Why is it Important to Define Roles and Responsibilities in an Organizational Transformation?

Starting a transformation is a great challenge in itself. Regardless of whether this ‘metamorphosis’ covers more or fewer areas of an organization or impacts more or fewer people, at first there will be a high degree of uncertainty and the change will not always be welcomed in a systemic and homogeneous manner. Whether due to lack of communication, visibility or unity, not everyone will know what their new role or responsibilities are. And that can only lead to misunderstandings, delays and chaos. That is why one of the first challenges we should face is the definition of roles and responsibilities.

Definition of Roles and Responsibilities

Our greatest ally when it comes to speeding up a transformation is transparency. If we want the change to be quick and clear, the most important thing is that each actor knows his role in this new play well. All team members should know their roles and responsibilities.

But let’s start at the beginning, what is a team and what roles are there within each team? We define a team as a group of organized people with a common goal. A cohesive group characterized by continuous collaboration to achieve common goals.

In these teams, regardless of the organizational framework you want to implement, three fundamental roles tend to be defined: the transformative role, the nexus and the executor.

  1. Transforming role: It will be the person who watches over the transformation. A helpful leader who will help the team to adapt to changes, improve their work system and monitor the evolution and progress of the team.
  2. Nexus role: This person will be responsible for ensuring that the objectives set provide the greatest possible value. It will act as a link between the executors and the stakeholders, or those interested in the project. Such as business people, end users, etc. This role is in charge of collecting all the necessary information and prioritizing actions. Deal with all the requests and refine all the information so that the team is clear about the work. Prioritizing needs is not an easy task, so we will address it in another blog post.
  3. Executor role: The executors make up the core of the team. Regardless of their specialty, they are the people who carry out the tasks necessary to achieve the objective. Whether it is an initiative, a digital product or some kind of on-demand project, the executors will be responsible for shaping this solution.

The transforming role, the nexus and the executor are the basis of any transformation. But what happens when the project is larger? And if you have to coordinate several teams? At that point, new roles would be created, depending on the type of transformation, the nature of the project and the business structure.

We already Know the Fundamental Roles, Now is the Time to Form the Team

  • A multidisciplinary team: In the search for the team to have the greatest possible autonomy and efficiency, it is important that the executing roles are multidisciplinary to a high degree. In this way we will avoid the “bus factor”, and if a member of the team is absent due to a situation, the work will not be paralyzed. Can you imagine a team member being run over by a bus? Could you finish the job? And if they run over two or three?
  • Team Agreements: Creating internal team policies is a key factor in generating transparency, trust, and commitment from all members. For this reason, it is very important that the entire team meet in their training and, before starting work, be able to create common agreements. How the work is going to be managed, how to act in situations of blockages or dependencies, criteria that clarify when a job is finished or how to proceed before final delivery, etc. Although we can also include agreements on a more personal level, such as who
  • Meetings: Part of the responsibilities of the roles will be active participation in meetings. As part of the transformation, I’m sure the events and their cadence will change from the previous model. It is important to analyze and keep in mind the characteristics of these new meetings, in order to determine which roles are relevant in which meetings. In this way we will prevent non-essential people from wasting time, and money, with meetings that are not relevant to their day to day.
  • Roadmap: Although it is the responsibility of the liaison role to draw up an action plan and prioritize actions, it is important that it be shared with the entire team. This will help generate greater commitment to achieve objectives and align efforts.

Even so, this situation is complicated and in many cases it is necessary to have external help that has experience in this type of problem. If you have trouble defining the roles and responsibilities during the transformation process of your organization, you can ask us how to deal with this scenario.

The most important Roles and Responsibilities in a Project

It is vitally important to clearly define the responsibilities of each one of the members of a project. In organizations with several simultaneous projects we must try to standardize these roles and responsibilities, so that they are homogeneous in all projects.

To achieve this, it is advisable to start from a basic definition on which we can define the specific requirements of our organization. The roles and responsibilities of those we consider to be the most important members of a work team are defined below. Some of the roles may be performed by the same person depending on the size of the project. For example, in some cases the project manager is also a business manager and engineering manager.

Project manager

  • Represents company before the client
  • Defines and applies to the project the standardized methods and tools of Project Management
  • Lead and organize the project team
  • Responsible for meeting project scope, time, and cost requirements
  • Prepare periodic reports, both internal and external
  • Defines and implements the project strategy, considering its risks and opportunities
  • Periodically monitor and review the status of the project

Business manager

  • Cash flow monitoring
  • Project cost control
  • Coordination with the logistics department regarding customs
  • Preparation of periodic cost reports
  • Preparation and monitoring of customer invoices

Quality Manager

  • Quality Planning, preparation of the quality management plan
  • Monitoring and Quality Control
  • Carrying out internal and external inspections
  • Follow-up of customer and supplier complaints

Purchasing Manager

  • Contact with suppliers
  • Coordinate activities in the offer request phase
  • Negotiate and execute orders
  • Verification of the material and/or contracted services
  • Coordinate and control the delivery of materials and services
  • Inform the Project Manager of the status of purchases
  • Supervise contract compliance by suppliers

Engineering Manager

  • Coordinate engineering works according to the requirements of the contract
  • Plan the necessary resources for the execution of the project
  • Prepare the technical description of those packages to be outsourced
  • Responsibility for costs associated with engineering
  • Supervise the review and approval of plans and technical descriptions
  • Coordinate the legalization work of the project

Logistics Manager

  • Define and coordinate packaging and transportation requirements
  • Supervision of logistics activities
  • Preparation of delivery notes
  • Coordination of delivery dates and conditions with the site manager
  • Responsible for the Schedule / Scheduler
  • Prepare the Gantt chart together with those responsible for the different work packages
  • Periodically update the schedule
  • Analyze the critical path
  • Prepare periodic reports regarding compliance with deadlines

Site Manager

  • Responsible for the execution and quality of work
  • Preparation of activity reports, normally on a weekly basis
  • Coordination of supplier activities
  • Contact with the client
  • Gather information on contract deviations, obstructions, requests for additional activities, etc.
  • Quality manager on site
  • Safety and health manager on site
  • Control and registration of materials
  • Prepare the acceptance of the project by the client
  • Comply with applicable laws

Benefits of Establishing Roles and Responsibilities

When you define roles and responsibilities, you create a long-term team structure. Team performance will improve when people feel confident about the tasks they have to perform.

When everyone has individual roles, the team benefits in other ways. Read on and find out how:

  • Increased productivity: You will notice an increase in productivity by assigning key responsibilities to each team member. When everyone knows their roles and responsibilities, they can prioritize the right work and do the tasks with the highest impact.
  • More efficient hiring: By specifying the job responsibilities of different roles, it’s easier for hiring managers to meet the needs of the team in employee searches. Without a clear list of responsibilities, it can be difficult for them to explain the position to candidates.
  • Increased team morale: When people don’t know what to do, they may feel insecure about their abilities. Defining roles and responsibilities can boost team morale because everyone will have a job to do. You can also align team members to work on tasks that complement their natural abilities so they feel confident in what they are doing each day.
  • More efficient resources: Your organization will waste less time and money if team members play the right roles. In the example above, a copywriter and a designer who were unaware of their responsibilities on a project duplicated the work. With this duplicate task, valuable project time was wasted and consequently money was lost. The more efficient the team works, the more accurate the budget and schedule will be.

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