Project Roles and Responsibility in an Enterprise

I worked a long time in a financial company (one of Fortune 200) in the US.  It’s quite a complex process to start a project, or you can say, make some changes or create something new.  Once I had an idea of a new project which I was very excited about, and I pitched it to our team’s VP at a gathering, he was very excited about it as well.  However, to my surprise, his first question was: “does your project have a customer?”  Since I clearly did not, he explained: “every project has to have a customer”.   That’s quite an interesting learning experience.  It turns out that in addition to customer, there are a number of other roles in a typical project in an enterprise, the table below lists out their roles and responsibilities.

Role Expectations
Program Sponsor •Influence strategic direction
•Serve as tie breaker for major decisions
Steering Committee •Set strategic direction•Approve major decisions

•Review progress of program

•Provide guidance and feedback on plans

Program Customer •Set conditions of satisfaction•Approve decisions not requiring executive review

•Review progress of program

•Provide guidance and feedback on plans

Program Manager •Ensure program governance (Project Management SME)•Program status updates

•Impact Assessment/Process Navigation

Leads •Provide LOB requirements & timelines•Provide resources for Core Team activities

•Resolve cross-functional and cross-organizational issues

Informed Stakeholders •Review & provide feedback on program scope and delivery plan