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How teams work
How teams work

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4 Functional team roles

The three different types of role that people can play in the team – technical, functional and team roles. The first type of role someone plays in the team is that of undertaking the team task; in other words, working on the task that the team has been assigned is known as their technical role. The second type of role consists of the tasks that are required to make the individual members of the team function effectively as a team (a functional role). In this section we shall turn our attention to a person’s functional role in a team. The third type of role that a person can play in the team, a person’s team role.

Working on the process of team organisation and management often appears to be of secondary importance when compared with that of working on the task and meeting deadlines. However, ensuring that team members work constructively together will prevent the team from drifting aimlessly, sometimes acrimoniously, without getting much goal-oriented work done.

Some of these process-related tasks are best defined and carried out by team members having particular roles. In the remainder of this section we will describe these roles, and give recommendations as to how these roles can be allocated and which roles you should have in your team.