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As a developer working on a team with a project manager, is it valuable for the team and/or the project manager to have team members who are aware of project management and for them to share their opinions?

How does this effect the relationships between team members?

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First things first.... the PM should always be listening to the opinions of the team. They are key stakeholders in the project and the best way to keep them engaged, motivated and productive is to foster good and open communications.

You may have to work harder at communicating with those with little knowledge of PM than with others. I'm in a field that doesn't have a long PM history, and a lack of knowledge of PM in the teams leads to unnecessary impacts on scope/cost/time. This is mainly due to not paying attention to proper configuration management, change and communications practices. I've been trying to alleviate this by hosting weekly PM awareness sessions, and have noticed a reduction in problems with those who have been regular attendees.

  • +1 on how an organization's PM experience affects the process of adopting PM -and finding solutions to alleviate those effects. – Mark Phillips May 18 '11 at 13:26
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Not only is it a good idea it is perhaps the only idea. Delegating decision making down to the lowest possible level will lead to better buy-in, better decision making and better employee growth. It is not easy however. If you have a culture where people are used to being commanded then it will take some courage.

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The more people that understand the process, and what goes into it, the better.

This is actually why the PMP was originally created. There's a reason it's called Project Management Professional, and not Professional Project Manager. ;)

In the beginning, the PMP was designed to certify that team members, not the PM, had a good understanding of the general processes of project management. The thinking was that the more the team knew about what went into managing projects, the more assistance they could provide. Knowing the how's and why's of what the PM is doing or why they want certain information helps the team members understand better, and possibly provide more accurate or relevant info.

As Mark said, this doesn't mean that the PM should be overruled or argued with, as they're ultimately responsible, but it helps if everyone's speaking the same language.

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Usually, I avoid involving the team members in the Project Management role as I usually work in small teams. When I work in bigger teams it is always helpful to have one of the experienced developers involved in the management (a shotgun). In practice, this leads to better task organisation on the lower levels and increasing the productivity. Just to be clear, do not expect miracles if you make a developer your assistant, it just helps a little.

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The PM should create time for you to express your concerns.

However, since the PM is accountable for the project, let them guide the process.

If you have ethical concerns or concerns that could impact more than the project itself, the best place to voice those would be to upper management rather than to your team. Voicing it to the team can create unnecessary and unproductive friction.

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Having team members being aware of project management and sharing their opinion is very valuable for the project and the PM. The PM is a human and can miss things that other team members can advise on. All the team members must feel free to express their opinions. What is also important though is for the team members to accept if their opinion is not adopted by the PM because he/she is accountable for the project so he/she may choose a different route for some reason.

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A great question. I think it helps for the team members to have some understanding of project management so they can see a bigger picture than just their task/deliverable. That said, differences of opinion on how to manage the project are best discussed one on one, not in a meeting.

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If you are targeting to a small team then I believe this would be benificial to include the opinion of the team members regarding project management, but when we work on the large scale with 1000+ resources and 10+ Project Manager it will become to messy and unorganizes to envolve developers/team member to contribute to the management of project. However, task related to the Project Management can be assigned and monitored by the project manager to the team members.

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