Gather ’round Leadership Angels – here’s the plan: Defining Roles

Consider this:

A project management workflow diagram written on yellow sticky notes


Everything that ever comes into being begins with someone taking the initiative to create something new, something different than what’s been done before. That’s what we’re doing here, taking the initiative.

We are initiating the renewal of our community – first here in Costa Mesa where we will build out the first iteration of the Dragonfly Coalition / Community Wellspring business model.  We will then provide the template to other communities who will then adapt the business model to their situation, while continuing to expand the Community Wellspring network. See Community Renewal in Costa Mesa here.

I have said from the beginning of our looking into this story: No one’s done anything wrong. For that matter, no one’s done anything right, either.  It’s just the story of how we’ve created what it is we see before us – all that is working for the good of the people and all that is not, all that is okay in its present state, and all that is not okay and needs to be corrected.

When we see clearly what it is that we’ve created – and OWN that which we’ve created –  we can then choose to create something entirely different, some other story that more closely aligns with who we are now and the frequency that we more resonate with presently, here in our community.

That is also what we’re doing here.

All successful projects are structured and built around how the sphere in this graphic depicts. We have the Project Sponsors at the top of the structure who must fulfill their roles and responsibilities if there is to be a project brought into being at all.

At the center of sphere we have the Project Manager who must carry out its role in taking ownership for and fulfilling the responsibilities required to bring the project through the Project Management cycle toward completion.

It has to be a cooperative endeavor – a co-creation – if the mission the project is designed to accomplish …will ever become fulfilled. That is why we have come together around this issue at this time. Each and every person named in this document is here not by accident or unrelated coincidence.

We are here to renew our communities and – on behalf of ALL of our residents – return integrity and compassion to being the watchwords in the governance that we engage to manage our cities’ affairs, all the while maintaining vigilance that those carrying out these trusted responsibilities reflect the highest levels of integrity and compassion or risk becoming disengaged from their duties more rapidly than they may have been at risk previously.

We are here to bring life-sustaining jobs to prosper our community. Imagine what it will look like when we have 300 or more new jobs inserted into our local economy – 300 new jobs within six months with a minimum starting pay of $3,600 a month. That’s just the minimum. There’s more.

We are here to cultivate community and well-being in our neighborhoods for all of our residents.

The City of Costa Mesa is blessed to be the site of our first community renewal project. And you gentlemen are graced to be the first to sponsor its implementation.

Role Assignments:

[For specific details on the individually assigned roles, see Specific Project Sponsor Assigned Roles and Responsibilities]

Federal Judge David O. Carter – Executive Sponsor

Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer – Associate Sponsor

California State Senator John Moorlach – Associate Sponsor

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas – Associate Sponsor

Linda Witt-King – Project Manager

Project Sponsors:

Sponsors tend to be the ones who started the project or thought of it. They may be said to “own” the projectStakeholders, on the other hand, tend to have an interest in the outcome of the project, rather than its inception. Sponsors Vs. Stakeholders |

The ones at the top of the reporting ladder are the sponsors. The sponsors take on the risk associated with a project.  All stakeholders in the project must make the sponsors aware of all developments.

Executive Sponsor is a role in project management, usually the senior member of the project board and often the chair, is primarily responsible for keeping the project aligned with organization’s strategy and portfolio direction. Governs project risk. Works with other sponsors.


The Project Sponsor is the individual [or collection of individuals] (often a manager or executive) with overall accountability for the project.

The Project Sponsor is primarily concerned with ensuring that the project delivers the agreed upon business benefits.

The Project Sponsor acts as the representative of the organization, and plays a vital leadership role through:

  • S-1: providing ‘championship’ for the project, selling and marketing the project throughout the organization

  • S-2: providing business expertise and guidance to the Project Manager

  • S-3: acting as the link between the project, the business and government communities and perhaps most importantly, management decision-making groups in the public sector and local grass-roots efforts rising out of the neighborhoods.

  • S-4: acting as an arbitrator and making decisions that may be beyond the authority of the Project Manager

  • S-5: acting as chairperson on any one of the various steering committees to be formed

Project Sponsors Responsibilities:

The Project Sponsor is responsible for

  • S-6: ensuring that the business need is valid and correctly prioritized  – Carter

  • S-7: ensuring that the project is properly launched  – Spitzer

  • S-8: ensuring that the project remains a viable business proposition – Moorlach

  • S-9: ensuring changes to the project are properly managed – Spitzer

  • S-10: ensuring risks are managed  – Rackauckas

  • S-11: establishing the project organization, roles and reporting structure – Moorlach

  • S-12: ensuring the project is under control – Carter

  • S-13: approving key project deliverables – Moorlach

  • S-14: initiating project reviews and supporting the process of review – Rackauckas

  • S-15: resolving issues (typically competition for resources and priority clashes) that are beyond the control of the Project Manager – Spitzer

  • S-16: resolving conflict and removing obstacles to progress  – Carter

  • S-17: providing stewardship for the overall quality of the project, both in the methods used to develop it and the end product  – Rackauckas

During the life of any project, business circumstances may change considerably, making it impossible for the Project Manager to carry out his/her job. Examples are such things as changes of policy, adverse business conditions, etc.  In such cases the Project Sponsor is responsible for recognizing and responding appropriately to any such circumstances.



~ By Duncan Haughey


A project management workflow diagram written on yellow sticky notes

The project manager is the one who has the overall responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure of a project. 

The project manager must have a combination of skills including an ability to ask penetrating questions, detect unstated assumptions and resolve conflicts, as well as more general management skills.

Key among the project manager’s duties is the recognition that risk directly impacts the likelihood of success and that this risk must be both formally and informally measured throughout the lifetime of a project.

Risks arise from uncertainty, and the successful project manager is the one who focuses on this as their primary concern. Most of the issues that impact a project result in one way or another from risk. A good project manager can lessen risk significantly, often by adhering to a policy of open communication, ensuring every significant participant has an opportunity to express opinions and concerns.

The project manager is the one person who is primarily responsible for making decisions, both large and small. The project manager should make sure they control risk and minimize uncertainty. Every decision the project manager makes must directly benefit their project.

Project managers use project management software, such as Microsoft Project, to organize their tasks and workforce. These software programs allow project managers to produce reports and charts in a few minutes, compared with the several hours it can take if they do it by hand.

Our project will be managed and carried out through internet technology, allowing maximum flexibility for all team members. We will be using for this purpose. – an online project project management tool

Roles and Responsibilities

The role of the project manager encompasses many activities including:

  • Planning and Defining Scope

  • Identifying and Documenting Project Requirements

  • Activity Planning and Sequencing

  • Resource Planning

  • Developing Schedules

  • Time Estimating

  • Cost Estimating

  • Developing a Budget

  • Documentation

  • Creating Charts and Schedules

  • Risk Analysis

  • Managing Risks and Issues

  • Monitoring and Reporting Progress

  • Team Leadership

  • Strategic Influencing

  • Business Partnering

  • Working with Vendors

  • Scalability, Interoperability and Portability Analysis

  • Controlling Quality

  • Benefits Realization

Finally, Project Sponsors must give the Project Manager their full support and authority if the project is ever to be carried out successfully. Anything less poses additional risk to the full implementation of the project.


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