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Functional and Project Contributor Level Roles (#4 in the series The Key Integrative Roles in Project Management)
By Dr.Russell Archibald

Role of the Functional Managers

Functional Managers integrate the efforts of project contributors on all projects within their individual offices, departments or disciplines, primarily through the allocation of resources available within those organizational elements to the approved, active portfolio of projects. When conflicts occur between projects (insufficient skilled resources, for example) the involved functional and project managers will escalate the conflict to the appropriate level for resolution, in accordance with the escalation procedures prescribed in the agency’s project management process.

Role of the Functional Project Leaders

Functional Project Leaders integrate the work of all contributors to their specific assigned projects within each of their respective functions.

Role of the Work Package Leaders

Work Package Leaders integrate the work of individual contributors to each of their assigned work control packages within each project.

The figure below illustrates the relationships between these integrative roles.

Relationships between the key integrative roles

Relationships between the key integrative roles: The project specialist staff shown reporting to the project manager of project “A” may be directly assigned to the project office of project “A” (as shown) or may be located in a Project Management Office responsible for all project planning and control support within the organization.

Dr. Russell D. Archibald, PhD (Hon), MSc, Fellow PMI and APM/IPMA, PMP, is one of the six founding members of the Project Management Institute. Now semi-retired, he has many years of management experience in engineering and operations with a variety of major US corporations in Europe and South America as well as the US. He has made major contributions to the understanding of project management, is author of the best selling 2003 book “Managing High-Technology Programs and Projects” (published also in Russian, Chinese, and Italian), has trained more than a thousand program and project managers and project specialists around the world, and has consulted in project management to clients in 14 countries on 4 continents. E-mail: Website:

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