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👋 G’day, friends! I just ran the Roles and Responsibilities play with my team, and I want to share 5 tips and tricks from my experience.
For folks who are new to this space, the Atlassian Team Playbook contains workshop resources for addressing common team challenges and starting important conversations. The Roles and Responsibilities play aims to clarify individual roles and responsibilities and identify any gaps. And these plays are not just for our customers--Atlassians love using these plays, too!
I am a Learning Experience Designer on Atlassian’s Learning team. Our team recently merged with another, so we had some new folks (and roles!) we really needed to sort out. 📣 Cue the Roles and Responsibilities play! After a couple of sessions (more on that in a bit), my team had more clarity on what each role should be doing. Here’s what I learned from my experience running the play:
Anyone can run this play! The first thing I want you to know is, you don’t have to be a team lead or manager to run this play! I’m an individual contributor on my team, and I was just really interested in leading this play. However, your manager should still attend this session, as they have valuable input.
Review the How to Shape Effective Teams course and Roles and Responsibilities play. To prepare for this play, I reviewed the Roles & Responsibilities lesson in the How to Shape Effective Teams course. (👀 This course also contains lessons on running other Team Shaping plays, so it’s definitely worth a look!) Then, I reviewed the Roles & Responsibilities play in the Atlassian Team playbook. Both of these resources contain instructions on how to run the play, and they also contain tons of tips and tricks. ProTip: Keep the playbook page open while you facilitate the play to keep yourself on track.
Schedule enough time for your team size. The Atlassian Team Playbook recommends 60 minutes for teams up to 5, but 90 minutes for teams of 6-8. I originally scheduled 60 minutes for our 6-person team, thinking we could make that work. We ran out of time and had to schedule an additional session to finish up.
Add ‘Accept’ or ‘Reject’ labels to responsibilities. One of the most challenging parts of this play was going through all the responsibilities as a group. We had so many! To help move this process along (and organize our thoughts), we started adding ‘Accept’ or ‘Reject’ labels to the responsibilities in the “What others think” column of our page. Anything with an ‘Accept' label was moved into the “What I think” column as an official responsibility of that role. Anything with a 'Reject’ label was moved to the appropriate role, OR placed in the Unassigned responsibilities section of the page.
Make a plan for any follow-up. During our first run-through of this play, I quickly realized we were going to need more time to cover everything. I used the last 5 minutes of our time to assess what we hadn’t yet covered and made a plan with the team to cover the remaining content in another session. (For example, we made a plan to finish adding ‘Accept’ and ‘Reject’ labels async, then finish discussing the unassigned responsibilities at the next session.) Also, if you are able, try to schedule the follow-up session as soon as possible to keep it fresh in people’s minds. Don’t let too much time slip by!
Overall, running this play helped clarify the new roles and responsibilities within our team. The page we created has also been really helpful in communicating what we do to other teams! It was definitely a worthwhile endeavor.
Have you run a play from the Atlassian Team Playbook? We want to hear from you! There might even be some prizes involved…🎁 Check out this post to see how you can share your experience with the Community.