How to Evaluate Roles on Your Team

At our upcoming offsite, one of the big questions we’ll be discussing is what we’re not doing as a team that we should be. We’ve had projects accumulating on our backburner for months, and we’ll undoubtedly discover new customer needs during our Customer Sensing activity. But knowing what needs to be done isn’t enough—we’ll also have to determine who has the skills and, just as importantly, the interest in taking on each project. To facilitate this discussion, we’ll use a Role Venn Diagram.


If you’re evaluating your team’s capabilities, here’s how to run this simple exercise:

  1. Before your meeting, have each individual on the team identify what tasks the company needs, what tasks they’re good at doing, and what tasks they love doing.Ideally, the majority of your work will fall into the “sweet spot” where these three domains intersect, but inevitably, some tasks will fall out of (at least) one circle. For instance, you might be good at some tasks that the company needs, but not necessarily love it—like managing expense reports. Alternatively, you might love designing slides and reports, but not be very good at it.

  2. Evaluate how you spend your time versus how you want to spend your time. All too often, we spend too much time doing those things the company needs that we’re good at (because, well, they’re needed), or doing the things we love that the company needs (even if they take us longer than they should). To be more effective, think of ways to delegate, automate, or otherwise minimize the time spent on the former category, and find training opportunities for the latter. As for the things you’re good at and love, but that the company doesn’t need? Set up a brainstorm session or interview colleagues to explore ways it could add value.

  3. Convene with your colleagues to share your results. Each person should first share the tasks that are in their “sweet spot.” If one of your “good and needed” (but not loved) tasks falls into their sweet spot, ask if they’re willing to take it on. Then, ask for feedback on your plans to delegate tasks or improve skills, as your colleagues may have ideas or know of resources that can help. (For an easy way to share skills and interests with the larger organization, try creating a Skills Inventory.)

  4. Review what the company needs that you’re neither good at, nor love, doing. Last, but certainly not least, compare these tasks with your colleague’s results. If a few team members have identified the same skills gap, that’s a good indication that you should either hire someone to fulfill those needs, or outsource the task to a third party. You may even be able to compile several related tasks into a preliminary job description that can then be shared with HR.

    Need a larger version of this worksheet?


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