This paper is an update of a paper prepared for the June 2002 IPMA Conference in Berlin. It contains content from various training materials developed for the World Bank. The current paper is copyright to Robert Youker, © 2007.
Published here January 2008.

Introduction | Document #1: On-the-Job Tasks for the Project Manager 
Modules 1-3 | Modules 4-6 | Module 7 | Modules 8-9 | Modules 10-12
Document #2: The Project Manager's Duties | Document #3: Typical Elements in a Project Charter

Robert (Bob) Youker, Retired World Bank, is an independent trainer and consultant with more than 35 years experience in project management. At the Bank, he developed and presented training courses for the managers of major projects in many different countries. You can reach Bob by E-mail:


For any organization and for any project manager it is vitally important to know what are the specific duties or Terms of Reference for the Project Manager, what tasks he or she must perform and what is their authority and responsibility that should be documented in a Project Brief or Project Charter. Yet in the literature of Project Management there are few references or specific examples of these much needed details. This paper presents examples of three key documents relating to the Project Managers job. The contents are appropriate in any project where a fairly high degree of "ceremony" is required to keep proper track of all responsibilities. While these three documents serve different purposes, there are obviously overlaps, as well as similarities and differences between them:

  1. The Project Manager's on-the-job tasks
  2. A list of duties or Terms of Reference and
  3. A Project Charter defining organizational relationships.

Document #1 is a list of tasks organized by the typical sequence of activities on a project. The list has been derived from the titles of twelve modules contained in a training package on Managing the Implementation of Development Projects developed for the World Bank Institute. The list assumes that the Project Manager was not appointed until the start of the Implementation Phase and so has not previously been involved in project preparation activities.

Document #2 is a sample list of the Duties or Terms of Reference (TOR) for a Project Manager. It is less detailed than the on-the-job tasks list and is organized by topic rather than by chronology. The content would vary by organization and specific project but the basic content would be the same. The list should be useful in recruiting Project Mangers and defining their job responsibilities, typically in a job description.

Document #3 is a sample of a Project Charter defining the authority and responsibility of a Project Manager. It is primarily intended to establish the role and responsibility of the Project Manager vis--vis the functional managers in a matrix structured organization. Again the details would be different for different organizations and specific project situations.

I hope that these three documents will serve as drafts for organizations preparing their own Checklists, Terms of Reference and Project Charters.


Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Search My Site | Site Map | Top of Page