You can add people to projects with different roles. The role reflects the functions a person has within a project:
- Sponsors: All people responsible for the project from a strategic perspective. Sponsors are the beholder of the business impact of the project and ensure of its alignments with the overall goals of the organization.
- Leads: All people for whom the project is an ongoing concern. Leads are central to the success of a project. They serve as the coordinator and the operational point of contact for the project. Adding multiple leads lets them share the workload and provide continuity.
- Participants: All people who will be working on a regular basis in the project. This includes all people who will actively contribute to the success of a project.
- Followers: All your project stakeholders. This includes people who are not actively a member of the project but may be impacted by it or who can benefit from it. Also everybody who wishes to keep updated on the progress should be added as a follower.
- [Visitors: People who visit an open project without having been added to the project are implicitly "Visitors".]
The purpose of roles is to make the organizational structure of the project transparent (e.g. it's best to call the Lead if there is an in-depth question about the project). Hence, it's recommended to pick roles reflecting business reality instead of deriving the roles based on required permissions.
The role a person has implies what they are allowed to do within the project:
- People working on the project (Sponsors/Leads/Participants) can view & create/edit/delete all project data such as creating a Persona, deleting a Solution, or adding other project members. Their standard interface to the project is therefore the "Workspace", an experience optimized to create/edit data and to execute the process.
- People being interested in the project (Followers/Visitors) can view the project data, e.g. they can view Personas in the canvas but they can't change them. The "Canvas" is their interface to the project, an experience optimized to consume the content that the project team generated and flagged as noteworthy (e.g. the Persona they selected).
Q: Why do Leads and Participants have the same permissions?
A: Leads are the backbone of the project, driving project success. Yet, they are typically not project administrators - and very seldom supervisors to the other team members. In fact, the most successful Leads act as facilitators among equals. Over the years, it became apparent that giving all members the same permissions within the project underlines this principle: projects are team-owned, everybody has the same rights & obligations.
Q: Why do Sponsors have full permissions for a project?
A: Successful sponsors support the team by challenging implicit assumptions and by pushing the team to dig deeper in their research. To do this, sponsors need to have access not just to the polished end results - shown in the Canvas - but also to the intermediate results in the Workspace.