Where to Start

From the Ask Tom mailbag:

Question:
I have been following your posts on Requisite Organization. How do I implement this management strategy after seven years with a lack of organization or structure?

Response:
You start at the beginning, of course. Before you wreak havoc on everyone else, start with yourself. The first place to look is at your own Role Description. If you can even find it, it’s likely a mess. That’s where you start.

List out all the tasks and activities in your role. I use 2×2 sticky notes, one for each task. You should end up with 50-75 tasks. Look at the tasks and see which go together. Separate the tasks (the ones that go together) into piles. You will likely end up with 5-8 piles.

Next, name each pile with a short 2-3 word name. These names will be things like –

  • Planning
  • Personnel and Recruiting
  • Production
  • Administrative (Paperwork, every role has paperwork)
  • Reporting (Metrics, measurements)
  • Process Improvement
  • Safety
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Scheduling
  • Training
  • Quality Control
  • Research

The names of these piles-of-tasks become the Key Result Areas for your role. These Key Result Areas (KRAs) become the structure for your Role Description.

Drafting the Role Description, using your KRAs as your outline, the organization of the document falls together. Inside each KRA, list the specific tasks, identify the Level of Work, and the accountability.

KRA #1
Tasks
Level of Work
Accountabilities

KRA #2
Tasks
Level of Work
Accountabilities

And so on.

Once you have written your Role Description, then pick a team member (to torture) and collaborate through this same exercise. Pick someone friendly and cooperative. It will likely take 3-4 meetings over a period of 1-2 weeks before you get agreement. Then move to the next team member. By then, you will get the hang of it and you will be ready to move to the next step.

Let me know how it goes.

2 thoughts on “Where to Start

  1. Daniel Rose

    That’s a very Cheshire Cat response, to start at the beginning! 🙂
    You know, I have a simple resource I use with clients you might find useful. Basically, a graphical way of doing what you mention. It makes it easy for clients to run through the reasons a job is needed (outcomes), through the boundaries, tasks and communicatons it uses, then distils it down to Knowledge, Skills and Experience/Qualifications.
    I usually have it printed on a huge wall sized A0 sheet, and it makes it a nice graphical process. If you want a copy let me know and I’ll email it to you (or anybody else who wants it)

    Reply

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