stakeholders and get some feedback, which they found really useful.
Identifying and training people to ensure they carry out their roles is essential within the project management world and much wider. In the Times on 14 November they quoted a report on the plan to reduce the number of civil servants saying: “…too many people are involved, their roles are not always clear and too much is duplicated…”
Of course, having the roles is one thing, getting them to act out their roles effectively is another! That’s where the project management training comes into its own.