Gone Outdoors

How to Make a Duty Roster

by Wes Duplantier

A duty roster is an organizational tool that specifies what people in a group need to do and when they need to do it. Such organization is essential in a group task or mission because it ensures that all necessary duties are completed. It also allows team members to see that others have been assigned duties, so they do not feel that they are the only ones doing the work.

1. Title the duty roster at the top with a description that specifies for what trip or mission the tasks are being performed. For example, "Black Mountain Camping Trip Duty Roster." Underline the title to separate it from the duty roster.

2. Divide the space under the title into a chart with the number of rows being equal to the number of days in the trip or mission, plus one. The number of columns should be equal to the number of different tasks that will be assigned, plus three. For example, the duty roster for a 7-day trip with 6 different tasks would have 8 rows and 9 columns.

3. Write a description of each column in the top row. The first column should be "Date" or "Day Number." The second should be "Day of the Week" and the third should be "Location," specifying at which campsite or other place the tasks will take place. Each remaining column should be labeled with one of the tasks that will be assigned.

4. Mark under the "Day Number" column the day number to which each row corresponds, with Day 1 in the second row, immediately under the description row, and continuing to the final day in the last row of the chart.

5. Fill in the corresponding days of the week and mission sites on each row in the second and third columns of the chart.

6. Assign members of your team to the task by writing their name in the row and column corresponding to the task each person will perform, and on what day they will perform it. There should be someone assigned to each task every day.

7. Draw a line below the chart, sectioning it off from the remainder of the page. Below the line, write out each task and a description of what a person must do each day to accomplish the task.

About the Author

Wes Duplantier is a reporter for "The Wall Street Journal." He has also held positions at The Associated Press, "The Jefferson City News Tribune," "The Mexico (Mo.) Ledger" and "The Sedalia Democrat." Duplantier is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Missouri.

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