Project Followership: How Project Team Members Can Contribute to Project Success


Marco Sampietro

Milan, Italy


By screening the books addressing project management topics, it can be noted that most publications are aimed at project managers and, more generally, the people responsible for coordinating complex and innovative initiatives. In recent years, it was understood that without the support of senior management a project manager has greater difficulty in managing the project. For this reason other publications, targeted to senior management which commissions and sponsors the projects (Archibald and Archibald 2013, West 2010, Englund and Bucero 2006, Love and Love 2000), appeared.

Other publications, instead, recognize the importance of the project team as key player in project environments and they provide hints to the project managers on how to lead, motivate, and manage project teams (DeMarco and Lister 2013, Brown and Hyer 2009, Wong 2007).

It was only very recently that some companies and training providers realized it is necessary to work on the whole team in order to achieve positive results. The trend is moving toward a “widespread” project management where the project leadership is shared among the entire project team. For example, the Agile Project Management approach goes in this direction.


The practice requires that each project be assigned to a project manager. The project manager, or project leader, is the key figure around which the entire project revolves and is the person formally responsible for completing the project in accordance with the objectives set in the project mandate.

The project manager is required to coordinate all the project management activities, from the start-up to closing, by way of planning and control. Project management is therefore inextricably linked to the project manager’s ability to coordinate.


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About the Author

pmwj27-oct2014-Sampietro-AUTHORMarco Sampietroflag-italy

Milan, Italy

Since 2000 he has been professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. SDA Bocconi School of Management is ranked among the top Business Schools in the world (Financial Times Rankings).

He is a Core Faculty Member at SDA Bocconi School of Management and teaches Project Management in the following programs: MBA – Master of Business Administration, EMBA – Executive Master of Business Administration, GEMBA – Global Executive Master of Business Administration. He is also responsible of the executive education course: IT Project Management. He is also a Faculty Member at MISB – Mumbai International School of Business, the Indian subsidiary of SDA Bocconi School of Management.

Since 2001 he has been a contract professor at Bocconi University where he teaches Project Management, IT Management, and Computer Skills for Economics. In 2008 and 2009 he has been Vice-Director of a Master Degree in IT Management at Bocconi University. He is also Contract Professor at the Milano Fashion Institute where he teaches Project Management. Some of his international experiences are: speaker at the NASA Project Management Challenge 2007, 2008, and 2011, USA; speaker at the PMI Global European Congress, 2010; speaker at the IPMA-GPM Young Crew Conference, 2008, Germany; visiting instructor at the University of Queensland, Australia.

He is co-author and/or editor of 10 books on project management and 7 books on IT management. Finally he is author of internationally published articles and award winning case studies. Dr Sampietro can be contacted at: [email protected]