Hierarchy in Project Management

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Program and Project Management > Best Practices > Hierarchy in Project Management

Hierarchy in Project Management
Denis Schmidt, Project Manager, Luxembourg, Member
Hello, to close a long discussion between management and my PMO, could you please tell me if a document exists to demonstrate the hierarchy within a project? Between a project manager, a project coordinator, business analyst, sponsor, wholesaler... Who supervises whom? Thank you.

No Generic Project Hierarchy
EL RHATRIF Abderrahmane
Hello, there is no general answer to you question, applicable to all cases.
Each project has its own management plan, defining specific procedure, roles and responsibilities of the project team members, as well as the relationships/interactions between all contributors and stakeholders.

Triangular Project Hierarchy Structure
John M Gushue
Sponsor is at top of a triangle. He is supported by a Project Manager who directs the Project Coordinator. A Business Analyst is a satellite outside the pyramid feeding information to both the Sponsor and the Project Manager while not reporting to either as the analyst provides information that the Sponsor and Project Manager weighs with other information when making project decisions.

Project Structures have many Variations
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, Premium Member
Hi Denis: while I have a preference for how projects should be structured, I do not think there is one answer. It will depend upon the organization and the project:
- As noted by John Gushue, a Project Manager can report to the Sponsor. However, it is also possible that the Project Manager could report to the IT organization (CIO, IT Director, or another designated IT manager/director). The PM may or may not report to the client/sponsor, unless he is the Project Champion
- The Project Coordinator could report to the PMO, but may also report to the Project Manager. The Sponsor is normally the head of the business area.
Sorry if this response is not very clear, but I hope you understand that there is no general answer. Have you ever used the British Computer Society job profiles?

Project Organization Structure: Situational Hierarchy Model
Artem Shahbazyan, Manager, Armenia, Member
They should decide together who is now leading for that specific situation. So indeed it depends on the situation. I offer a new model of hierarchy which I called Situational Hierarchy (SH).

Situational Hierarchy Model
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
@Artem Shahbazyan: your idea sounds very interesting... Could you tell a bit more about your model?

Situational Hierarchy Model
Artem Shahbazyan, Manager, Armenia, Member
According to the Theory of Situational Control (Fiedler) there is not best leadership/management method for solving all situations' problems. Every situation requires it's own best way of solving it.
Situational Hierarchy (SH) is a method in the shape of a circle. The manager of the organization is in the center, but he/she is not the leader for all situations.
It works as follows: "a circle unites all points, every point is a different situation and every situation has a different problem, each problem has it's method of solving the problem, and each method has it's "manager" and the manager is the one who is suggesting the method of solving a problem. And the manager who is on the center only follows the one who is the manager of the situation. SH is for short term projects, but also can be used for long term projects: it depends on the type of task. The main task of the manager of organization is to give a name for the situation and the team is selected by the manager of the situation.

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