Stewardship Principle - Be a Diligent, Respectful, and Caring Steward

Steawardship is one of the 12 project management principles. Project management principles provide guidance for project teams. 

The principle of stewardship is one of the most basic and important principles in project management. A project manager should be a responsible "steward" of the project and add value to it as much as possible, while avoiding or reducing a negative impact on the environment.

The project manager is the steward of the project, and its success or failure is ultimately judged by that steward. Is the project successful? Did you deliver as promised? Did you follow the principles of project management? Did you meet the requirements? Did you meet the schedule? Did you manage risks? Did you manage costs? Did you deliver on schedule and within budget?

The core values of stewardship are Integrity, Honesty, Fairness, Responsibility. If you bring the real meaning of a steward into the mind, for example in a farmhouse, a steward has to be honest, therefore both his workers and bosses and neighbors could trust him. 

A steward has to make decisions with integrity; because his decisions will be above the level of the current work and will affect the whole farm. A steward has to be fair, otherwise; the workers of the farm may feel unhappy and has to be responsible because he has to take care of all the work assigned to him. 

Stewardship has different aspects, these are,

  • A steward should responsibly plan things with integrity, care, and trustworthiness. It also applies to execution. 
  • A steward should be trustworthy, should carry out project activities transparently, should build trust both inside and outside of the organization, especially among stakeholders of the project.
  • A steward should have responsibilities inside and outside of an organization.
  • A steward should care about ethics and human values, in other words, a steward should be a good human.

All leaders must be stewards of their profession. Stewardship demands leadership with transparency and trustworthiness. Projects affect the lives of the people who deliver them as well as those who are affected by the project deliverables and results. The project manager must manage the people, process, and technology to make project decisions that balance stakeholder needs while delivering results.

See also: Systems Thinking Principle