I.C.4 Team Roles and Responsibilities
Of the seven typical team roles, the roles of timekeeper and scribe are the only ones that are optional depending on the ability of a team member to effectively fulfill a dual role of participating member and either scribe or timekeeper. While the remaining five roles are essential, they may be combined in a variety of ways. Crucial roles for the success of the team, once it is formed, are the team leader and facilitator roles. The team leader is responsible for the content, the work done by the team. The facilitator is responsible for ensuring that the process used by the team and team dynamics are the best for the stage and situation the team is in.
There is a need for a trained facilitator when:
- No team member is trained for, capable of, or willing to assume this role in addition to functioning as a participating member.
- The team has been meeting for some time and is incapable of resolving conflicting issues.
- A new member has been added, thus upsetting established relationships.
- A key contributor has left the team.
- There are other factors, such as running short on resources, project cancellation, or major change in requirements, that may disturb the smooth functioning of the team.
Supplementing the team with on-call experts can often compensate for a shortfall in either the number of members or members’ competencies. Such temporary members must willingly share their expertise, listen attentively, abide by team norms, and support team decisions.
The selection of a team member to serve as a timekeeper may be helpful, at least until the team has become more adept at self-monitoring time usage. When a timekeeper is needed, the role is often rotated, giving consideration to whether the selected member has a vital role to play in the deliberations at a particular meeting.
For some team missions where very formal documentation is required, a scribe or notetaker may be needed. This role can be distracting for a member whose full attention may be needed on the topics under discussion. For this reason, an assistant, not a regular member of the team, is sometimes assigned to take the minutes and publish them. Care should be taken to not select a member to serve as a scribe solely based on the person’s gender or position in the organization.
All team members must adhere to expected standards of quality, fiduciary responsibility, ethics, and confidentiality (see Chapter 4). It is imperative that the most competent individuals available are selected for each role.
Quality Management BOK Reference
I.C Teams and Team Processes
I.C.4 Team roles and responsibilities - Define and describe typical roles related to team support and effectiveness such as facilitator, leader, process owner, champion, project manager, and contributor. Describe member and leader responsibilities with regard to group dynamics, including keeping the team on task, recognizing hidden agendas, handling disruptive behavior, and resolving conflict.
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