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Roles and Responsibilities - A great way to ensure that your team will work well together

I am constantly running projects that consist of large teams constructed from individuals from many different departments.  Understanding roles and responsibilities are important to ensure that the team works well together without anything falling through the gaps. 

We recently kicked off a new project and after a couple of weeks in, we noticed that we had some gaps. So we pulled everyone together to run this play and reconstruct our roles and responsibilities.  Before the meeting we had everyone review current roles and responsibilities and identify gaps. 

During the play, we review current roles and added additional roles.  We made some adjustments to the original roles to simplify things as well.  We then identified the responsibilities of everyone on the team and the responsibilities of the roles.  We review the gaps to ensure that they had been filled and summarized the changes.

As a follow-up, I documented the updated information in Confluence and sent it out to the team for review.  Everything is coming together now by simply having our 1-hour exercise. I am sure it will pay dividends as the project moves forward.


Hi @Brant Schroeder 

As a variation of that when I help with team formation for a project, we use exercises to:

  • Identify stakeholders and communication plans to support them
  • Make visible what people can do and what they want to learn how to do.  This reveals hidden talent/capacity and opportunities for people to learn from one another with knowledge sharing.
  • Use exercises like Delegation Poker to prevent bottlenecks from assumptions occurring from RACI-driven strategies

Best regards,

Brant Schroeder Community Leader Aug 06, 2021

@Bill Sheboy Great information, thanks for sharing.

Hi @Brant Schroeder 

just a thought...

Discussing R&R at the start of a project can be helpful. But it can also encourage working in silos and limit the expression of T-shaped profiles, mob programming, swarming activities, etc.

Good idea to also consider Delegation Poker, GIve&Take Matrix, etc.

What do you think?

@Sedera Randria Excellent comment.  I believe it is all about how you handle the discussion and your teams are constructed. Someone has to be responsible for something and have ownership over that.  This does not mean collaboration, siloed work, etc. are the expectation.  My teams work in a matrix environment where teamwork is encouraged making it hard for any one person to silo.  Ensuring that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined encourages ownership and helps keep items from slipping through the cracks.

Like Sedera Randria likes this


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