For an organization to be productive the roles of technical and management personnel need to be well defined and understood by all. The principles by which roles are defined are typically twofold. They are:

1. Define the roles of the technical organization so as to create an efficient responsive team, and
2. Define roles in a way that provides guidelines and not rigid boundaries.

The specific characteristics of each role can be clarified by using the following attributes:

(HB) is Have Ball. When a role “Has the Ball”, that role is the task manager or leader that is accountable for seeing that the task is fulfilled.
(A) is Advise. When a role is an Advisor it is asked to participate in the task to provide guidance (responsible to participate) but it is not the driver (accountable) for that task.
(B) is Blackball. When a role has a black-ball it has the authority to stop the task. The task cannot be completed if a blackball is present. If the team cannot resolve the presence of a blackball, the issue must be taken to the next higher level of operations management.