Who does what, when and how…?

The atmosphere in the room was tense so I decided to intervene and summarised as follows:

  • this group is a mix of project managers and project sponsors
  • this sponsor workshop is focusing on clarifying roles – role of the project manager and role of the project sponsor alongside steering groups (project boards)
  • it seems that roles are not at all clear – there is too much confusion as to who should be doing what and when. I received confirmation by the nodding of heads in the room and confirmed this by asking people to raise their hands if they agreed – all 10 hands went into the air

I then suggested a way to ensure that the questions posed in the title are answered and suggested that the answer(s) would need to be discussed with the relevant parties before finalising.

I drew the following on a flip chart (reproduced as the original was very poor!)

Its easy to do but few actually action this approach!

I suggested that project sponsor and the project manager should look at this as an opportunity to collaborate, to decide on who literally does what.

I also suggested that they use the role descriptions I gave them during the workshop, adding that these were guidance for the discussions.

There is no doubt that people were not very comfortable contemplating a meeting with their project manager or project sponsor to sort out the issues raised. I then acted as a devil’s advocate suggested that they forget all about this and simply get on with their projects!

They understood! For many of the people around the table they had problems over roles in projects and ones which needed to be resolved. This was the solution which needed actioining!


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2 Responses to Who does what, when and how…?

  1. Barry Hodge says:

    I learnt this to my cost in one of my early projects when just starting out as a project manager. Clarity on who does what, when and how is so important. I like your idea of a matrix to help drive the conversation. This would make a good template that project managers could download and use at their next sponsor meeting.

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Thanks Barry, apologies for the delay in responding.

      Isn’t it a shame that you have to go thorough pain of getting it wrong before you get it right! Senior managers need to be clear even if it delays the start of the project….or is my idea crazy? i think not!

      Thanks for the comment Barry.


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