This post is the first of the Clarifying Project Team Roles series of posts. In these, we'll look at project role definition in detail.
Part 1: Why clarify project team member roles?
Everyone involved with a project plays one of two roles. They either contribute to the success of the project or they don't. Some people play both roles at different times and very few, if any, play both roles at the same time.
That is a bit of an oversimplification and is likely not helpful to actually defining team member roles on your project. That being the case, we'll look at role definition in a more practical manner through the posts in this series of articles.
Why define project team member roles?
The project manager’s goal with respect to peoples' roles is to make sure they contribute to the success of the project. This can be achieved in many ways and one of the best ways is to make sure everyone involved knows what they are supposed to do and where to go if they have questions.
When roles are left undefined, it opens the door for people to, well, be people and cause all sorts of turmoil. Some will be superheroes going above and beyond to deliver the project and make it a success and others will be "doormats" in term of the project, working on other unrelated activities but still likely appearing busy.
Defining roles creates accountability. Accountability brings either results or identifies issues that can be addressed. All this leads to being able to manage a project and determine if it's on track or off.
About the Series
This series focuses on defining roles on a project or project team and the importance of doing so. Search for Clarifying Project Team Roles to see the related posts for more information role definition.