Roles & Responsibilities

10-40 people

Establishing clear roles and responsibilities is crucial in transitioning your team from the "storming" phase to the "norming" phase, or in maintaining a high-performing team. It facilitates a better understanding of each member's role and promotes effective collaboration by eliminating confusion. This approach is particularly effective when combined with Stakeholder Analysis, as it provides a comprehensive overview of team dynamics. It can be implemented both in virtual and physical settings, using tools such as a virtual or physical whiteboard.

Workshop steps


Create a big table on a whiteboard using these columns: 1. Role 2. My perceived responsibilities 3. Others' perceived responsibilities 4. Unassigned responsibilities Refer to this IMAGE LINK for guidance.


Determine team roles (5 min) List the roles within your team (e.g., team lead, developer, designer, facilitator) in the "Roles" section of the prepared table. Keep it simple by using high-level titles (e.g., write "developer" for both front-end and back-end developers). You can be more specific later if necessary. If feasible, arrange seating so that individuals with the same role are next to each other.


Determine your main responsibilities (10 min) List down the top 3 - 5 tasks you are accountable for in your role. Write each task on a sticky note and arrange them according to their importance.


Determine Responsibilities for Teammates (5 min) 1. Identify 1-2 top priorities for each of the other roles in your team. 2. Note down any responsibilities that lack a clear owner during brainstorming. 3. Bring up these unassigned responsibilities during the group discussion in step 6.


[Optional] Streamline and Combine (5 min) (Only perform this step if there are 3 or more individuals with the same role.) To save time in the upcoming step, collaborate with team members who have similar roles and streamline the list of duties. For example, if there are five developers present, they should work together to create a unified list of developer responsibilities.


Discuss each role for 25 minutes For every role, let the role owner(s) explain their understanding of their role and arrange their sticky notes in the "what I think" column according to priority. Then, ask others in the room for their opinions on the role and let them place their sticky notes in the "what others think" column. Afterward, the role owner should either "accept" or "politely decline" the responsibilities suggested by others. If they decline, they need to recommend which role should take on that responsibility. During this process, you may discover responsibilities without a clear owner. Make a note of these in the "unassigned responsibilities" section below the table. If responsibilities overlap, ensure to clarify who is the primary owner, and who will act as a contributor or back-up.


Quickly recap and determine the following actions (5 min) Great job, you've successfully established clear understanding for the team! Briefly review the roles and their duties to ensure everyone is on the same page. Next, assign someone to record this information and another person to address any skill gaps that were discovered. Helpful Techniques: Who/What/When Matrix. Stakeholder Analysis

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Anna Lundqvist
UX Designer and AI Ethics Strategist guiding innovative product development and educational workshops
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Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
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Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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