Developing Team Roles & Responsibilities

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Beyond defining “Why” you’re working on this challenge and “What” you’re going to do about it, now its time to define the “Who”. Building a diverse team and clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of this team is paramount to your program’s success. Whether you’re launching a new business, kicking off a Six-Sigma project, or just putting up a new shed – the entire team having an understanding of what each team member is there to accomplish and who is held accountable for the various deliverables will ensure program delivery.

Here, you will be introduced the the ARMI and G.R.P.I. tools. Two simple methods to record team objectives, clarify roles & responsibility, and walking through your plan of action to ensure the full team is aligned.


The ARMI Tool

This tool helps identify the key stakeholders, their roles throughout the duration of your program, and when/how you should engage each stakeholder. ARMI stands for: Approver, Resource, Member, and Information/Interested Party.

One way the ARMI tool can be completed is by filling out the below table,

ARMI Tool Matrix

Along the top row, input each phase of your project, starting with launch (Phase 0). The planned date of each subsequent phase should be entered in the “–/–/–” placeholder. This will give your key stakeholders a rough idea when they should see the results from each phase. Be sure to define the output/expected deliverable(s) of each phase on your project charter (This should contain the Why and What of your challenge). You may enter the name(s) of the stakeholders of each of the blank cells.

Details on the ARMI categories,

  • Approver: Approves decisions outside project scope or initial goal/charter.  Often a business leader or executive sponsor of your project
  • Resource: Resources are those whose skills, expertise, and knowledge may be needed at different phases of your project.  These subject matter experts (SMEs) may be consulted on an ad-hoc basis.
  • Member: Active team member. Primary project workers driving change at various phases of the program strategy
  • Information/Interested Party: Interested parties in the project’s output and progress or people to be informed at the designated phase.  This could be someone working on a similar problem to share best practices, or could be someone affected by the program results.

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The G.R.P.I. Method

The G.R.P.I. method is a simple tool for assessing the health of your team in relation to the challenge at hand. How well does your team understand the challenge? Does each person understand their role? Can the team trust each other? Does the team have a clear understanding of the path/method to be followed to reach the challenge’s goal? All of these questions are important to building trust and a healthy dynamic. It’s a great idea to use this tool during the launch phase of your project. G.R.P.I. may also be used to better understand why the team may be struggling at various phases of the program.

G.R.P.I Tool

How does G.R.P.I. Work?

Print off a copy of the G.R.P.I. matrix and hand one to each member of the team. Take a few minutes for each person to anonymously fill out their chart by circling 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 for each section, where 1 is the lowest score and 5 is the highest. It is also useful for each person to fill in why they scored a particular section low with a few opportunities on how this score might be increased. Once everyone has completed their scoring, the project leader should combine each of the tables, record the minimum, maximum, and average score for each of the sections. Next, open a team discussion on where the team is functioning very well and where there are opportunities for improvement. For example, if “Roles” scores very low, there is an opportunity to discuss the expected roles and responsibilities of each team member – document any variances to original roles of each member and clarify how the team might improve.

It is best to check the G.R.P.I. tool in order from top to bottom: first Goals, then Roles, then Processes, and lastly Interpersonal. Also, it is OK and usually preferred to have healthy conflict during these discussions. With a lack of conflict, someone is m=likely not being stated and the team may experience future turmoil.


Download a Free Template for ARMI and G.R.P.I. Below!

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Want to Learn How to More Effectively Improve Your Team’s Dynamics?

Check out Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. This leadership book tells a story of conflict in a corporate setting and how to mediate this conflict into achieving an extraordinary team dynamic and results.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

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