Authority and Responsibility, How They’re Related and How They Affect Project Management

Vet project managers know that they accept responsibility for the project when they accept the role of project manager. They also know that the shortage of authority can significantly impede their ability to deliver the goals and objectives set for the project. Responsibility is straight proportional to consequences. Responsibility for project results does not mean that they get located on the seat until the next task if the one they’re leading fails, it has a monetary consequence. They will will suffer with the project through elimination or reduction of bonus, a re-assignment to a less responsible role (with an attendant reduction in salary), or dismissal in the case of consultants. The connection between responsibility and consequences is entrenched in business. Larger higher priced tasks will tend to employ more senior project operators and the consequence of failure will be proportionate. The connection between job results and consequences will also be heightened. Agil

What is short of my experience (20 plus years as a programme and task manager) is a messages between authority and responsibility. Project managers can do much of the task planning without having gain access to authority. Project operators will need some help from subject matter experts for some of the planning work, even if it’s just to confirm effort or cost quotes. Larger, more complex assignments generally have more need of subject material experts to the point that some of the work is planned by these experts. The authority needed to acquire and manage the resources needed for this work will usually come with the territory. Really when the project extends to the build or execution phase that the job manager needs authority. They will can plan the job, plan the work, and keep an eye on performance but without expert they have a very limited ability to guarantee the work is done on time current necessary quality.

The largest, most expensive, most complex projects are led pre lit by project managers who hold senior positions in their organizations and bring that level of power to their projects. The Manhattan project, which sent the Atomic bomb during Ww ii, is a good example of this type of project and project manager. Leslie Lines, who managed the task, was a 3 celebrity (lieutenant) General. Almost all jobs which don’t get caught in the Manhattan project category in conditions of size are where the connection between authority and responsibility comes apart.

Most projects nowadays are executed in a “matrix” environment where the organization uses project executives to operate projects and efficient managers to manage people. The matrix environment is a good fit for many organizations because they have a mixture of operational and job work. The problem with the matrix environment is that seldom do they come with a formula for the division of authority between the useful and project manager which means that the job manager has none of the authority and the functional manager has it all from the resource’s perspective. Organizations with an increase of older matrix environments may have taken some steps to resolve the issues that this division causes, but rarely do the explanations of the 2 tasks add a precise description of authority. This is probably also due to the fact that the HOURS group plays a major role in defining authority through their policies plus they have a tendency to be behind the curve in accommodating their policies to the management of projects.

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