Questions from the Classroom: Roles and responsibilities

As a teacher, SDS Principal Consultant Aaron Fuller gets asked all kinds of things in class. We’re looking forward to exploring the top questions as a series in the SDS blog.

When talking roles and responsibilities on teams – what’s okay and what’s not?

There isn’t one right answer, because there isn’t one right way to delineate roles and responsibilities. There is a mistaken impression in our industry that there is a structure that is the best practice and everything else not correct. This is just wrong.

Your choices about roles and responsibilities are a series of trade offs between goals and challenges. Best structures for roles and responsibilities, organizational structure and titles are the ones that are best at balancing competing goals and challenges.

I’d like to offer a starting point: try to inventory what type of work needs to be done and what resources you have. In the end, all the theory, roles and responsibility and organizational structures should be secondary to putting people in the right job. Recognize that people helping people is the priority.

Too often organizations try to design their way to success – you can’t do that. You can only make it have less roadblocks. Don’t lose the view that everyone is individual. Remember that the user creates the value of the investment.

How does your team approach developing roles and responsibilities? Weigh in below!