Creating the Project Team

The Real Property Branch (RPB) of Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) along with organizations such as the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) (USA) promote the use of 'project teams' in the delivery of real property projects in order to make informed decisions on critical project issues, and to reduce the risk of increased legal liabilities, claims and disputes.

Although PM's are responsible for the provision of the full range of project management services, they cannot also be held responsible to provide the full range of related professional, technical, or design and construction expertise (i.e. mechanical, electrical, environmental, civil, structural) nor the full quality assurance functions necessary on real property projects. For this reason, the project teams should include the related professional and technical expertise to deliver projects. This will provide them with the capability for making informed decisions, reducing risks, and ensuring a quality assurance function for the project.

PM's cannot independently and exclusively represent PSPC nor does their project management role include taking responsibility for professional and technical discipline expertise, related advice and quality assurance in the delivery of projects. PM's have a wide range of specialist resources available to them within the various internal PSPC organizations for this responsibility. Where feasible, PM's should include a 'Design Manager' as a partner on the project, to either lead a 'shadow design team' when the project is designed by consultants, or the actual 'design team' for in-house projects. Note: In some regions the term 'Design Manager' is synonymous with 'Design Team leader'.

PM's have a primary responsibility to direct their project teams, and outline the value added and quality assurance services required from each of the internal discipline expertise organizations. It is recommended that the PM:

  • provide adequate notice to each of the internal specialist organizations what skills sets or expertise is required, the timing of the requirement, and the expectations (regional variances may exist)
    Note: In cases where the internal resource organization cannot, for whatever reasons, meet realistic expectations of the PM, it is the responsibility of that specialist organization to provide the PM with appropriate alternative solutions (i.e. through the use of Standing Offers, individual professional and technical services contracts, etc.)
  • include, when possible, a 'Design Manager' as a partner on the project team for all large multi-discipline projects
  • provide clear and concise definitions of the roles and responsibilities between project management functions and all discipline expertise functions (see Roles and Responsibilities on Project Teams - Generic Practice Model for Project Teams)
  • involve the discipline specialists in discussions with clients regarding project definition, options, risks, program delivery, preliminary design decisions and other project brief issues
  • disclose all facts concerning the requirements of the project to the project team at the earliest stage possible
  • provide adequate time for their involvement during the development of work breakdown structures, schedules and cash flows.
  • involve the disciplines in the inspection and certification of consultant and contractors work