Workflow provides a way to construct roles from the bottom-up by understanding a role as an abstraction over repeated workflows. A role is just a collection of workflows. Any role can be defined by the workflows a person in that role participates in, ie. all the results they are customer or performer for. Every role should be a customer on some workflows and a performer on others.
Additionally, beyond the specific results, a role should include the competencies and the decision authorities required to be successful in those workflows.
We prefer not to use the term “manager” as it is overloaded and comes with many connotations. Management is effectively a collection of a number of distinct concerns which may be better understood as distinct roles. This is the crux of the Collaborative Web paper. Management can be commonly decomposed into at least three distinct functions: Product, Project, and People. There is also a separate function of Technical leadership, which is often confounded distressingly with these other three functions of management. We define the following roles for these four functions of managemnent:
|Product Owner||Determine the right thing to build.||Users||Yes|
|Project Lead||Build the thing on time.||Coordination||Yes|
|Technical Lead||Build the thing well.||Tech||Yes|
|Steward||Take care of the people||People||No|
Notice that the Product, Project, and Technical concerns are project specific. But the People concern is not - it's a concern for the actual human beings, not the project they happen to be working on. The Stewardship section provides more detail.
All of these functions are critical, but it is extremely rare for a single individual to have the time, let alone the skills, to provide all of them. Thus, it is recommended that they be understood as distinct roles and that any individual be responsible for at most two (and ideally, one!).