Can a Project Manager Take on All Responsibilities, but not have Authority?
Can a Project Manager perform all of the responsibilities and have no authority? It is, because it is the job and responsibility of the project manager. The power and authority of a project manager differs depending on the type of organization. There are three types of organizations.
Functional organizations often have very little or no authority over project managers. This is the greatest disadvantage for project managers. However, with the right skills, they are able to successfully complete many projects.
In project-based structures, project managers have full authority over the project and report directly to the highest authority. In some cases, the project manager may also be responsible for supporting functions like finance and human resources. Project managers are responsible to make all decisions about the project, including assigning resources.
In a matrix organization, employees report to two managers: one to the functional manager and another to the project manager. The administrative part of a matrix organization is handled by functional managers. They also assign resources to projects. They also monitor the performance of their resources in different projects. They are responsible for executing the project, as well as assigning work assignments based upon project activities.
Authority and responsibility are closely linked. Most PMs are able to assume authority if they aren’t given. Project managers in functional organizations feel they are always given responsibility, but never have the authority to execute. It is important to be a leader, not a manager. You don’t have to act like a manager just because you are called “manager”. Instead of acting as a leader, you will earn the respect of your team, other teams, and managers. If authority is not given, it makes sense for others to not question it.
If you are unable to lead and insist on being given authority to do the job, it is important to remember that authority can only be taken if those in authority delegate it to your. Otherwise, you might end up with unpleasant outputs. It is not healthy for anyone and it is not recommended to allow others to question you. You will eventually be criticized for thinking you are always right. It all depends on what you define as authority.
It is very different from having direct authority over the project team and contractors. The Project Manager is a project executive who is responsible for defining the limits of responsibility. These do not include approvals.
The project manager’s role and responsibility would not be as a subject matter expert (SME). However, he has the authority to guide the design process and assist the executive in defining his vision and scope to enable him to make decisions and approve them.