From the Ask Tom mailbag:
You describe Requisite Organization often using manufacturing examples. How can I apply this in my service business?
I use manufacturing examples, because most people, even outside of manufacturing can visualize the roles that people play in that environment. So, let’s look at the organizational structure in a service environment. This service environment might be carpet cleaning, pest control, plumbing, air conditioning.
Stratum I – (Time Span range – 1 day to 3 months) Technicians who perform the direct service to the customer. Their day to day Time Span task assignments typically range from one day to one week in the performance of a route. Your most effective technicians will have longer Time Span task assignments to cultivate a route of repeat customers and maintain those relationships.
Stratum II – (Time Span range – 3 months to 12 months) This layer in the organization would act as a coordinator, making sure that all customer assignments are appropriate routed to appropriate technicians. This role would also deal with the inevitable changes in technician schedules and customer requests. The tools of the coordinator would be schedules, checklists and meetings.
Stratum III – (Time Span range – 12 months to 24 months) This layer would be responsible for the design and implementation of operational systems in the organization. This would include the selection and implementation of computerized dispatching, development of equipment preventive maintenance systems, training systems (both initial and recurrent), identifying recurring problems in the technician delivery systems and making appropriate changes to the systems to prevent those problems or mitigate the damage from those occurrences.
Each of these roles becomes necessary as the organization grows in customer count and employee headcount. Simultaneously, depending on the business model, administrative systems (finance and record keeping) would be developed to support the technical operations.
Different business models will dictate the specifics of the organizational infrastructure, but these roles can always be calibrated using Time Span as a metric.