The give-and-take matrix: a workshop to align the team on the role distribution


Give-and-take matrix

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A team owes its efficiency to the collective: the more involved and motivated the team members, the more functional the whole group. It is essential to work hand in hand, towards common and unifying objectives, each one putting his or her skills at the service of the group. And when a grain of sand slips into the wheels, it is better to remove it as soon as possible to prevent the machine from jamming.

The give-and-take matrix is ideal for this! This template proposes a workshop where everyone can express themselves on their role within the team, their expectations and what they can bring to the others. This is an opportunity to have a clear and common vision on task distribution, and to adjust some of the missions if needed.

What is the give-and-take matrix?

Sometimes, a team can run out of steam, be less harmonious, for example during a long term project, or after a change in the organization. The give-and-take matrix is the workshop to fit this situation: take the time all together to analyze the functioning of the team, to put everything on the table in order to start again on a good basis. Each person clearly expresses his or her vision of his or her position and the others’, and everyone's participation is essential.

The give-and-take matrix is a kind of RACI, but more participative and more detailed. Each person is invited to specify their role, what they expect from the others and what they think they will bring to the other team members. 

The goal is for all team members to be clearly aligned on who does what, and what the interactions are. When all the roles are clearly defined, it avoids misunderstandings and problems related to poor workload distribution or miscommunication. Everyone knows what they are supposed to do for their team members, and what they expect them to accomplish to get the job done. 

The use of the Give-and-take matrix during a workshop

Why use the give-and-take matrix, what are the benefits?

When launching a new project, making a RACI allows you to clearly define the roles of each team member. With the give-and-take matrix, you go further, and it is not limited to the project kick-off.

This workshop is particularly useful when a team encounters some difficulties in collaborating, some divergences in the way it works.

It is essential that everyone's scope of action is respected in order to work effectively as a team. The matrix of expectations allows each person to have a clear vision of this perimeter. His or her own, but also that of each team member, to work better together. 

Writing down what we expect from each other, and what we believe we can bring to the others, allows us to reach an agreement. By removing any ambiguity, we can avoid some actions being left unfinished or, on the contrary, being carried out twice in parallel. There is a way to avoid these disappointments too!

How to run this workshop in 5 steps

As with every template in the Klaxoon library, you will find detailed instructions on how to run your workshop. Here is how the workshop of the give-and-take matrix with the Klaxoon template is designed.

 1. I describe my role

Once all the team members have joined the Board, each of them takes one column: they fill in the title their own position instead of "Role 1", for example, at the beginning of the line and at the top of the column, and then paste their photo and name in the matching yellow box. In this same box, we have to focus on the role we have been assigned, detailing what we think it consists of. 

2. I note what I expect from others and what I can bring to them

This is phase 2, where all the boxes are filled in! Take the time for each employee to write down what you expect from his or her role and in which way you can contribute through your position. In this step, different colors are used for the expectations and the contributions, in order to differentiate the two visually.  

The give-and-take matrix template by Klaxoon

3. Do I agree with my colleagues' perception of my role? 

For this third silent phase, each person takes into account of all the ideas that have been sent in their line, i.e., how their colleagues think they can contribute and what they can expect from them. Using the predefined categories of ideas, indicate in one click whether you agree or disagree with the statement. This is where some divergent opinions can emerge.  

4. It is time to discuss the sticking points

As a team, review all ideas categorized as "Disagree" or "I am mixed". Then, the stakeholders can exchange orally on the subject. Two cases are possible: either a common ground is found immediately, and the idea is readjusted directly in the matrix, or an obstacle persists and the idea is copied and pasted into the action plan box. Determine together the next step to be taken to unblock the problematic situation. With the "dimensions" fields of the idea, you can designate an action leader and a deadline. 

The purpose of this exchange time is not to solve all the disagreements on the spot if this requires long discussions. The main thing is that all the roles are reviewed, that everyone has the opportunity to express themselves on their missions and their workload. The action plan area is precisely dedicated to the topics that will require further reflection and decisions later.

5. For every problem, a solution!

At the end of the workshop, you get an action plan, more or less developed. Some team members are then given tasks to help find a solution to the disagreements for which no compromise has been found. It is up to each person to make progress on the tasks assigned to them within the given timeframe. If the action plan is substantial, we advise you to schedule a new synchronization moment later to take stock and adjust the matrix of expectations as a team. 

Now you have all the tools you need to test the expectations matrix workshop with this ready-to-use template. Never again remain in the dark with your team, clarify the roles and make the interactions more fluid!

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