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Difference between role and responsibility

Technically, what are the differences between a role and a responsibility? Is a role a more general statement of what the person should be doing, while a responsibility is a more concrete, detailed statement? Is there always only one role per person, and many responsibilities for that same person? If I look at the project manager, he has only one role which is to manage projects, while he has many responsibilities such as resource management, schedule management, conflict management, issue/risk management, etc...

I appreciate if someone experienced answers this question!
asked 6 years ago by anonymous

2 Answers

Adding more thoughts to the below answer, let's examine the project manager's role and responsibilities.

The project manager's role is to manage the project.

The project manager's responsibilities is to do the following activities in order to manage the project (see how the role is related to the responsibilities):

- Create the project documents
- Manage the project schedule
- Manage the project team
- Manage the conflicts/risks/issues
- Manage the project sponsor/the client/the stakeholders
- Report about the project
- Close the project

Of course there are many responsibilities, but as you can see, all the responsibilities fall under the same role.

It is possible to have two roles per person, for example, a Program Manager (whose role is to manage a program) can also be the Project Portfolio Manager (whose role is to select and prioritize projects).
answered 6 years ago by anonymous
Yes, you have the right idea.  Roles help group together people with similar responsibilities and functions.  So there is a role of system administrator or foreman or project manager.  Responsibilities on the other hand are the concrete things those in a particular role are responsible for.
answered 6 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)

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