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Why does sponsoring management brief the project goals to the project manager instead of the project team?

Why is it that in most cases, project goals and constraints are provided solely to the project manager by the sponsoring management (e.g. the project sponsor) and never communicated directly to the project team?
asked 9 years ago by hairul (1,320 points) edited 9 years ago by FastProjectManager

1 Answer

I've seen this done both ways, but out of courtesy, the PM should be the first recipient of the communication.  The project communication plan should spell out in detail who communicates what to whom and when.  By allowing the project manager to perform the communication, the project sponsor is helping the PM become the established authority on the project.

If it is early enough in the initiation and planning cycle, then the team would not even be in existence, if you are following the PMBOK Guide processes.  The PM receives the charter and then heads up that project with the team.
answered 9 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)
What are the activities in initiation process? Is it similar to project kick-off meeting? i think during the initiation process, there are just a briefing from client/performing organization to the appointed PM about the project goals and objectives. Also they named the project stakeholders. Then the PM heads up that project with the team for planning. Am I correct?
9 years ago by hairul (1,320 points)
Correct.  The Initiation Process, according to the PMBOK Guide, is simply to write the project charter and name the project manager.  The rest comes later.  I've found very few that adhere to this practice in real life though.  In my response, I'm alluding to the fact that goals and constraints are also a matter of discovery in planning, and may be communicated during or after planning as well.
9 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)
Agree with you in this. But how about budget, timeline and scope?
9 years ago by hairul (1,320 points)
The project manager has a responsibility to work with the project team to develop a budget, timeline, and expanded scope statement (or design) to respond to the project charter.  The project manager typically needs to take this to the project sponsor for review and approval (and often some negotiation).  Once the team comes up with the final plan and the sponsor approves, it can be communicated to the rest of the stakeholders (typically by the PM).
9 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)
Sorry what is so called 'final plan'. It shouldn't be project charter/project management plan right?
9 years ago by hairul (1,320 points)
The final plan that the team and sponsor agrees to ... it will be the baseline plan against which progress is measured during execution.  It will be more detailed than the charter plan which is often nothing more than a delivery date or a couple of items in a list. For larger projects, it also needs to be more than a Gantt chart.  The plan for large projects needs to consider all 9 knowledge areas of the PMBOK Guide (e.g. Human Resources, Procurement, Schedule, Cost, etc.).
9 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)

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