Project Practitioners > What Are My Roles & Responsibilities?

What Are My Roles & Responsibilities?

By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B

One of the things I cover in my workshops is the roles and responsibilities of a Lead Project Engineer / Project Manager. What I find amazing is that some of the attendees do not understand their roles and responsibilities (that’s why I do the workshop) so I will review them in this article. When you review them you will see the skills you have to master to be a project leader.

Roles and Responsibilities

a) Overall responsibility for organizing the project team.  He/she is the team leader.    This requires you to have people management skills. You may or may not have a say in who is on your team. If it is a difficult person you will have to have excellent leadership skills 

b) Responsible for the development and implementation of the Project Execution Plan (PEP) in conjunction with team members. The PEP outlines how you plan on executing the project. It covers a whole host of items including; safety, engineering, construction, environmental, etc.. This is not a document that you sit in the corner and develop by yourself. You need the teams involvement in order to get buy in. This is a living document as it is prepared in the early phases and becomes more defined as the project goes through the project life cycle.

c) Overall responsibility for developing and meeting the project's schedule and budget including schedule and cost tracking and cost management. This is a team task to develop the schedule, budgets, and work breakdown structure to allow for effective cost tracking and management. Part of your team should be a scheduler and a cost engineer who will do the day to day management, with your input, however it is your responsibility to complete the project within schedule and budget. If the team is involved in developing these there should be no excuse for not meeting them.

d) Overall responsibility for communicating project status to plant management. Your facility should have standard forms for this. Preparing them is usually a collaborative effort. You write the narrative and schedulers / cost engineers  fill in their part.  

e) Responsible for timely submittals to the Screening Committee to communicate project information.  At a certain stage in your project, usually once you have a good idea of what you intend to do and how, you will present it to a Screening Committee for their approval. The screening committee is composed of in-house experts who will use the information you provide to determine if it is a good fit for the facilities goals. If they feel it is not a good fit they can make recommendations to correct things or not approve what you are doing. To get through one of the project life cycle gates you need this approval. 

f) Preparation and submittal of Job Order or Approval For Expenditure (AFE) documents. It is important that you understand the approval process and the time line required to get approvals. In one example I would write the original document and give it to my manager. He would rewrite it based on what he thought his manager would like to see. Then his manager would rewrite it based on what he thought his manager would like to see, and so on. Just this process would take a good month for approval. This depended on how far up the chain of command the document had to go.

g) Contracting for engineering services and reconciling team's comments on contractor evaluations and making recommendations to his/her Department Head. You need to work with your procurement group to come up with an engineering contractor. The procurement group will have criteria for contracting that can change as the company goals change. At the end of the day, you are responsible for the engineering contractor.

h) Acts as the project teams leader for meetings, and is the primary contact for external/internal suppliers and customers. You have to lead the project, determine how many project meetings will be required and when, any other meetings that will be required, etc. Since you are the leader, you know what the overall plan / scope and project status is, therefore, you have to be the contact when others are looking for information. You can not just let anyone talk to outside suppliers / customers giving out the wrong information. As a project leader you should be available to others. If a supplier wants to meet with you, you should make yourself available, within reason. If it is a product that is outside of what your project is using then no, but if it is, you may want to talk to them. Getting suppliers on a bid list is border line for you. You need to work with your procurement group and management to answer this request. A lot of times it is an outright no and other times it is a maybe. It depends on what the companies goals are at that moment in time. Companies do change who is on their bid lists but it is not a regular occurrence.

i) Responsible for drawing reviews meetings on Process Flow Diagrams (PFD), Metallurgical Flow Diagrams (MFD), Plot Plans, and Process & Instrument Diagrams (P&ID).  It is the Owners’ project manager who is responsible for ensuring that the correct people are at these meetings. This can not be left up to a consultant not familiar with the facility.

j) He/she has the final authority for those issues which the project team has been delegated responsibility for, i.e.: establishing project schedule, enforcement of schedule and budget, coordinating the gathering of information required to make decisions, etc. You are the leader, so you have to be up-to-date on the project progress, issues out there, changes to scope, schedule, and budget. Project plans change and it is up to you to communicate the changes to your team.

I will talk about additional roles and responsibilities in next months article. 


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Operators as Part of the Project Team

September 18, 2012

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Thank you for your great post. This blog is great.
Event Plants

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