Team Member to Team Lead: What's the Difference?
For many people, especially those who are still relatively early in their careers, being asked to lead their first project is a big accomplishment. It should be—it is a validation of a lot of hard work, and a tangible sign that an employer trusts someone enough to give them a chance to be accountable for the success of an initiative that is important (at least in some small way).
But in practical terms, moving from being part of a project team to leading that team isn’t the major shift that new project managers often treat it as, and that’s what I want to look at in this article.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the purpose of a project doesn’t change based on who the project manager is. Regardless of your role, the project you are working on is still expected to make a contribution to business success through the delivery of some kind of project output within a set timeframe and for a set budget. Everyone on the team—and the PM leading that team—should have the same end goal in mind; the only difference is the specific tasks that each person performs to allow that goal to be met.
This is something I see a lot of project managers forget. Instead of viewing a move into project management as a shift in the tasks they have been asked to perform, they believe they must fundamentally rethink how they view that project, how they
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