How to Define Roles Within a Work Team

by Louise Balle; Updated September 26, 2017

When you manage a work team, it is important to define roles for each member early on. If you do not, your team members become confused and unsure of how they should proceed with the project. Power struggles may occur since members are not sure of who is ultimately responsible for making decisions about specific tasks. Defining roles also helps ensure that you manage your time and project budget efficiently. As the team leader or manager, you can foster a more productive work place by assigning proper roles in a logical manner.

Step 1

Analyze the strengths, backgrounds and talents of each member of your work team. You must understand the capabilities and knowledge of each member before making a final decision on the roles they will play to successfully complete the project. Speak to individual members of your work team in a preliminary meeting or on an individual basis to discuss their various skill sets if necessary.

Step 2

List all of your goals for the work project--both short and long term. Be specific and include the deadline for accomplishing each goal.

Step 3

Match your team members to each goal you have listed as the "responsible party" based on your conclusions about the talents and strengths of each person. For instance, if you know that one team member has experience with designing advertisements, put him in charge of creating and submitting advertisements for the project. Create a title for each role--for instance, the "advertising project lead." You may have to assign more than one person to each project goal.

Step 4

Set an initial project meeting to assign roles to your work team. Hand out a printed copy of your goals, which includes the names of each responsible party. Explain each person's role in detail to ensure that everyone knows who to report to if he has questions regarding an element of the work project. Encourage members to ask questions for clarification before proceeding with the project.

About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.