Responsibilities of a Team Leader


Those of a Team Member plus:

Ultimately responsible for ensuring the team is consistently delivering working software to the standards the department expects whether this be within an iteration or through a continuous flow model so that we are consistently delivering value to CompanyX.

To ensure my team is always working on the highest priority work and is aware of the priority so that we are delivering the most possible value to CompanyX at any time.

To ensure the team is self-organising so that we take collective responsibility for the work we do. It is not my job to tell people what to do but to enable them to do it themselves.

I am ultimately responsible for any issues or problems within the team and to make sure they are dealt with appropriately so that we can “deal with disappointment early” rather than letting things become bigger problems later on.

It is ultimately my responsibility that my team are adhering to the principles and practices we have committed to so that we are doing work efficiently and of the highest quality.

To act as example to all the members of my team by being the person who most closely follows the principles and practices we have committed to so that everyone on my team feels confident they can too.

To understand and be able to talk coherently about any process methodologies (such as Scrum, Kanban, XP, Lean etc.) we are implementing and their benefits so that we are all working together and understand why they are so valuable.

To ensure no one person in my team is solely responsible for any task or activity so that we are able to continue working effectively when any of our team is away.

Ensure the team is collaborating closely with our customers and understands their requirements so we have a good understanding of the problems we are trying to solve and we do not waste time on rework and more importantly are able to suggest appropriate solutions to their needs.

Ultimately responsible that the progress of work the team is undertaking is clearly visible both to the team and to our customers, but as much as possible I should be ensuring every member of the team is contributing to this.

To remove impediments where possible and to raise the ones I can’t to the appropriate person outside of the team and ensure they are dealt with so that we are not being held up and can get on with delivering value to the business as efficiently as possible.

To ensure all team members turn up promptly to team meetings including stand up, retrospective and planning so that we are not wasting time.


Those of a Team Member plus:

  • Hold regular 1-2-1s with all team members
  • Ensure that holidays & sickness are managed, tracked and considered in planning.

2 thoughts on “Responsibilities of a Team Leader

  1. Brian

    Thank you for this post. I am a new Team Leader and have been assigned to two projects leading over two developers. My small development team consists of a seasoned contractor, a junior developer, and myself. My role may grow to leading more people after these projects. You mentioned in your article, “It is not my job to tell people what to do but to enable them to do it themselves” so I’m wondering how this fits in my new role for reasons below and the balance between, “telling others what to do”.

    Our contractor will be here and then onto a new assignment after these projects are completed so he has no skin in this game. He has brought up some new technologies that 1) I do not feel would benefit these projects at this time and 2) because there will be two of us to support these projects and this isn’t something we have time to learn and immediately to support. Upon my objection, he then went to my manager to get buy-in. My manager lended a listening ear and my manager then asked me about the discussion. Later, in a meeting w/ the contractor and my manager, the contractor threw me under the bus and stated that I do not understand the technology and misunderstood what he said. I disagree.

    After that discussion, I opted to encourage him to demo these technologies to see how they would fit into our role. I asked for two very simple apps, 1 w/o the technology and 1 with the technology and a series of questions being open-minded to how these technologies might fit the business’ needs. He delivered none of that. Instead, he invited the conceptual architect and my manager to our team meeting to get more buy-in. He gave a very high-level overview that didn’t help anyone understand the benefit.

    I’ve had a discussion w/ my manager about this to which he doesn’t seem to see the passive aggressive nature of the consultant. The consultant has done this one more time after. Side stepping me has wasted 4 hours of each person’s time to meet/discuss, etc. So, I feel like I don’t have a say. How can I lead when others don’t take direction and when, as you stated, “leading is not telling others what to do”.

    Thank You.

  2. Christopher Grigg

    @Brian, to me it’s about stepping in and leading when others need it, for example if they’re new to a process, then taking steps back more and more over time till they can lead themselves. In your case, you would have to talk to the contractor I feel, to remind him that all communication should go through you. Let me know how you got on?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *