Project Team - meaning and definition

project team
A project team is a temporary team created to deliver a project.
Project teams are multi-disciplinary, team members are bought together from different departments and may include experts from external companies or suppliers. The project team are responsible for completing the project (doing the work) according to the project schedule.

Having the right skills within the project team is crucial to project success, and the membership of the project team may change as different skills are required for certain phases and deliverables.

Typically the project manager will be consistent throughout the project life cycle although on some large projects specialist project managers may lead certain phases for example a procurement or feasibility stage.

Project team location

Project teams may be located in the same building with rooms and facilities set aside for them. Obvious co-located project teams are those working on building projects. Projects following Agile methodologies are also frequently co-located.
Lock recommends that key members of project teams are located near each other. However, projects delivered by geographically dispersed teams are increasingly common in many industries. For example in IT companies developers and technical support may be located in a different countries from the project manager.

Typical make up of a project team

the Project Team
  • Project Sponsor or Project Executive. They may sit on a Project Board.*
  • Project Manager*
  • Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)*
  • Change Management Function
  • Project Administrator/Project Coordinator
  • Project Planner
  • Risk Management function
  • Team Manager(s) – Line managers of the SMEs
  • Testing Manager(s)
  • Testing team
  • Quality Assurance function
*These are the core roles on a project team. The other roles may or may not be required depending on the industry, project type and project size.

Project team organization structure

As Lock explains it is vital that the Project Manager has sufficient seniority and authority to lead the project team. For the duration of the project the team should report (on project delivery) to the project manager and the organization structure of the project team should reflect the ownership of the project manager. An example project organization structure is shown below. The Project Manager heads the team with a direct reporting line to senior management.
project team organisation

Line management responsibility for the project team members won't necessarily transfer to the project manager, but the project manager should be allowed responsibility for all aspects of the project backed by company management.

Project teams – references and further reading

S and K, Baker. (2000). The Complete Idiots Guide to Project Management, Indianapolis: alpha books, P. 51.

Lock, D. (2007). Project Management by Dennis Lock 9Rev edition (2007) 9th ed. Aldershot: Gower, p.137 - 138. Latest edition Project Management.

Microsoft Project Templates

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