The Role Expectations Matrix is a team forming activity that aims to map out the expectations among team members. It helps team members to best define their roles and avoid future conflicts due to hidden or unknown expectations.
Running the activity:
1. Create list of all the team members’ roles.
2. Using the list, create a matrix with the list of roles along both the horizontal and vertical axes. Label the vertical axis as “from” and the horizontal axis as “to.”
3. Ask the team members to write down (on separate post it) their expectations each of the roles. These notes should go on the cells on a horizontal line for the team member role.
For example, consider the Role Expedition matrix below. If John is a Dev, he should place his notes with expectations for another Dev on the (Dev, Dev) cell; the notes with expectations for QAs on the (Dev, QA) cell; then the notes with expectations for PM on the (Dev, PM) cell; and so forth. The goal in completing the matrix is to find the most complete picture of team members’ expectations on each other.
4. Group conversation for the whole matrix. I recommend selecting one “from” role (a matrix vertical line) and then each person reads his/her expectation notes for that role. Then repeat for all roles.
Below is a sample sequence of photos for a new team that used this activity.