Project Management

Here's the Hub

Dennis Smith

In high-performance organizations, a critical role is that of the hub -- an informal leader who connects the spokes of the project, from facilitating information-sharing, solving problems and working with resource pools and clients, to providing support to the project team.

This is the fourth article in Dennis Smith's series on organizational project management issues.
A common view of the hub-and-spoke organization is that it is merely a flattened hierarchical model. At one level that is so, but the hub-and-spoke organizational style delivers much more than a flattened hierarchy. A deeper look reveals pervasive information sharing driven by key people who operate as "hubs." But unlike the leaders in a hierarchical or heroic organization (see "Bygone Heroes"), these hubs are not necessarily the leaders.
Someone looking at this organization from a traditional point of view might be concerned about who is actually in charge — about accountability and integrity of information. But the teams working in the hub environment most likely would not share those concerns. Their needs as they relate to project work are being met, and they are more likely to feel shared responsibility. A big part of the difference is how the hub defines their job.
In high-performance organizations, one of the primary roles of the …

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