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Can the project authority be given to the project team as well?

I'm just wondering whether the project authority can be shared between the project manager and the project team. Here's why I think this should happen:

1)    It provides a mechanism to prevent organisations from adopting unrealistically optimistic plans.
2)    It prevents the project manager from privately acquiescing to unrealistic goals or constraints under pressure from management.
3)    It provides a mechanism for disciplined commitment by all parties.
4)    It makes it more likely that all team members really commit to the plan.
asked 8 years ago by hairul (1,320 points) edited 8 years ago by FastProjectManager

1 Answer

No it can't and it shouldn't. This is like having several generals on the same battalion, several chefs working on the same dish.

If you want more details, here's why this is not the case:

- If team members have the same authority as the PM, then they will be able to modify tasks, change the schedule, etc...
- There will be multiple people reporting on the same project to the stakeholders, which will create confusion.
- Not all team members want to have authority, and certainly not all of them deserve it or can handle it.
- The whole concept of project management will be broken, and we will return to the dark ages where there was no project managers, and the project was managed by the team.
answered 8 years ago by MaplePM (46,940 points)
I agree with you. But I see in the normal practise the PM normally privately acquiescing to unrealistic goals or constraints under pressure from management. In this case, the organization normally adopted top-down approach where they give particular requirement and schedule deadline, then the PM accept to run the project without taking into consideration the opinion of the project team. For example, the project manager does not architect and design the house, thus he or she can't accurately estimate the time to produce the architecture and design of the house, the PM does not code the system/software, thus the PM can't estimate accurately the time to produce the software/ system. I have not much problem if the project manager acted as a project coordinator e.g. as a point to communicate with customer, but authorization power that the PM has, normally lead him or her privately acquiescing to unrealistic goals under the pressure from management. But, if the PM and project team acts as 'whole', maybe there is different (maybe not much) when there is a pressure from the management to the project team as a whole. Also, when the management/client talk directly to the project team it would lead in miscommunication and misudenstanding about the requirements and project goals. The project plan should also should not come from the PM, but the project team as a whole. This would make the project team to has a high sense of ownership and not being dictated by the higher level of authority.
-Just my 2 cents opinion-
8 years ago by hairul (1,320 points)

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