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29 Nov

Answers to CM Questions from Down Under

I recently received an email from an organization in New South Wales, Australia that forwarded the following questions…

Q1: Is the PM a reviewer only or an approver of CM documentation and steps? 
Q2: Does the PM have any authority on CM’s tasks and results?
Q3: Who is responsible ultimately for CM results?

Here were my thoughts…

Q1: Is the PM a reviewer only or an approver of CM documentation and steps?
In most situations, and the optimal structure in my opinion the PM is the approver of CM documentation. The caveats here include:

1) The PM has some familiarity and experience with CM.
2) The project has been established with the CM as part of the project team. In some cases, I’ve seen the CM function as a separate activity, which is problematic in my opinion.
3) The client organization does not have a specific requirement for review and approval different than the standard process from the consulting organization. For example, I’m currently working on a project as the CM lead and the PM as acting as a reviewer. The client steering committee has the final review and approval responsibility for the CM and all PM documentation and project deliverables.

Q2: Does the PM have any authority on CM’s tasks and results?

Typical consultant answer… “it depends.” Optimally, the PM has authority since the best structure involves CM as a key part of project management. In this case, the PM will manage the CM lead and team as they would any other task group. In some cases, the CM function is performed by a person or team outside the PM’s authority and the relationship is more collegial and requires effective partnering. If CM goes awry, the PM gets to blame “them”. (This last part is a joke… sort of).

 

Q3: Who is responsible ultimately for CM results?

REAL “consultanty” answer… The organization. PM and CM, whether executed in an integrated or collaborative manner provide the structure and content for change to occur. The organization ultimately is responsible and accountable for the environment where PM and CM can take root and thrive. The actions of executives, sponsors, and other positional or referential leaders have the greatest influence on CM results.

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