Failing to Share Accountability with Functional Managers
In the early years of project management, project managers possessed a command of technology. During staffing activities, project managers negotiated for specific resources which were then placed under the technical direction of the PM rather than the functional manager. The functional manager still retained administrative control over the resources. Today, project managers have just an understanding of technology and therefore negotiate with functional managers for deliverables rather than people.
When negotiating for deliverables, the functional resources still remain under the direct supervision and control of the functional manager. Under this scenario, the functional managers must be willing to share responsibility for the success with the project manager.
Inexperienced project managers believe that they have single person accountability and responsibility for the project’s success. It is a mistake for the project manager not to share this responsibility with the functional managers. Sometimes, executive support is necessary to enforce this shared accountability because it might not be part of the corporate culture.
Author: Wes Balakian
Wes Balakian is the Director, Project Management Group with over 30 years’ experience in the business management field as a project management consultant, trainer, author and technologist. He also authored Harnessing the Power of Project Management, and five other published books on project management.