Team leads and project leads: What’s the difference?

In the first episode of Netflix’s space drama “Away, a health crisis back home forces Commander Emma Green, who’s on the moon waiting to launch to Mars, to choose between family and mission. All the while, an incident causes some of her crew — to question her leadership abilities.

PMI’s PMBOK ® Guide describes the responsibilites of a project manager as follows:

The individual assigned by the performing organisation to lead the teams that are responsible for achieving the project objectives.

The project manager provides the project team with leadership, planning, and coordination through communications. The project manager provides written communications (e.g., documented plans and schedules) and communicates in real time with the team using meetings and verbal or nonverbal cues.

The question is this: What’s the difference between a team lead and a project lead?

The answer seems simple, doesn’t it? It appears that many people don’t know the difference because in the real world each company has their own definition. I found this Project Management Stack Exchange post and the answer, unexpectedly, gets even more complicated.

Finally, a team Lead is a management position whereas a project lead is a leadership position.

I have to admit, I quite thought the opposite. How about you?

I was still watching the episode when another question came in mind:
Is there such a thing as a space project management?

Yes, space project management exists. Read this article on PMI.ORG.

Much of my job boils down to understanding and communicating the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. | Find me at