Project Management

3 Levels of Project Work Authorization [Infographic]

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A blog that looks at all aspects of project and program finances from budgets, estimating and accounting to getting a pay rise and managing contracts. Written by Elizabeth Harrin from GirlsGuideToPM.com.

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Categories: earned value, process


project work authorization

How do you go from someone high up in a position of authority saying it’s OK to begin the work through to the individual team member knowing that it is OK to start a task?

That’s where different levels of authorization come in. This is important for projects using earned value management, because there are often formal approaches that require formal approval and sign off in order to accurately track performance.

According to the Practice Standard for Earned Value (2nd edition, 2011) there are four steps that are typically used to authorize the work:

  1. The project manager receives authorization for the work to begin
  2. The project manager authorizes each manager to begin work (typically, the control account manager)
  3. There might be an authorization level which is where the CAM gives approval for the functional manager to begin work with their team, but it depends on the individual processes and the scale of the project
  4. The team manager authorizes individuals to get started.

That seems like a lot of authorization, but it doesn’t need to become a bureaucratic of long-winded process. An efficient process wouldn’t take much time at all. You simply need to know who to inform and what to tell them, and the people responsible for doing the work need to have a clear brief of what to do so they can get on with it

The infographic below sets out the flow of authorization, and you’ll see that I’ve streamlined two of the bullets above to make it easier to follow.

How do you authorize work in your organization? Is it as structured as this? Let us know in the comments below!

project work authorization infographic

Posted on: June 16, 2021 08:00 AM | Permalink

Comments (2)

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Valuable ideas on project management with authorization and Earned Value Management

Thanks for this ... My organization seems to have a simplistic one!
The PM authorizes the Functional manager who then authorizers the Team members

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