Working in diverse teams
Working in diverse teams

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Working in diverse teams

2 Functional team roles

When you are thinking about a team you have been part of or know about, you might find it difficult to think of how to describe the roles people play. Some of the roles people have in a team might be due to their technical know-how. They may have been brought into that team for a particular task due to a skill they have.

Described image
Figure 2 Technical roles – poor Herbert

People may also perform a particular functional role within that team. The functional roles are the tasks that are required to make the individual members of the team function as an effective team and not just a random group of people.

In Week 1 you started to think about some of the teams you have been part of. You will now revisit this.

Activity 2 Recap on experience of teams

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Have a look back at the notes you made in Week 1 for the teams you are and have been part of. Choose one of these examples and think about how you would describe this team. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What was the size of the team?
  • What was the overall purpose of the team?
  • What task were you working to achieve?
  • Who did what in the team?
  • Can you identify particular roles that individuals took in this team?
  • How did you decide who was going to do what in the team?

Use your example to fill in the table below. The first column has been filled in using an example from Jane and her experience on the School Parents Association.

Table 1 Describing a team you have been part of

Team exampleSchool Parents Association
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Purpose of teamRaise funds for school
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Size of team8
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Identified roles in team

Chair: Susie


Room set-up: Jane


Record-keeper: Jo


Coffee and tea: Tom


Clothes collectors


Classroom reps



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How did you find this activity? You might have found it hard to distinguish the different roles that people played. In reality there may have been less distinction between what people did. It is useful however to have considered some of the different things that needed to be done as part of the team activity and who did these. Was there any rationale to why one person took a particular task? If not, would the activity have been improved if roles had been more formally assigned?


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