Magazine article Supervisory Management

The Supervisor as a Project Leader

Magazine article Supervisory Management

The Supervisor as a Project Leader

Article excerpt

So you've been asked to manage a project. You and your staff came up with an idea for a new operating procedure that will reduce operating costs and your boss wants you to head up the project. Cheer up! Heading a project can be extremely rewarding work. Because projects are normally set up to accomplish an important purpose, the success of a project can do wonders for a supervisor's career aspirations.

In the Beginning

As project manager, you need a clear idea of what you are to accomplish. That means that after being told of your assignments you should meet again with your boss to discuss in greater detail his or her expectations. Suggest that you and your boss sit down and write exactly what the goal of the project is, how long you have to complete it, how many staff members are to be involved, to whom you must report, and so forth.

If the project team only consists of the members of your department, you can hold a meeting to discuss the upcoming effort and define the objectives. Project assignments then can be made based on what your staff members are capable of handling. If you are charged with the task of selecting a project team, you must consider exactly what skills will be needed before making any team assignments.


One of the essential ingredients to a successful project is teamwork. Members of the group must be made to feel that they are all working together toward a common goal. Toward this, assignments should be common knowledge to all participants. Each individual should understand his or her own area of responsibility and should also know who is responsible for the other facets of the project. Unless this is made clear from the onset, problems can occur involving hurt egos and/or assignments that are neglected because nobody knew who was supposed to do what. …

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