The job role/function matrix – a clear and simple management tool

One challenge that many business leaders encounter as their business grows and they endeavour to put in place the processes and systems they need is how to define who does what.

Firstly, for reasons described in my blog on the importance of clear and simple job definitions, the business may have evolved in a way that is more pragmatic than logical.  But even assuming the business leader has a structure in mind, how do they document it?

Most people are familiar with the organisation chart and I agree that is very helpful as a picture of how roles fit together. But it doesn’t contain any detail of exactly who does what when people work together.

Such detail is usually buried in tedious job descriptions which no one reads (unless there is a problem) and are rarely kept up to date. It is often difficult to see how job roles interact without reading through lots of pages from different documents.

So, here is a tool I have found useful in defining job roles. I call it a job function / role matrix and I use it in Excel. Notice what I see as it’s key benefits:

  • It is compact – It can be kept to one page
  • You can see the relationship between roles for all activities
  • It clearly distinguishes between who does, who decides, who is consulted and who is informed.
Excel template

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