10 Key Project Roles & Their Responsibilities


Managing a project is a team effort that involves several key project roles and each has its own responsibilities so everything can progress as smoothly as possible. Before you begin that project, take a moment to understand the project management roles and their responsibilities so you can assemble an effective project team.

However, getting the right people to fill your project roles is only half of the work. Then, you’ll need to give them the right project management tools. ProjectManager is a project management software that helps you streamline your project planning, scheduling and tracking in real time. Robust Gantt charts, kanban boards, resource management tools and more allow anyone in the project team to be part of the project management process. Get started today for free.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart, ideal for all project roles
Make all your project roles work together seamlessly with ProjectManager’s Gantt charts. Learn more

Now let’s review 10 critical project roles and their responsibilities in the project life cycle. Some of these project management roles are individual roles and others involve multiple participants.

1. Project Sponsor

While there might be a superior position, like executive sponsor, for most projects there’s a project sponsor sitting on top of the project roles pyramid. This is the person who is deeply invested in the project and its success.

The project sponsor is in direct communication with the stakeholders which is the reason the project has been initiated. They tend to monitor the budget and hold the purse strings of the project. They also have the final say in making any project decisions, which include resources.

The project manager reports to the project sponsor and helps with the project charter, which is a statement of scope, objectives and people involved in the project.

2. Project Manager

The project manager is the one who is responsible for the project. They plan it, develop a schedule, assemble a project team and manage their workload throughout the project’s life cycle. Project managers are also responsible for managing risk and the budget.

The project manager is the one who drives the project forward, but they’re not working independently. They collaborate with multiple project roles and are also responsible for reporting on progress to the project sponsor and any stakeholders who also have a vested interest in the project.

The project manager is the point person for vendors and independent contractors, creating contracts and managing their services. You can think of the project manager as a bridge that connects the executives or clients to the project team working on the project deliverables.

3. Project Coordinator

Often there’s a go-between that helps facilitate the project manager’s job in terms of project operations. They’ll work with the project team and are especially helpful when there are remote teams working in different time zones on the same project. The project coordinator helps to keep the operations running smoothly for the project manager and the project team.

4. Project Administrator

Project administrators support project managers, project coordinators and project analysts, so they’re usually employed by large organizations which have multiple project roles and a large project portfolio. Project administrators, as their name implies, are in charge of administrative tasks such as making reports, planning meetings and facilitating team collaboration activities.

5. Project Analyst

Project analysts act as support to project managers, program managers and PMOs. They’re responsible for gathering and analyzing data for project management decision-making. Project analysts facilitate the work of other project management roles by creating reports and project documentation, analyzing databases, doing quantitative and qualitative research, among other similar activities

6. Project Director

Project directors lead project management teams and external parties such as contractors, sub-contractors and other individuals who participate in the execution of a project. In addition to this, they are the liaison between projects and key stakeholders in companies. Their scope is wider than project managers, as they can oversee multiple projects and are in charge of resource management decision-making. Project directors also oversee project managers and other project roles when it comes to areas such as quality management, performance reporting and budgeting.

7. Change Control Board

A change control board or change review board is a group of project management team members who are in charge of approving changes to the project plan. This board is critical for filtering change requests because otherwise team members or stakeholders could make changes to the project plan, which if left unnoticed, could greatly affect the project schedule or budget. The project roles that can be part of this change control board can vary from one project to another, depending on the size of the organization.

8. Steering Committee

A steering committee is an advisory board that has governance over an organization or project. Steering committees are formed by a cross-functional team of executives. Steering committees oversee project management teams and ensure projects are aligned with their organization’s strategic goals and business objectives.

9. Project Management Office (PMO)

Sometimes an organization will have a segment devoted to developing a set of standards and policies to govern their project management and to make sure those standards and policies are being followed. This tends to occur only in larger organizations, which might not always apply.

However, if it does exist the project management office will decide on the processes used in a project and how to follow them. The PMO will also archive the project for historical data, collecting and analyzing its results. Project managers are supported by the PMO.

10. Project Team Members

These are the people who execute the tasks assigned to them by the project manager. There can be a team lead, who manages the team, who the team reports to and who in turn reports their progress to the project manager. In general, all team members are on equal footing.

The project team members have skills relevant to the project and can work with varying degrees of autonomy depending on the project management methodology that’s used in the project. They’re responsible for executing their tasks and updating their statuses to the project manager to track the overall project progress.

Project Management Templates

ProjectManager isn’t only one of the best project management software in the market, it’s a hub of project management templates, blogs, videos and guides. Here are a few free templates for anyone on the project management team.

Project Plan Template

While some members of the project management team are not involved in the process of creating a project plan, they’re all informed about it to some degree. This free project plan template is a great place to start creating a simple project plan anyone can understand.

Project Budget

The project budget is a key project management document that sets the limits for spending on a project. This free project budget template helps project managers create a project budget that can easily be shared with stakeholders and other project management roles.

Gantt Chart Template

Gantt chart templates are versatile tools that can be used by project managers, program managers, PMOs and team members. This free Gantt chart template for Excel is ideal for any of these project roles.

How ProjectManager Helps Everyone on Your Project Team

The project team needs project tools to help them work more effectively and track progress. ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that is packed with features that help everyone working on the project.

Live Project Tracking Updates

Let’s start with the project sponsor. They’re interested in how the project is progressing against where it should be in the project plan. When team members update their statuses on ProjectManager, that data instantly reflects throughout the software. Project sponsors aren’t interested in the nitty-gritty, so a real-time dashboard gives them a bird’s-eye view of the project’s progress as it’s happening.ProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows metrics for all project roles

Gantt Charts for Project Planning & Scheduling

When it comes to planning and scheduling the project, project managers will find the online Gantt chart tool especially helpful. Task lists on spreadsheets are easy to upload and can open up in ProjectManager as a new project. Then just add the task duration and it populates a timeline. From here, the project manager can make milestones, assign team members tasks and even attach relevant documents and images for direction.

Gantt chart maker in ProjectManager, software for project management roles

Resource Management Calendars

Of course, project managers need more than just tools to monitor the project. They need to reallocate resources to keep things moving smoothly. ProjectManager has tools to manage tasks and resources to see if team members have enough work. Reallocate their workload from the workload page.

ProjectManager's resource management tools for project roles

More Content on Project Management Roles

ProjectManager has tools for every project role. Cloud-based software means ProjectManager is reflecting the actual project as it is happening, so better decisions can be made. No matter what your project role is there are features that can help you do your job better. See for yourself by taking this free 30-day trial today.

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