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Delivery-based Job/Role design and organisation structure and team delivery strength

Just when you thought your organisation roles and structures were good,

maths proof otherwise...

Pieter Marais: MD Kontextit

Whilst your structure on paper (organogram) may seem in order, the delivery content in the design of the roles may prevent or inhibit the achievement of your company objectives. Roles are often designed devoid of the full understanding of context. This results, as we have seen multiple times, in a weak, inappropriate and ineffective structural design that has serious negative implications for organisational delivery and performance. This holds true for a very large percentage of organisations today.

Why? The following are some of the reasons for this:

  • Your organisation and role design still follow outdated historical design principles, i.e. structures and roles based on activities, activity differentiated processes, titles, status, grading and pay.

  • Design of roles is often devoid of appropriate context. Context does not mean Executive, Senior, Middle manager, or strategy development, strategy operationalisation, best practices, etc. Context refers to the nature of value that should be generated and delivered. Not the activity, not the process, not the position in the structure, but the actual delivery.

  • Roles being designed to satisfy a grading system rather than focusing on required value delivery. This often results in role inflation through word fudging and insertion of inappropriate activities. It can also result in role deflation by taking away certain activity, due to the focus on activity on not on required delivery.

How do you know your design is on par with the challenges and strategies your organisation needs to deliver on?

Kontextit has developed:

  1. A philosophy, framework and technologies for the appropriate and effective design of delivery-based organisations.

  2. The first ever mathematical modelling technology to objectively measure:

    1. Contextual appropriateness of e.g. strategy, structure, roles;

    2. The integrity, coherence and soundness of e.g. strategy, structures, roles.

  3. A unique dashboard style reporting format has been developed to visibly demonstrating the current “state of wellness” of the organisation in relation to e.g. strategy, structure, roles.

Mathematical modelling enables organisations to be objective and better informed of the appropriateness and strength of its design. It also highlights the areas of weakness and the degree thereof. This enables organisations to focus on the critical issues and not being side-tracked by issues that need to be left alone.

Example of a typical dashboard:

In this dashboard the most obvious critical areas for immediate reaction is in the horizontal design. This summary dashboard is supported by detail analytics in spreadsheet format that pinpoints the specific problem areas.

The horizontal design refers to the role design in the specific cluster. In this case the role designs in the executive domain (-21%) as well as senior operational domain (-36%) are critically under-designed. This will effectively result in a non-achievement of the strategic as well as operational objectives. It will effectively imply that the executive as well as senior managers may be very busy doing the wrong things that effectively will result in missing the strategic targets and objectives of the organisation.

As a result of this under-design at executive and senior management level, it partially contributes to the resultant multiple layer overlap in the vertical design (the +88%) in the production layer. The seriousness of this overlap at the production layer is again to be contributed to historical design principles where work is differentiated based on activities, need for multiple layers of management (due to power and status) and not based actual required delivery.

The detail behind the Dashboard clearly highlights the weak role designs that contribute to the executive and senior operational teams’ lack of strength.

2nd layer detail of the role design

This table clearly shows which of the role designs are inadequate and therefore will negatively impact the effectiveness of the team’s, but also the specific role’s delivery contribution to the organisation. The fact that the variances are in red indicates the criticality of the inadequate design.

There is a 3rd layer of extraction behind this table that indicates, per role, the detail of the role designs and where the weaknesses within the role designs are.

Most organisations do not know the status of strength or weakness of their role designs. Due to the fact that most role designs are:

  • designed without clear understanding of the role required context;

  • still based on activities, as means of differentiation;

  • still designed to satisfy traditional job evaluation methodologies;

many roles in organisations are inadequately and very often significantly inadequately designed.

This process sometimes also highlights why a team, like the executive team, should have a specific configuration. Some roles may have to become part of e.g. the executive while others should be dropped thereby enhancing executive team delivery effectiveness.

The mathematical processes clearly assist in defining, designing and describing the nature and strength of value delivery of roles and teams and the degree of alignment to required delivery.

Kontextit, through its delivery-based philosophy, frameworks and technologies and more specifically through its mathematical processes, can assist organisations in correcting these weaknesses that impact organisations’ delivery effectiveness and delivery value contributions. This obviously has implications for the structural integrity of the organisation as well, as delivery-based roles also calls for the development of delivery-based organisation designs.

The next post: The next post will deal with optimal value-delivery-based vertical design of organisations based on the Theory of Contextual Value-generation, supported by ground breaking mathematical modelling. This breaks away from traditional medieval-like vertical designs still the current practice in many organisations.

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