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Chapter 12. Assigning Resources > Establishing Reporting Relationships

Establishing Reporting Relationships

When the staffing management plan has been started and assignment of people to roles has been done, the project manager can then define the reporting relationships expected to carry out the project's activities. Organizations get depicted for a software development project in many ways. The first and most obvious representation of reporting relationships is the classic organization chart. In large project organizations, these can get messy-looking if taken to the lowest levels of the organization. Sometimes they bruise egos, too. Another kind of chart depicting relationships is the organization breakdown structure (OBS) for the project, which relates parts of the organization to the work breakdown structure (WBS) elements and shows which organizational units are responsible for which work packages. Basically, the organization chart shows who gets direction from whom, and it identifies the paths of control for execution of the project activities in the WBS. The OBS shows which pieces of the total product are assigned to a given work group. These are useful representations for large projects, but they become cumbersome for small projects, where the WBS is relatively small and individuals execute the work packages.

Another useful tool is the project directory. This is simply a list of people working on the project, with appropriate contact information and group identity. It may even list stakeholders who are not part of the direct project team. This is useful to help maintain project stakeholder relationships. Even if all the team members come from the same company, grouping the project members in a separate directory is handy and useful. It also helps provide a sense of group identity. When the team members are widely dispersed and come from different companies or organizations (such as subcontractors), the directory becomes even more valuable.


  

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