The Task Leader and the Task Work Group


Integrated Project Management
By Earl Hall, Juliane Johnson
Table of Contents
Chapter 3.  Project Work Breakdown Structure and Team Recruitment

Most tasks in a large basic project are performed by groups of workers. Each group is called a "task workgroup" and is headed by a lead member, who is called a "task leader." This task leader represents the group on the project team. A few tasks may be so small that they can be handled by one person. These individuals also are called "task leaders." In essence, each project team member is a task leader. Therefore, a team meeting can be described as an assemblage of task leaders.

One example of a task workgroup is that of an engineering group that is charged to design a part for a machine. The individuals in this group have experience working together. They are: 1) an engineer who does calculations and produces a design sketch, 2) a designer who converts the sketch to engineering drawings, 3) a pair of tool room operators who take prototype parts drawings and produce sample parts, 4) an inspector who verifies accuracy and manufacturability. In this setting, the engineer typically acts as the task leader and represents the workgroup at project meetings. The project manager acquaints the engineer with IPM processes, asking that he or she use them to lead the workers into full participation in the project.

A large basic project can require up to 30 task leaders, who sometimes represent up to 300 workgroup members. This type of project may consist of several hundred tasks and require several years to complete. It is developed like a smaller basic project; however, the project manager may need one or two assistants to help with team recruitment. These assistants should be drawn from within the project team, and they should hold the same basic qualifications as the project manager the difference being that they also carry project task responsibilities. Except for very small projects, a project manager should never carry project task responsibilities.[1]

[1] From a personal letter written by John Ely, President, Surface Conditioning Division, FSI International, and used with his permission: "Never, ever have a design engineer with engineering responsibilities act as a project/program manager. We heard what you said, we under funded and tried it anyway, bombed!"


    Integrated Project Management
    Integrated Project Management
    ISBN: 0071466266
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 190

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