Why every Agile team should use Role-up

Why every Agile team should use Role-up

Video explaining why every agile team should use Role-up

Watch our video about why every team that works agile should use Role-up and experience the advantages of working Role-based.

Five reasons you should write down all Roles in your team

If your team works Agile, you are probably already familiar with Roles such as “Product Owner,” “Scrum Master,” “Agile Coach,” or “Team Lead.”
But what exactly is a Role? And why should you start working with Roles? A Role is a clearly defined slice of work with specific responsibilities. Agile or multidisciplinary teams should write down all Roles and their responsibilities for five reasons:

  1. Create clarity
  2. Spot overlap and gaps
  3. Continuously improve how you work together
  4. Have shorter and fewer meetings
  5. Build a resilient and healthy team

1. Create clarity

When you write things down, they become concrete and easier to discuss. As soon as your team starts writing down the responsibilities per Role, you will find that team members have different expectations and assumptions about what a particular Role will do.
Writing down Roles allows for discussing these differences so that everyone on the team knows what to expect from each Role.

Unclarity and assumptions can lead to irritation or even conflict in teams. Defining Roles and what each Role is accountable for in the team is a great way to prevent these irritations.

We often assume that everyone understands what we do (and don’t do), so writing down Roles with specific responsibilities might feel like a waste of time. If you think that way, ask three colleagues and your manager to take 10 minutes to write down what you are responsible for in your organization. And take 10 minutes to do it for yourself. If everyone lists the same responsibilities, your assumption is correct, and your Role is clear.
However, if the lists are not identical, that illustrates the importance of making Roles explicit.

2. Spot overlap and gaps

When you write down the responsibilities per Role with your team, you can spot overlap. Sometimes, different Roles feel responsible for the same thing. Decide together which Role will be accountable and take the initiative.
Having an overview of all the slices of work also makes it easier to see if anything is missing. Are there things the team needs to do that no Role is responsible for?

3. Continuously improve how you work together

Most teams find that Roles and responsibilities are dynamic. Teams learn and evolve every sprint or cycle and face new challenges and demands from the world around them.
Roles evolve with the team.
Unlike traditional “functions,” Roles are kept up-to-date by the people filling them. It is good practice to set aside an hour every sprint for a “governance meeting.” This is a team meeting to discuss how to work better together. The team sharpens the Roles and deals with new challenges or ambiguities.
It is vital to make these improvements regularly with the whole team to keep everyone on the same page. You might not look forward to another meeting, but governance meetings have an unexpected advantage: they result in shorter and fewer meetings.

4. Have shorter and fewer meetings

With clear Roles, team members know what to expect from each other. The governance meeting is about HOW you work together, so all other meetings can be about WHAT you work on. This means shorter meetings focused on the content and not hijacked by discussions about who should decide or do something.

Some meetings no longer need to take place at all. When you have a clearly defined Role, you know what you are responsible for and what decisions you need to make—and are allowed to make. You no longer have to seek permission. You can actually do your work. In the way you think best. And this gives great freedom.

That is one reason people who work with clearly defined Roles are happier with their jobs. Job satisfaction is higher, less time is spent on conflict, and team productivity increases.

5. Build a resilient and healthy team

Explicitly defined Roles will help you when times get rough. If one team member is buried with work, it is often possible to split their Role into multiple smaller packages so that other team members can take over some of the work.
Redistributing the workload can significantly improve the speed of the team as a whole.

Or imagine the arrival of a new team member. By studying the Roles and responsibilities the team has defined, new members are immediately up to speed. Of course, they will contribute to the team’s evolution, but the starting point is clear. There is no need to do all the discussions again. Everything is captured in the team’s Roles.

So why should you use Role-up?

Some say there is a perfect tool for everything.
Role-up is the tool for capturing Roles and their responsibilities with your team. We designed Role-up to be intuitive, straightforward, and easy to use for every team.

Designed to be used by any team

You can start using Role-up with your team today. Create an account, invite your teammates, and start defining your Roles.
We even have online workshop templates to help you get started.
All your data is safely stored in the EU and only visible to users you invite to your organization.
In Role-up, your team can collaborate online, so it will also work if team members work hybrid or remote.

Role-up makes responsibilities transparent for everyone in your organization

When you use Role-up, everyone in your organization can see the Roles, but only the team members can edit them.
Role-up generates a dynamic map of all the teams in your organization. This way, everyone can see all teams, their members, the listed Roles and responsibilities in a team, and even the person or persons filling the Role.
Role-up makes finding the responsible person in any team simple. With teams actively updating their Roles in governance meetings, Role-up gives your organization a real-time overview of who is accountable for what.

Role-up is excellent for starting small. However, the benefits will scale when other teams join and your organization grows.
You can keep the agility of a start-up but document accountabilities for a growing organization without adding unnecessary bureaucracy or outdated organizational silos.

So why wait? Start today.

Our website offers a practical workshop template to get your team started and a retrospective exercise about Roles and responsibilities. You can do these yourself with your team.

Start your free trial today — no credit card needed.
Create an account and invite your teammates to the future of teamwork.

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