Practical Application: Determining Responsibilities for Team Members

Instructor: Amanda Robb

Amanda holds a Masters in Science from Tufts Medical School in Cellular and Molecular Physiology. She has taught high school Biology and Physics for 8 years.

In this practical application, we'll explore a real-life scenario about how to use individual strengths to your advantage when building and assigning responsibilities to team members.

Team Member Strengths & Responsibilities

When dealing with a large project, more hands usually make the work go faster. That said, every team member typically has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. So how can you use their abilities to your advantage to create the most efficient, successful team? Today, we're going to look at a scenario that shows how team leaders can use their colleagues' strengths to assign responsibilities and meet company or project objectives.

Sample Scenario: Rebranding Handmade T-Shirts

Destiny is in charge of putting together a new marketing team, one composed of people who will work well together in a collaborative environment. Currently their company mass produces clothing items, but is looking to branch into the handmade market. Its goal is to rebrand a new line of handmade t-shirts and find several companies willing to promote the product in their stores. Along with choosing the people that she feels will be best suited to her team, Destiny must divide up the work. What should her first step be?

Set Manageable Goals

To start, Destiny needs to break down the rebranding project into several smaller goals. First, there's the issue of creating a new brand for the shirts. Then there's the separate yet related issue of finding companies that will partner with her organization to promote the shirts in their stores. These two goals can be further broken down into even smaller objectives that Destiny can assign to the different members on her team.

Align Tasks with Team Member Strengths

To create a new brand for the shirts, Destiny needs someone to conduct marketing research about similar products. Destiny remembers that LaQuisha previously spent many years working as a brand researcher with another company. LaQuisha's prior experience would be beneficial to this part of the project. So, Destiny decides to recruit and assign her this task.

Destiny also needs a creative thinker to come up with an innovative branding approach for the shirts. Immediately, Josh comes to mind. Although Josh hasn't worked on branding before, Destiny knows that he's interested in art and loves comedy. Given his creative mindset, she believes that his ideas will serve as a complement to LaQuisha's research efforts.

However, Josh might need some assistance from people who are more familiar with the process of branding a product, since his inexperience could prove to be a potential weakness. So, Destiny assigns two people with prior experience in branding to work with him.

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