The need for clarity on roles and responsibilities in a business
When working as an Independent Consultant, I often feel like I’m the one that people come to with all their problems. Maybe it’s because I’m independent from their business and therefore it’s safe to ask. Or maybe it’s because they are looking for help from someone who may have supported others with similar issues to theirs. Whatever the rationale, I get all sorts of moans coming my way. However the one that raises its head most often arises from confusion over who is actually supposed to be doing what in the business. Seems astonishing doesn’t it.
You know the sort of complaints….
“Why wasn’t I involved? They would have benefited from my experience.”
“It’s not my job to do this”
“Decisions never get made around here”
“Why wasn’t I told about this? It impacts what I am supposed to be doing.”
“I have too much to do…there are just not enough hours in the day”
“He can’t take that decision, he doesn’t have the authority”
“I’ve been asked to take responsibility for this but my boss is working on it too”
“Why am I being blamed? She should have been doing that job”
In most businesses everyone has a job description of some sort. Now you may think that this would ensure people know who does what; sadly not in my experience. Job descriptions scope a role and tend to be referred to when someone starts in a new position. Even if they are living documents, they do not go into the level of practical, task driven, day to day detail that is required to ensure that the right people are doing the right things in the right way.
Consequently, there is frustration over duplication of effort, tasks completed badly or not at all, people being asked to do things for which they don’t have the right skills, decisions being made at the wrong level and finger-pointing when something fails…problems that lead to the complaints described earlier in this blog post.
When it comes to consultancy firms, they fully understand that their clients are often not crystal clear over roles and responsibilities. This lack of clarity could be within a project team, a business area or even an individual operational process. To address this, most consultants have a roles and responsibilities charting methodology within their toolbox. Independent Consultants should have one too.
Our online learning programme, “Roles and Responsibilities charting” will give you a practical, tried and tested, easy to use process and tool that will help your clients achieve the required clarity on roles and responsibilities.
Click here to find out more.