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.

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Val | former Managing Director | The Rooflight Company

Managing Director - Bob Bradley

Bob is a specialist in running high value added service businesses, having run five such businesses as General Manager, Managing Director or Chief Executive. His last employed role was as Chief Executive of a £16M, 200 person family owned business having previously been Chief Executive of an AIM listed company for which he raised £5M funding and which he grew from £4M to £12M in three years through two acquisitions and organic growth, and a corporate PLC subsidiary where he was Managing Director responsible for delivering £10M profit on £45M turnover through 450 staff.

Bob is now following a portfolio career providing entrepreneurial business leaders with mentoring and coaching around business leadership, business growth, merger integration and exit planning.

Core to his portfolio is MD2MD. Having experienced for himself the value of having a strong sounding board of fellow Managing Directors he founded MD2MD in 2004 to provide groups of business leaders with a confidential environment within which they can support and challenge each other to raise their game as leaders and by doing so improve the success of their organisation.

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