Effectively Defining Team Roles And Responsibilities


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As a leader, one of the functions is the distribution of team responsibilities, but how to divide them effectively? What steps should be followed? These and other questions often arise in cases like this. That is why here we will help you to solve the doubts and make your team remain satisfied.

We know that a correct distribution of activities will guarantee that each member of the team remains committed and satisfied. Even if this phase is done accurately, your team members will see you as a great leader and role model. So, pay attention to the following questions because more than one will help you with the division of duties.

Key Facts

  • A correct definition of roles and responsibilities within the team will cause problems in the team’s work environment.
  • The steps to define objectives range from creating a list of responsibilities to following up.
  • Motivation on the part of the leader is a quality that should not be lacking in order to fulfill responsibilities and roles effectively.

What you need to know to effectively define your team’s roles and responsibilities

Unfortunately, one of the problems that often arise in work teams is caused by a poor distribution of roles among members. Here are some questions that will help you avoid this problem.

What are the problems caused by an incorrect definition of team roles?

The main problem caused by incorrect role definition is disagreements among team members. Many times they often make claims such as: “he distributed more functions to me”, “he has less”, causing a conflictive work environment.

Problems also tend to occur when there is a desire to replace the other in their functions and the spirit of collaboration is absorbed by the desire for power (1). That is why the leader of each group must effectively delegate functions and responsibilities. Because, in the end, it is a group and if everyone is committed, they will have a great performance.

Why is it necessary to effectively define team responsibilities and roles?

A correct definition of the team’s responsibilities will help them to act in a coordinated manner and within clear lines of responsibility (2). That is why it is necessary that the leader or director of the office takes this point as a focus in their meetings or processes. Here are some more reasons for you to consider in your company:

Harmonious work environment

Each member will feel satisfied with the respective functions that were assigned, causing satisfaction in each one and joy of working.

Better specialization of activities

When the activities of a project or job are divided, each of the members will take responsibility in a better way, unlike when they have several.

Union of the members

Because there will be a coordination between the different functions and tasks, in order to achieve the planned objectives within the set deadline (3).

How should responsibilities and functions be defined effectively?

You probably ask yourself this question all the time. That is why we have researched various sources to provide you with the steps to carry out this process in a fair and successful way.

(Source: Katherin Chamorro/ Gitnux)

As previously noted, there are 5 steps that we will explain below:

1. Make a list

As the group leader, you should make a list of the main functions or pending responsibilities of the organization. You can also check if some functions have already been performed previously by some of the members and verify how they have performed.

2. Analyze the members

There are two cases that may arise:

  • When the members are new: if it is the first time you are going to work with the team members, you should analyze their behavior and the first impression they convey. In this case, it is advisable to ask them to share their main competencies and skills in which they excel.
  • When team members are known: you, as team leader, know their strengths and weaknesses in previous jobs. So, you should remember what their performance has been like and take that as a focus.

3. Review resumes and performance tracking

This situation also arises when the team members are new, so it is necessary to review what they are most talented at and relate it to the responsibility. On the other hand, when they are known, you should review the list of performance they have had in previous jobs or projects.

4. Designate roles

By this point, you should already know the profile of each member of your team. Therefore, the skill should be related to the responsibility to be assigned to ensure greater success.

At this point, to identify the most suitable person, we recommend using the RACI Matrix “responsible”, “approver”, “consulted” and “informed” (4). This tool is a decision matrix that helps to define the person responsible for each activity and the secondary functions of the others.

(Source: Katherin Chamorro/ Gitnux)

5. Follow up

A leader’s job does not end when he has designated his team’s activities. Because, he must follow up on his team and advise them if necessary. This point is one of the main ones, because, based on the leader’s guidance and organization, his member will achieve the effective attainment of the objective.

In the book Leadership and Motivation of Work Teams, it is mentioned that the leader, through the division of functions, is the one who motivates and generates emotional commitment with its members (5).

What are the advantages for my team to effectively define roles and responsibilities?

Now, before reaching the end, it is necessary that you know the advantages that a correct distribution of activities has for your team.


  • Better effectiveness and efficiency in roles and responsibilities
  • Staff more committed to the function and the company
  • Maximize their ability in the assigned task
  • Faster delivery of responsibilities, since it is a matter of personal mastery


  • There are disadvantages when the employee claimed to have a skill in the job interview, which he/she does not really have

What should you not miss when defining roles and responsibilities?

Finally, you must not forget the following points because they are essential to give the final touch to this great process.

Responsibility tracking sheet

As we mentioned earlier, this tool helps to corroborate compliance. In addition, it helps to promote efficiency and effectiveness of the entity’s operations and ensure the reliability and timeliness of information (6).

Fairness in distribution

This quality should never be lacking. Remember that no matter how much of a friend a member may be, you should not diminish his or her functions and activities.

Everyone has the same ability to shine and excel in their role.

Motivate your team members

A good leader should not only congratulate on the good things, but also guide when shortcomings are detected. For example, if a member does not understand a certain subject, the leader’s duty is to explain and motivate him or her to finish what he or she started.

(Source: Katherin Chamorro/ Gitnux)


An effective definition of the team’s roles and responsibilities will ensure the success of each member’s performance. In this context, it is important to follow the steps. For example: make a list of responsibilities, analyze the team profile, relate the skills to the responsibility and make a follow-up list, in order to designate the activities in a better way.

Therefore, your duty as a good leader is not only to define responsibilities and roles to the team members, but also to support them in this process. Motivation on the part of the leader is essential for the effective fulfillment of responsibilities.


1. Ramón Ruffner JG. INTERNAL CONTROL IN PRIVATE COMPANIES. Quipukamayoc [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2022 Dec 14];11(22):81.

2. Rodriguez A. Labor as a division of functions. Anu filos [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2022 Dec 13];1996(29):993-1001

3. Pereda Marín S, Berrocal Berrocal F. El entorno empresariaL La empresa, su organización y funcionamiento [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 14].

4. Finatto LJ. Aplicabilidade da matriz RACI no cenário da unidade de pesquisa clínica do Hospital Universitário de Santa Maria. 2018 [cited 2022 Dec 14];

5. Vadillo MTP. Leadership and motivation of work teams. 2013. Business Marketing School

6. Poveda JEG, Tituaña SPP, Franco PYV. Importance of internal control in the public sector. Rev Publishing [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2022 Dec 14];3(8):487-502.


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