I’m looking for something similar to the Danish word tovholder (literal translation: rope holder) which means something like a micro-manager for a single specific task but without the negative connotation that the term micro-manager carries with it.

What I would like to express is who is responsible for task X gets done today.

Martin is (replacement for tovholder) for making sure the latest version gets deployed today.

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    I don't think there is a term that fits exactly. Something like coordinator is probably just about the closest you'll get. Sep 10, 2016 at 19:03
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    "Delegate project manager" ?
    – Graffito
    Sep 10, 2016 at 19:09
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    You might even just say, “Martin is ‘the guy’ for making sure ...
    – Jim
    Sep 10, 2016 at 19:17
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    @Jim That has slightly different connotations. ‘The guy’ implies that he's kind of the ‘go-to guy’ for this kind of thing, whereas tovholder conjures up the image of someone who has taken on (or been given) the task of ‘holding the ropes’ (i.e., taking the reins, managing the different people and aspects involved in some project or task). It's basically a manager, but usually of less officially delineated projects. It's someone who's in charge of organising and coordinating a task that requires some kind of (more or less informal) cooperation between multiple people (the ‘threads/ropes’). Sep 10, 2016 at 19:32
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    Is there a reason it needs to be a noun? In charge of or responsible for would seem to cover it fairly well: "Martin is in charge of/responsible for making sure the latest version gets deployed today."
    – 1006a
    Sep 10, 2016 at 20:38

3 Answers 3



Martin is responsible for making sure the latest version gets deployed today.

If you need a noun:

Martin is the responsible party (or the one responsible for making sure the latest version gets deployed today.


Martin has the responsibility (or the job) of making sure the latest version gets deployed today.

If you want to vary things up from time to time, Martin could be in charge of deploying the latest version.


You could say "Martin is spearheading getting the latest version deployed today."

2.b. The driving force in a given action, endeavor, or movement.

3. any person or thing that leads or initiates an [...] campaign [...]

2. any person, contingent, or force that leads an [...] undertaking [...]

(All three quotes from the linked site, which was citing various other dictionaries - thus the odd numbering.)

A slightly less common phrase could be "Martin is the point man for making sure the latest version gets deployed today." Originally a military term (a lead soldier for a patrol, acting as lookout) it has entered the more common vernacular as a generic term for someone at the forefront of an issue. A similar use would be "Martin is on point..."

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    Spearhead is good (+1 for that), but I think it implies more initiative and drive than tovholder does. Tovholder does usually imply volunteering for the job, but rarely being the initiator of the project as such. I think point man is a bit too political- and important-sounding to be a really good fit. There's a bit too much representing and being at the forefront of some grand issue, at least in my mind. Sep 10, 2016 at 20:15

On projects I have worked on a common concept is the 'task owner'. I wouldn't say it's common in everyday speech but it's easily understandable outside of that environment and it's unambiguous about where responsibility lies. If there are a number of tasks you might see them grouped together under a project leader who will sometimes be referred to as 'the project lead' - "Who is the project lead for the marketing effort?". But "who is in charge of xxx" is probably more common usage in either case.

  • I'm lukewarm on task owner but I do like project lead. Sep 13, 2016 at 22:10

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