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I am a software developer with having 5 years of experience and currently working in a team of 5 people. There is only one member is senior to me, so she is the team lead. This means that communication with upper management and project planning is her responsibility. She was doing fine until now.

I don’t know what has happened, but she seems to not be taking interest in this work (I think she is assigned some other work as well). She has changed her sitting location to the conference room so that she cannot be easily approached. So even if I ask for any suggestion or any technical help her response is really cold, like “you continue whatever you are doing”, “I’ll get back to you in next week”, “you continue on your own”.

The problem is that now the department head who is supposed to follow her up for project plans and related documents is asking me for all these things. I am formally not given any of the responsibility of this, and she is not out of the project.

Due to this situation, I am not able to clearly identify my role, or my scope of work, in the team.

How would I deal with this situation?

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The minute your department head asked you for project plans, your role changed.

You need to set up a time with your department head and ask him/her to define your role. Explain that you have not previously been asked to prepare any plans, but that if you are now expected to, you will (I assume) do it.

The WORST thing you can do is not meet the dept. head's expectations.

After a month of this or so, schedule another meeting with your dept. head and ask if this means you've been promoted, and proceed as such.

It sounds like your team lead is about to either be reassigned to another project, or find themselves out of work.

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I'd say this is your time to step up and take some lead in matters that she is slacking on. So I agree with @Wesley that you must do what the department head is asking of you. If you don't then that person will find someone else who will.

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