Expert project managers know that they accept responsibility for the project when they accept the role of project manager. They also know that the absence 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 won’t mean that they get located on the counter until the next task if the one they’re leading fails, it has a monetary consequence. That they 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 more pricey assignments will tend to indulge more senior project operators and the consequence of failure will be proportionate. The connection between task results and consequences will also be heightened. Agil

What is with a lack of my experience (20 plus years as a programme and job manager) is a messages between authority and responsibility. Project managers can do much of the job planning without having gain access to authority. Project professionals 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 jobs generally have more need of topic 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 grows to the build or setup phase that the task manager needs authority. That they can plan the effort, set up the work, and screen performance but without specialist they have a very limited ability in order that the work is done on time current necessary quality.

The largest, most expensive, most complex projects are contributed by project managers who hold senior positions in their organizations and bring that level of power to their projects. The Manhattan project, which shipped the Atomic bomb during Ww ii, is a good example of this type of project and project manager. Leslie Lines, who managed the job, was a 3 celebrity (lieutenant) General. The majority of jobs which don’t get into 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 operators to operate projects and efficient managers to manage people. The matrix environment is a good fit for some 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 plan for the division of authority between the efficient 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 meanings of the 2 functions add a precise description of authority. This is probably also due to the fact that the HUMAN RESOURCES group plays a major role in defining authority through their policies and so they usually tend to be behind the curve in accommodating their policies to the management of projects.

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