Obeya Roles

Enabling Obeya Roles

An Obeya cannot evolve without motivated individuals. Getting the best out of your Obeya requires specific expertise and skill. There is craftsmanship to be identified in the field of Obeya, in which Obeya professionals need to be trained and educated.

Looking at the different competencies, skills and tasks required in an Obeya you can define two sets of roles that together enable an Obeya to deliver meaning and value:

Obeya Builders and the Obeya Hosts.

Obeya Builders

Builders organize the evolution of the actual Obeya space, Obeya content and the Obeya’s  position in the organizational context & infrastructure.

Obeya Hosts

Hosts aid and develop Obeya meeting interactions. They help turning learnings into sustainable decisions through informed conversation.

Goodbye Obeya Master

Collectively, as international Obeya community, we are saying goodbye to the term ‘Obeya Master’.

Phonetically, the English speaking part of our international Obeya network could hear:

“Obey ya Master”
And this is something that we cannot identify with.

We take this opportunity to honor this variety in skillsets by replacing the ‘Obeya Master’ by the roles ‘Obeya Builder’ and ‘Obeya Host’


Roles introduce clarity, not hierarchy

Roles should not be regarded as an introduction of hierarchy within the Obeya. It is important that in an Obeya all participants and visitors can think and speak freely, so experience and knowledge can thrive. An Obeya thrives when a dynamic and innovative atmosphere is created. Rigid hierarchies within an Obeya have a downward effect on all of the above.

Nevertheless, defining roles makes it easier to:

  • Develop Obeya expertise and skill (professional growth)
  • Assign responsibilities to coordinate work (and get stuff done)
  • Understand the Obeya mechanism through increased structure and clarity
  • Accelerate collective learning and speed up decision cycles
  • Exert the rigor and discipline needed to anchor an Obeya in the long run

Practically, the Builder and Host roles could be executed by one person. Or each role could be executed by several people simultaneously. This is up to you. The choice of how to share responsibilities in an Obeya needs to both suit your organization and the maturity level of your Obeya. There is no rule or guideline here; it needs to work.

Obeya Book and Training Modules

The booklet “Obeya – by the Obeya Association” can be downloaded by anyone. It is an executive summary of our most important Obeya learnings.  

Our main Obeya content contains three training modules and is available for associates only:

  1. Obeya Fundamentals Training Module 
  2. Obeya Host Training Module
  3. Obeya Builder Training Module

The modules contain both training material as well as extensive theoretical content. They are available for Obeya Associates in the Obeya document library when logged in.

You are free to copy and use these materials for noncommercial purposes only as long as you note the source and copyright.

The Obeya Roles summarised

Click on the images to enlarge

Obeya Builders

Obeya Hosts

About the Obeya Association

The Obeya Association is a community (or “Association”) where Obeya knowledge is developed and experiences are shared. Our platform accommodates a home for Obeya practitioners worldwide.

We aim to provide all practitioners with the means necessary to work with Obeya effectively. The ultimate aim is to contribute to sustainable and inclusive decision making, benefitting a world in which organizations positively contribute to their surroundings.

We consolidate experiences and use cases brought to us by our worldwide network of Obeya Associates, into this body of knowledge on effective Obeya practice.

Then we return this information back into the network.

Through this constant cycle we create a dynamic Obeya framework that provides a foundation to work with Obeya.