The co-op distributes project management across all staff. Each project has a 'project steward' whose role is to support staff and clients throughout the project lifecycle.
The project steward is the client's first point of contact for anything to do with the collaboration and will keep them up to date on budget, progress, scheduling and special arrangements.
- Advocating for the project within the co-op. Reminding us why we are doing this and what is needed to make it a success.
- Point of communication for the client. Ensures a consistent presence for the lifecycle of the project.
- Budget monitoring. Helps all parties to deliver the project within budget and raises concerns when a project is badly over budget.
Because working in isolation on a project can be overwhelming or lonely, other responsibilities of a steward may include:
- information manager and context holder
- scope definer
- morale booster
- process person
- Default replier to emails and other client comms, unless delegated or common sense prevails that someone else should answer the email.
- Submitting invoicing to the client. Our projects are generally invoiced on a monthly basis, but it's your job to know the details of the contract and the specifics of the financial arrangements and agreements. The Finance steward will chase outstanding invoices.
- Stewards are assigned as Project Lead on Linear.
- Keep the Linear issues for your project tidy and up to date and keep people unblocked.
- Post a regular Project Update on Linear, at least once per cycle to aid shared understanding.
- Productive.io scheduling. In collaboration with the team, book in scheduled time for team members so that we can eyeball busy and quiet periods in the work calendar.
- Maintain the Cashflow Model for your project. Add projected invoices to the Confirmed Inflow and Potential Inflow sections.
- Organising an internal retrospective after the project concludes
Meetings to attend
- A project management clinic per cycle (every three weeks)
- A forward planning meeting for future projects every 6 weeks
Assigning a project steward
A project steward is normally assigned close to when it has been signed off on, and before it has begun. Collaborators will be put in touch with the steward.
Stewards are normally uninvolved in day-to-day delivery work (e.g. engineering or design) so they can provide an 'outside' perspective on process, but they'll usually be familiar with the nature of the work so they can offer useful insight.
Sometimes we hire a dedicated project manager
For large and complex projects, we may hire in a dedicated project manager who can give the role their full attention. We maintain a short list of freelancers for these scenarios.