Cross-Functional Roles Exercise

There is often confusion about leaders’ roles and responsibilities on a cross-functional team. In this offsite exercise, representatives from each role (for example: product managers, engineering managers, and tech leads) create a new framework for how their roles will work together across the organization. (Here’s an example outcome.)

After the offsite, attendees can leverage their new framework to draft a complete picture of their day-to-day responsibilities, and iterate on team processes in partnership with their peer leaders.

This offsite opens with empathy-building for each others’ core needs at work, so that attendees can better-understand each other as friction or conflict arises. Senior leaders can leverage this exercise to empower their direct reports to decide how to work together, rather than defining these cross-functional roles and responsibilities in a top-down manner.

Duration: 4 hours


We brought in Wherewithall to guide leaders across our product, design, and engineering teams as they worked to more clearly define their roles and responsibilities. In just a few short hours, the team transformed a fuzzy set of practices into a framework that plainly articulated the goals of each role on the team. The workshop defused a lot of anxiety and unlocked a new level of collaboration that is sure to serve us well in the months ahead.

Mandy Brown, Head of Chorus, Vox Media