Role Steward

As an outcome of the Roles and Responsibilities process, each role or realm will have a steward. We now turn our attention to how the steward can do their work.

To most effectively work in a group, it is useful for each person to have clarity on their freedoms and limits, their decision rights, their powers and responsibilities, and in general how they can do their work.

While a role interface describes the explicit accountabilities of a role, it does not describe the freedoms, limits, and responsibilities associated with how they achieve their accountabilities.

A steward of a role has the following freedoms:

  1. She may make decisions pertaining to the accountabilities of the role (provided that she goes through the Advice process in the cases where the decisions affect others).

  2. She may prioritize the accountabilities of the role, and allocate resources (her own time and the budget assigned to the role) accordingly.

  3. She may create new subroles and describe their interfaces, thereby creating a realm (but if she wants to assign somebody else to any of those roles she will have to go through the Resource Allocation process).

She has the following limits:

  1. She cannot change the accountabilities of the role that she stewards.

  2. For any decision that she makes that affects others, she must go through the Advice process.

  3. To change the resources allocated to her role, she must go through the Resource Allocation process.

Both the steward of a role and the steward of a realm have the following responsibilities:

  1. She must articulate the strategy and objectives of her role as a pattern language, and ensure that the strategy and objectives are in alignment with the strategy and objectives of the organization.

  2. She must make available, upon request by anybody in the organization, a list of projects or tasks that are being worked on in the context of the role or realm, and the status of those projects or tasks.

  3. She must provide weekly updates that are viewable by everybody in the organization.

Therefore:

Each person in the organization should have well-described freedoms, limits, and responsibilities around how they do their work. Each person should have decision rights, prioritization rights, and differentiation rights within the roles and realms that they steward, within the limits of their Role Interface, the Advice process, and not impinging on the decision rights, prioritization rights, and differentiation rights of others in their roles. Each person has the responsibility to provide transparency into the objectives and strategy of their roles (described as a pattern language), and a project and status list.

Ultimately each person is responsible for articulating the strategy and objectives of the roles they steward, in line with their Role Interface and the strategy and objectives of the organization (Vision, Strategy, and Objectives), making decisions within the roles they steward (through Advice), differentiating their role and, when the resources are available and people are interested, assigning people to subroles (through Roles and Responsibilities), and finally, prioritizing and allocating resources within the roles they steward (through Resource Allocation).

Published May 5, 2019