Clarify roles and responsibilities

Use this exercise to help a group discuss individual roles and responsibilities, and clarify how these roles interact within the group. It’s effective with groups of varying sizes.  With larger groups, allow for more wall space and more time for discussion.

Supplies: Large and medium sized sticky notes, markers, and a wall.

  1. Self-reflection. Describe your current role and responsibilities.
    • Each person writes his role on a large sticky note.
    • Each person brainstorms all of the tasks he is responsible for. Write one task per medium sticky note.
  2. Post role and responsibility sticky notes on the wall.
  3. Round-robin  group conversation. Each person describes her role and the tasks she are responsible for. Allow adequate time for the group to ask questions and share insights. After each person finishes, you might ask questions such as:
    • What comments or questions do you have?
    • Of these tasks, which are critical for our success?
    • Are there any that are not important to do?
    • Which tasks do you find satisfying? Why?
    • Which tasks do you find challenging? Why?
  4. After you have gone through all of the roles, consider how well the roles function together to achieve the expected results of the group. You might ask questions such as:
    • What comments or questions do you have about any of the roles and how they function together?
    • Do we have the correct roles to get the results we expect?
    • Are there opportunities to shape any of the role’s responsibilities differently to get better results? To create more satisfying work?