Project Team Organization and Assignments


Quick Summary
Screenshot A checklist for organizing a project team.


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What this is

A checklist for organizing a project team, and a Roles and Responsibility table for documenting all the members of a cross-functional project team, including their roles, responsibilities, and contact information.


Why it's useful

The process of systematically constructing this team list usually brings to light people who have been "forgotten". How often has the team included all the right development people, but not the regulatory person? Or the key business sponsor? The process of documenting roles and responsibilities also helps get explicit commitments from team members and their managers on what responsibilities they are signing up for. And once the list has been created, it can then be used to ensure that all the team members are included appropriately in meetings, reviews, etc.


How to use it

The project manager and team should construct this list at the beginning of the project, being careful to go through each functional group and ask "do we need someone from this group on our team, even if they're part-time or temporary?" Asking the question that way often brings to light the need for crucial support people who were not otherwise being thought of as 'part of the team". The list can be added to as new team members are identified during the project.

The Roles and Responsibilities columns should capture the essence of their contribution to the project. Clearly stating the Roles and Responsibilities and getting full buy-in to the written descriptions helps the entire team to understand the boundaries they accept in working together and where their interdependencies lie. Note the following distinction between "role" and "responsibility":

  • A "role" is a descriptive title or label, usually described by using nouns. "Product Manager" is a role.
  • A "responsibility" is an activity, duty, action, or task associated with a role. It emphasizes action - promoting, designing, approving, reviewing, testing, etc. "Communicating with customers" is a responsibility.

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