Click here to see the template.

If there was only one tip I could give to myself for my past projects - it would be to define your team roles and responsibilities. Whether you're a team of 1 or many, roles and responsibilities provide a common understanding to both parties on what type of work is expected.

If there was another tip I could give - it would be that roles stick around, people don't. You're always going to have to replace a team member, but you should understand what you need to replace. If a team member is filling multiple roles - you - need to understand what impact that has across the project. Because your team members can't do two things at once.

Summary

  1. Define and allocate your project work to roles
  2. Don't give your roles too many responsibilities - create new roles instead
  3. Do this early so both parties know what's You define what is expected of that role in the project

Filling roles is a time-sink

You don't want your team members looking like this..

You don't want your team members looking like this..

Overworked team members - I often did extra work that wasn't accounted for - will eventually leave. Replacing these team members often means up-skilling a team member, reducing project velocity and overall productivity.

Subsequent deadlines will be delayed, other team members may pick up the slack, experience the extra burden and introduce additional stress.

Don't have too many roles

I don't know if there is a magic number but a team should not have that many roles. I would say keep it around 10 tops, over at thebalancecareers.com they say 5-7 with a maximum of 12 team members. There should be at least one role for every team member, perhaps some team members do two different roles at 50%. However I don't imagine you would have two roles for every team member. Be sensible.

Now what?

Well if you already have an up-to-date roles and responsibilities then good for you. If you don't - you should definitely create one soon! Use a template like this Google Sheets template to get started.