A role is a special type of relationship between a function or action and the individual or organization responsible for it.  Roles may be formal (job title) or informal (committee membership).  There are distinct types of roles, including customer, employee, regulator, sales or distribution channel, and supplier, as well as more general types such as performers, managers, and recipients of various types of results.


Figure 4

A role may be characterized by human resources (skills, abilities, etc.), which enables it to be matched with individuals who have those characteristics.  A role may be played by an individual person, a device, or an organization.  Organizations require some set of roles to perform their functions.  A role is the point of responsibility for one or more specific functions.  Roles are involved in identifiable business situations.  Roles generate the events that drive business processes.  It is the responsibility of some roles to provide resources, and all roles require resources to perform their required actions.  Actions are atomic units of business activities that can be performed by some set of roles.