Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

2.4.2 Assigning Roles to Multiple People

a Lead Link may specify a “Focus” along with each assignment

What is the benefit of keeping single role with multiple filler rather than creating separate role for each focus? For example, an internal tech circle, have role of software engineer, its accountability is creating and maintaining software for other circle in the company. So one option would be to have one Software engineer role with several focus, or the other one would be to have separate roles (finance software engineer role, marketing software engineer role, etc).

After a partner has been assigned one role, could we still have another partner assigned to the same role as well? Because it affect the decision process of the two partners with the same focus.

And lastly, can a "focus" be a day in the week, as in the case where we have customer support role, and there are multiple partners filling in that role. Right now, one of us suggested a schedule for the partners , but wouldn't it be lead link's accountability to assign the focus (schedule)?


Thank you in advance,

2 Replies
Dien Kwik

Hi, Fajar:

You would want to have one role with multiple fillers with multiple focuses if the purpose, domain, and accountabilities are exactly the same all the time, with only the focuses being the difference. This way you don't have to keep changing multiple roles for the same governance changes. It simplifies the record keeping, while maintaining clarity.

You would want to do this when these role fillers are independent of each other when making decisions.  They are free to make decisions affecting their focus, but not other role fillers' focuses.

Now sometimes, like in Scrum, you may want a role with multiple role fillers doing things together, doing whatever they can do from a Scrum backlog. In these cases,  it' not clear what the focus is.  The focus is the task he/she picks, but don't know how best to word them. Perhaps you can use the same focus for all role fillers that says something like "Tasks picked from Task Backlog".

This is kind of similar with your customer support role, I guess. if you have a scheduler role, and you have an accountability on the customer support role to follow the schedule set by the scheduler role, then the focus of the multiple role fillers will be the same, something like "Days set by scheduler".  In this case the Lead still assign the focus, albeit all the same, and the focus is to follow the days set by the scheduler.

I'm not sure if setting a focus as described above is valid, though   Perhaps others know whether it's ok or if there's a better way of doing it ?






Fajar Firdaus

Thank you for your reply Dien,

Currently, our lead link still have multiple partners for one focus because we want to avoid knowledge silo and provide backup when one is not available. Is this the common approach for such problem?