Organizations work better with Roles

Organizations work better with Roles

How can organizations benefit from working with Roles? How can they scale and grow more agile with Roles? How does working with Roles enable companies to distribute decision-making authority and become more resilient? And why is that a good thing for a founder or CEO?

Roles provide clarity on who does what

Thousands of organizations worldwide use Roles to build agile, self-organizing teams. Popular agile work methods for teams, such as ‘scrum,’ use Roles to create clear work packages that are delegated to team members. Roles create clarity for team members. They contain clearly defined duties and responsibilities, so team members know what is expected from them and what they can expect from others.
And this clarity goes beyond the team. Making responsibilities transparent also benefits colleagues outside the team.

Find the right person faster

If you know the Roles a team has and the responsibilities each Role has, finding the right person becomes easy. Communication gets more effective, and less time is wasted on misunderstandings due to talking to the wrong person.

Make responsibilities transparent in Role-up

When you use Role-up for your organization, all teams can manage their Roles in one place. Role-up generates a dynamic graph of your teams that is always up to date. You can see the members of each team and who are the persons linking the two teams.

Screenshot of dynamic map of all teams in your organization
Dynamic map of all teams in your organization
Screenshot showing team members per team
See team members per team
Screenshot showing the persons linking two teams
See the persons linking two teams
Screenshot showing the Roles and responsibilities in a team
See the Roles and responsibilities in a team

When you click on a team, you can view all the Roles they created, the listed responsibilities per Role, and to whom the Role is delegated. Role-up becomes a complete overview of all accountabilities in your entire organization.

Grow organically with Roles

When you start in Role-up—maybe with only one team—listing responsibilities and assigning Roles to team members may feel obvious. Why should you write down what everybody already does and knows, right? But when new members join the team, they will better understand how the team works together. For everyone who was not there in the beginning, the organization of the work is clearly defined in Roles.
And there might be a second team at some point. Or maybe a few new teams when Roles that were part of the founding team evolve into small business units. Suddenly there are many places where Roles are updated and refined by teams. Role-up will be your central overview of all your organization’s teams and Roles. It will grow with your organization as your teams, and the layout of your organization evolve.

More effective communication

Having a central source of truth regarding responsibilities has many benefits. It makes connecting to the right person in another team easier. Teams can communicate more effectively, and less time is wasted searching for the right person. Or talking to the wrong persons.
In the dynamics of a growing organization, responsibilities, Roles, and teams change often. Role-up provides the central online overview of who is accountable for what.

Distributing authority with Roles

Roles do more than bring clarity to work and make responsibilities findable and transparent. They allow you to distribute decision-making authority. What does that mean? And why is this so important for companies?
In a traditional setting, when a team needs a decision, they will ask their project manager. The project manager will probably ask his manager, who will ask her boss, etc., until the request reaches the person who is allowed to make the decision. This person with decision-making authority will ask for advice from specialists (possibly someone from the team requesting the decision in the first place) and then make a decision. Subsequently, the decision travels through the organization’s hierarchy back to the team.

Reduce information travel

This process takes a lot of time. When information travels through an organization, it usually means meetings. The project manager has a meeting with his manager, the manager with her boss, etc. There will also be some emails that require reading and writing time. During all this time, no decision is taken, and the team in need of a decision can’t move forward on the matter.
Why not give the team the power to make the decision? When you work with Roles, you can delegate decision-making to a specialist filing the Role. The person who makes the decision has to scrutinize the pros and cons. This includes the consequences of the decision on other teams or projects. That is not something only managers can do. If the people who need a decision can do this work and make it themselves, you save time. You reduce information travel and empower your teams to react swiftly.

Reduce dependencies on decision-makers

But there is more good news. Distributing decision-making to the places in your organization where the decision is needed frees up time elsewhere. CEOs, founders, and other decision-makers get a break. They no longer have to understand what they have to decide, collect advice to enable an informed decision, and communicate their decision after making it. Someone else does all that work now. When C-level managers can outsource areas of decision-making to other Roles in the organization, they can focus on work only they can do.

Make your organization agile and resilient

When you start distributing decision-making, decisions are taken faster. Teams become more agile and can adapt to changes more quickly.
By making decisions faster and in more places, your organization can react quickly to changes in the world around you. Teams can process insights and iterate until they get it right. Distributed decision-making helps companies, non-profits, and all types of organizations to become more responsive to change.
When your teams can adapt faster to market demands or customer needs, your organization will become more agile. You can change direction more quickly and efficiently. Your organization becomes more resilient. When impactful external changes occur, your organization can recover faster, bounce back and find new ways to achieve its goals.

The potential of self-management

Outsourcing decision-making to specialists in your organization is a first step towards self-management. There are many inspiring examples of companies and non-profit organizations that implemented self-management. There are numerous ways to do it and many methodologies to review.
Popular methodologies such as Holacracy and sociocracy all share a crucial building block: working with Roles. Roles form the basis of these modern ‘operating systems’ for organizations. But you don’t have to start a reorganization or hire a consultant to begin reaping the fruits of working with Roles. With Role-up, you can start today. We created an easy-to-follow workshop template to get your team started.

Work better together with Roles

Curious about how to begin? Read about the advantages working with Roles brings to teams.
Start creating the structure that will allow your company to scale, grow agile and become resilient. Your organization will work better with Roles.

Why others do it

A growing number of companies and non-profits start working with Roles. Why do they switch to this new way of working? We did some digging and found Seven Reasons ogranizations have for switching to working with Roles.

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