The “Is – Is Not – Does – Does Not” activity is a concise and effective method for defining role responsibilities within the team. Through this activity, participants explore both positive and negative aspects of the role, clarifying its functions and limitations. By asking specific questions, the activity helps to clearly delineate the role’s scope and contributions. This focused approach enhances understanding, promotes collaboration, and facilitates strategic decision-making.

Running the activity:

  1. Divide a white canvas in four areas (Is / Is Not / Does / Does Not).
  2. Write the name of the role above the quadrants.
  3. Ask each participant to describe the role on sticky notes and put them on the correspondent areas.
  4. Read and group the similar notes.
    * The role is…
    * The role is not…
    * The role does…
    * The role does not…
  5. Consider repeating for another team role

This activity serves as a valuable tool for elucidating the distinct responsibilities of each team role. By engaging in this activity, participants gain a clearer and more consensual understanding of the scope and boundaries associated with specific roles. The discussions that ensue during this activity facilitate the team’s ability to establish strategic clarity by identifying tasks or actions that fall within the realm of a particular role and distinguishing those that do not. It enables the team to reach important conclusions, such as defining what certain roles will never undertake and recognizing their collective responsibilities. Through this activity, teams can enhance their alignment, foster effective collaboration, and make well-informed strategic decisions.

Some teams simplify the activity and use only “The role does…” and  “The role does not…”. Another common option is to gather info on all roles at the same time. For example, you can prepare your board with the roles as column titles and use a post-is color for The role does…” and another color for The role does not…”

Remote-team advice: This activity works well for remote teams. Use a remote board of your choice.

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