Line management in a project
One common issue with projects is the lack of clarity over line management. Staff are often brought into a project for their specific expertise and the project team and workstreams are temporary. The workstream leader and project manager are not the individuals’ line manager, so if there is an issue, who is responsible for sorting it out?
Not only that, unless the individual has been moved completely away from their regular work, they will still have day-to-day work responsibilities for their “normal” line manager. Like other parts of the planning process, if these issues are dealt with at the start of the project, they are less likely to cause problems later.
In organisations where staff are used to working on a number of work assignments at the same time, for different managers, this is likely to be less of a problem. But, where staff are used to working on discrete tasks, all for the same line manager, being part of a project team can find them being “pulled” in different directions by the workstream / project manager their line manager.
If this happens, staff need to feel comfortable asking the managers to sort it out amongst themselves rather than the staff member being expected to negotiate with two (or more) managers to find a solution which works.
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