The Role Description is a Design Task

“There’s more?” Ben thought our conversation about role descriptions was finished. “What do you mean next step?”

“What do you think a role description is for?” I asked.

“So the person I hire knows what to do,” Ben curtly replied.

“That’s nice, but not even close,” I paused. “You haven’t hired the person, yet. So, what is the purpose of the role description? Here is a hint. It’s all about you.”

“Me? It’s not my role description.”

“No, but you are the manager. You decide what tasks need to be completed, the appropriate time it will take to complete the tasks, and the effectiveness of the person in the role. Without the role description, you have no idea how to make those decisions. Without the role description, it’s just a noodle mess in your head, a disorganized list of tasks and vague accountabilities. The first purpose for a role description is for you to organize your thinking about the role.”

“And the second purpose?”

“You are about to walk into an interview. Without the role description, you don’t know what questions to ask,” I challenged.

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