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Understand roles and responsibilities in your team

TIME: 1 – 2 hours GROUP: less than 9 people


This exercise can help team members understand each other’s roles better and learn who is responsible for what. Defining clear responsibilities prevents confusion around hierarchy and expertise. It reduces duplicate work and promotes better collaboration.


Picture this: a harmonious symphony where every instrument knows its unique melody, contributing to the grand masterpiece. That’s exactly what defining clear responsibilities does for a team. It’s like the secret sauce that banishes confusion and sweeps away the tangled web of hierarchy woes.

Imagine a world where there’s no more accidental duplication of effort. High-fives and victory dances replace the frustrated sighs of “I thought you were handling that!” Clear responsibilities are like the magical map that guides everyone’s footsteps towards a treasure trove of efficiency.

But wait, there’s more! Collaboration suddenly becomes a thrilling dance, a tango of ideas and expertise. It’s like the Avengers assembling, each hero bringing their A-game without stepping on each other’s capes. This is the realm where innovation high-fives productivity, and they both win.

So, let’s raise the flag of clarity and sound the trumpet of responsibility. We’re diving into a world where confusion retreats, and collaboration throws a party that everyone’s invited to.

Step 1: Setup your space whether virtual or in person

Grab a big canvas, like a whiteboard or products like Miro if you’re doing this online. Have fun with it, it’ll be our playground.

Step 2: Add your do, discuss, decide table

Divide it into columns for each team role. Every team is going to be different, but as an example think of something like Think Engineer, Designer, QA and Product Manager. They each get their own special space.

Engineer Designer QA PM

Step 3: Think of what others do day to day

Time for the sticky note dance! Get everyone to jot down three things for the person to the right of their role:

  • What some of their day to day activities look like (Do)
  • What they chat about with the broader team (Discuss)
  • What they’re the responsible for deciding (Decide)

Step 4: Share your views

Stick those notes up, like badges of honor. Now, it’s Show-and-Tell time! Share what you’ve discovered and have a friendly chat about it.

Step 5: Rinse and repeat but now it’s about you

Round two! Repeat  steps 3 and 4, but this time shine the spotlight on you! Write what you do, what you chat about and what you’re responsible for deciding!

Step 6: Reflect as a group and iterate

Group huddle time! Rearrange, refine, and sprinkle some extra sticky notes until everyone’s happy with a representation of their roles and responsibilities.

Think of this exercise like we’re building a tower of understanding, one colorful sticky note at a time. It’s like solving a puzzle while having a chat with your buddies. So grab those sticky notes, get comfy with your team, and let’s make teamwork feel like a carnival of clarity! 🎉


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