Projects and the Small Business – Project Roles

The first step in understanding a project is to understand the roles in a project.  Roles are important because each role owns a portion of the project.  Roles may seem straight forward but are crucial to establishing clear responsibilities during the project.

Depending on the size of the project and the organization of the business there can be a number of different roles on a project.  These roles can be simplified for the purposes of a small business.

At a high level there are four key roles on any project:

(1) Project Customer – The customer is the reason why your business exists and so it follows that the customer is why you are doing this project in the first place.

(2) Project Team – Your project team is every one of your employees that you have assigned to work on this project.  These team members will have the most impact on the quality of the work done, and thus the quality of the outcome of your project.

(3) Business Owner – The business owner has to be the one that holds the flame of the original project purpose.  The idea that started it all . The business owner is also the role that will be most concerned that the project is completed on time and without costing more than it should.  The business owner also will have final say on scope.  What gets done and what doesn’t?

(4) Project Manager – The project manager oversees the coordination of all the projects activities.  This role is at the heart of the project in that they keep everything flowing.  They are the intermediary between all of the other project stakeholders (stakeholders are all of the members in the various roles as well as anyone else that may be impacted by the project whether they are other workers in your office or members of the extended community).

Each person is essential to the project and will effect how well the other people can do their jobs, so make sure that each team member is committed to the project and has the right skills and attitude to be a successful team member.



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