Program/Project Leadership versus Stage

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” (Machiavelli, The Prince)

Over-sight/management of the matrix of work, on a particular asset at each stage in R&D is performed by a project leader. Rarely does a project leader manage the project through all stages of discovery and development. Figure 11, below, shows a minimal set of project leaders for Project A. Keeping on a project leader into the next stage requires familiarity with the nature of work and decision making, which varies dramatically at each stage. Familiarity with relevant line department leaders is useful. There will be a greater tendency to allow project leaders to stay on in smaller companies where such familiarity is possible. Professional project leaders, if given sufficiently empowered staff and authority, could in principle manage a project through all stages. Part-time volunteer project leaders lack the skill set to manage a project through all stages. Senior managers must ensure each project has an adequately trained and fully empowered project leader.

Figure 11, Project Leader vs. Stage

What is expected of the project leader is discussed in the section Qualities of a Good Project Leader.