Project role

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Project role

The project role describes the qualifications for performing a position on a project team. Project tasks are related to the role.

Project roles are part of the methodology and are defined within the methodology in a similar way to qualifications.

The Role Description is used to provide a clear understanding of the role, especially from the people nominated for the role, and should summarise what the role's tasks are in the project. The role details show what tasks the role is assigned to, so there is no reason to describe these tasks in detail.

How to define a new role

You can access the project role definitions via the Methodology workspace, In the workspace menu there is an option to view project roles.

You should know about project roles

  • It is not possible to define a project role specifically for one particular project.
  • If a role needs to be created for a specific project, it is possible to add a staff member to the team and name the role. You should describe the role in the team project contract or project plan.

A project role from a project quality management perspective

From a quality management perspective, it is the worker's qualifications, not the role, that is critical to assigning a task to a worker. This applies to both project and non-project tasks. Without the assigned qualification, the project role would effectively determine nothing. On the other hand, you can require more than one qualification for a project role.

Example of roles and qualifications

Under the ISO 26262 safety management system, you will have the qualifications of Safety Manager and Project Manager. In most cases you will also have the same project roles. In a small project (e.g. a minor modification to an existing product), or a project for a product that is not classified under ASIL, you can serve these competencies in one role. You will then have one project role of project manager, but for this role both project manager and safety manager qualifications will be required.

The project role must have an associated qualification

In order to assign a role to a defined task, you need the role to have at least 1 qualification. Otherwise, there would be no way to check if the project worker actually meets the qualifications for the project role.

Do not confuse project role and qualification

Although at first glance the difference between a project role and a qualification is obvious. However, in practice it is not so obvious and the example above with both the project manager and the safety manager is a case in point. In both cases you are likely to have both a project role and a qualification with that name. And it's not uncommon for companies to have an organisational role with the same name.

In practice, this often looks like the following with a project manager:

  • The project manager is a position defined within the organizational structure. It is likely to be in the project department, or perhaps in the development department in production companies. (The position is also sometimes called a systematized position.)
  • In order to be a project manager, a worker must have the necessary qualifications. Typically, he or she must be familiar with project management methodology, project management workflow systems, and other tools. All of the requirements for a project manager are described within the qualification description. A jobholder may have the project manager qualification even if he/she is in another job role. This occurs, for example, after a project manager has moved to another department.
  • When a worker is put in charge of a project, he or she is given the project manager role in that project. This is a temporary role within a given project and the methodology will stipulate that only an employee with project manager qualifications can perform it.

Further information

The definition of the project role is part of the methodology or quality management system documentation. More information on the methodology can be found here.
Project roles are managed by the project leader. More about project management is here.