How to excel as a project team member

07. 04. 22 John Chapman

A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to.” Banksy, Wall and Piece

Roles on the Project Board

The PRINCE2 Project Management methodology defines a project structure with a Project Board. Representation on the Project Board is the Project Executive, Senior Supplier and Senior Users. The manual itself provides helpful guidance on each role. For example the responsibilities of the senior user are[1]:

  • Represents the needs of Users
  • Liaison with Users
  • Commits user resource
  • Specifies outputs of the project
  • Ensures products are delivered
  • Verifies product quality, functionality and ease of use
  • Demonstrates to corporate / programme management that project benefits are realized (this may require commitment beyond the project end)

Business Solutions Projects

For a business solution implementation the project team are likely to be the most expensive elements of the project cost. Their engagement in the project is taken seriously. Each person is individually inducted into the project. Naturally they will ask what their role entails and to an extent it can be described.

Yet as the expression goes, The Map is not the Territory[2], so it is with the project team member’s role. They are there to provide input, advice, and active engagement in the project. The Project Manager is not there to micro-plan and micro-manage the work.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people

Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, proposes habit number 1 is Be Proactive. ‘Work from the centre of your influence and constantly work to expand it. Don't sit and wait in a reactive mode, waiting for problems to happen (Circle of Concern) before taking action’[3].

Next time you join a project team remember the words of Banksy: Use Your Initiative. Don’t wait to be told.


[1] http://prince2.wikidot.com/senior-user

[2] Polish-American scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski remarked that "the map is not the territory" and that "the word is not the thing", encapsulating his view that an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map%E2%80%93territory_relation

[3] The 7 Habits of Highly effective people

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John Chapman

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John Chapman

Programme Director

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