Functions associated with Projects

functions associated with projects - Functions associated with Projects

Functions can be interpreted as ‘verticals’ or different teams or a group of people or even a person associated with the project responsible to perform a certain function. These functions fulfilled by the project team are needed during project delivery. Coordinating a collective work effort between these functions is important and different projects require different coordination types,

  • Some projects need decentralized coordination – project team members self organize and self manage
  • Some projects need centralized coordination – leadership and guidance of a designated project manager or PMO
  • Some projects may have self-organized teams for a specific portion

List of Functions associated with Projects

1. Provide oversight and coordination

Responsibility – This function is responsible to ensure the project team achieves the project objectives

Activities – Activities can include planning, monitoring and controlling, evaluation and analysis of pre-project activities, consulting with executives and BU leaders, improving project performance, benefits realization and sustainment activities (pre-project closure)

Performed by – The function is tailored to fit the organization need and is mostly performed by higher management

2. Present objectives and feedback

Responsibility – This function is responsible for providing perspectives, insights and clear direction from customers and end users

Activities – Activities include sharing project requirements, outcomes, expectations and feedback. For adaptive and hybrid project environments, the need for ongoing feedback is greater to support incremental delivery

Performed by – This function is mostly performed by the customer, end-user or a customer representative like a product manager/owner or a customer advocate

3. Facilitate and support

Responsibility – This function is responsible for providing oversight and coordination

Activities – Activities include encouraging the team to participate, collaborate, inculcate a shared sense of responsibility, resolve conflicts and make decisions. This also requires facilitation for coordinating meetings and contributing in an unbiased way

Performed by – This function is mostly performed by the Project Manager and may involve additional activities like addressing obstacles, evaluating performance and providing individuals and project teams with feedback to help them learn, adapt and improve

4. Perform work and contribute insights

Responsibility – This function is responsible for providing skills, knowledge and experience necessary to produce the products/outcomes/deliverables of the project

Activities – Activities include work that requires highly specialized skillsets and even broad skill sets, gain insights from cross functional team members to provide a mix of internal perspectives, establish alliances with business units and even support functions as deliverables are transitioned to operations

Performed by – This function is mostly performed by the project team

5. Apply expertise

Responsibility – This function is responsible for providing knowledge, vision and expertise in a specific subject for a project

Activities – Activities include providing advice, support and contributing to the project team’s learning process as well as work accuracy. This function could be involved throughout or at some specific stage of the project

Performed by – This function is mostly performed by SMEs and external or internal consultants

6. Provide Business direction and insight

Responsibility – This function is responsible for providing guidance and clarify the direction of the project or the product

Activities – Activities include prioritizing the requirements or backlog items, dependencies, technical or operational risk, providing feedback to project teams, set direction for the next increment and deliverables. There is significant interaction required with other stakeholders, customers and project teams to ensure value of project deliverable is maximized

Performed by – This function is mostly performed by Product Owner, Product Manager or Higher Management. In adaptive and hybrid environments, the guidance can be provided using a specific cadence while designated checkpoints can be used in predictive environment for presentation of and feedback on project progress

7. Provide resources and direction

Responsibility – This function is responsible for promoting the project and communicate the organization’s vision, goals and expectations to the project team and other stakeholders

Activities – Activities include advocating for the project and the project team by helping to secure the decision, resources and authority that allow project activities to progress, acting as a liaison between senior management and project team, keeping project aligned with business objectives, remove obstacles and issues outside the bounds of the project team’s decision authority as well as providing the escalation path for problems, issues or risks that project teams cannot handle by themselves such as shortage of funding or resources and deadlines

Performed by – This function is mostly performed by sponsor or program/portfolio mgrs. They may monitor project outcomes to ensure intended business benefits are realized

8. Maintain governance

Responsibility – This function is responsible for approving and supporting recommendations made by the project team as well as monitor project progress

Activities – Activities include maintaining collaborations between project teams and strategic or business objectives that can change over the course of the project

Performed by – This function is mostly performed by the Project Management Office (PMO)

Note that this is not a comprehensive list and additional functions may be required based on the project, deliverables, organization, industry and other such variables.

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