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We're working on a project, and both the manager in charge and the team lead have gone off-site for some conference. Because of this, they won't be able to actively manage the project.

Since it's an interesting problem, I'm genuinely interested in facilitating progress in the project. My question is: should I ask him if I can "oversee" (maybe that's too strong a word) the different business processes involved in the project? Is that a sensible thing to do?

And if so, how should I put it? I don't want it to be misconstrued in any wrong way.

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    It's really unclear what you're asking. What do you think "oversee" the project means? How long would this last? Whydo you think the project/what do you think in the project is so urgent that it needs a (temporary) replacement manager? – Mars Feb 3 '20 at 6:29
  • Will they consider you to have sufficient skills or is someone else likely to be selected? – Solar Mike Feb 3 '20 at 8:12
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    Why do you even want to "oversee" in the first place, for whatever that means? – Tymoteusz Paul Feb 3 '20 at 8:44
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Do not try to "overstep" into their responsibilities, rather ask them how you can be of help while they are away from work.

Send an email saying that:

"Hey Boss, have a great conference ahead [from date X to Y]. In the meantime, if you need anything to be taken care of related to the project, other than the planned work, please let me know. I'll be happy to contribute to keep things running smoothly until you're back.

Thanks, Yee."

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    Also there is nothing to stop you just scrutinising the project on your own while they're gone without overstepping your role. I did this all the time when interested. You don't formally take responsibility for anything outside your role/pay, but can learn a lot. – Kilisi Feb 3 '20 at 8:19
  • @Kilisi Very true, agree. – Sourav Ghosh Feb 3 '20 at 15:18
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According to me, "Oversee" would be a strong word to use. Just ask them whether you can look into the different processes involved in the project. Since, both of them are not present currently, you can mention about the high priority of the tasks involved in the project as a reason to look into the project.

You can also mention that this will help you to learn and understand deeply about the project which will be beneficial to you and other team members as well.

Thank you.

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