Step 2.2 Check your role are you respon-
sible for achieving the ‘why’ or making sure
the ‘what’ happens?
To be successful in completing your project, you need to know what you
are responsible for. Consider the simple example I started this chapter
with – you are decorating the front room. Remember the reason for this
was to get the asking price for the house you are selling. You must start
by understanding whether you:
Are only responsible for decorating the front room? (what) OR
Are also responsible for ensuring the house achieves its asking price?
Normally, as a project manager, you will be only formally responsible for
achieving what you have specified, not why you are doing it. You should
understand the ‘why’ but it is not your job to achieve it. Do check this
though. Sometimes your customer may expect you to be responsible for
the ‘why’, which in business is usually called being responsible for the
business benefits, or the benefits realisation. If you are responsible for
the benefits, you should pretty quickly start asking yourself some
subsidiary questions, such as:
Is decorating the front room really the best way to achieve the
asking price?
If decorating the front room does not achieve the asking price, what
do I do then?
If you are only responsible for decorating the front room without
worrying about whether it achieves the asking price or not your life is a
lot simpler!
PROM_C02.QXD 1/3/06 9:21 am Page 30

Get Project Management Step by Step now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.