Overall Project Team Structure


To make the team model's "team of peers" concept work, you need to understand and support the roles and dynamics of the team members. Rather than being directly responsible for the day-to-day project direction and tracking, the project manager becomes a facilitator. Depending on the corporate structure, this manager might be the designated Project Manager, Business Manager, or Information Systems Manager.

The following diagram illustrates an overall project structure that includes the suggested project team roles.

Project reporting structure

The Project Management Team

The Project Management team includes the Project Manager and the individual leads for each of the team roles. They share the responsibility for planning schedules and resources, assessing risks, and tracking the project. Because each team must deliver on its commitment by completing a set of tasks, each lead should participate in project planning and management. The following items describe examples of this participation.

  • Although the Project Manager might do an initial assessment of how the team model will be applied by considering the characteristics of the project, each team lead should have an opportunity to consider all the factors and determine if the risks are manageable.
  • All team leads participate in negotiating the functional specification. Any proposed changes to the functional specification baseline require agreement from all team leads.
  • Rather than having scheduling and estimating imposed from the top down, each key player should have an opportunity to contribute to the overall schedule and estimates.
  • As the project progresses, each team lead is responsible for assessing risks and participating in tradeoff decisions.

When necessary, the Project Manager may make top-down decisions if the team members cannot reach consensus. Obviously, this can have a tendency to migrate gradually to a more traditional top-down project management style. Only the corporate culture can assure that it will not.