Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Best practices for building a better table of organization – 4: building the functionality and value driven organization

Posted in HR and personnel, strategy and planning by Timothy Platt on November 25, 2011

This is my fourth installment in a series on tables of organization, and on how businesses are structured at least to the level of organizing patterns of management and supervision (see HR and Personnel, postings 65, 67 and 69.) At the same time and in a fundamental sense this is also a continuation of a parallel series on compensation packages policy and practices, and on getting the right people into the right chairs on that table of organization and keeping them there (see HR and Personnel, postings 63, 64, 66, 68 and 70.)

I began to more directly connect these two series with Part 5 of the compensation policy series and I continue that here, and from the organizational/structural side with this posting.

My focus for this posting is on mapping functional requirements as divided up into job descriptions, to a table of organization so as to create value and stability for the organization. And I begin by citing and following through on an approach that I explicitly introduced in Part 5 of the compensation policy series:

• Every employee in a business is an in-house consultant.

I am not going to repeat here what I added to that posting as to the role of in-house consultants. Instead, I am going to discuss how these employees would fit into the organization. And that means discussing two types of organizational structures:

Teams as organized around and managed by a single supervisor, and
• Functionally interacting groups of employees who may be drawn from different teams and even different departments, but who work together coordinately in completing specific business processes for achieving strategic business goals. I would suggest referring to this type of employee grouping as functional assemblies, as a counterpart to traditional teams.

A team is a stable organizational structure and specific team membership can be seen as an employee’s home base in that organization. This is where they meet with and interact with others in their area of specialization and with fellow employees who share closely related skills. Operationally, and of particular importance to both employee and business, this is where an employee is tracked and managed as far as overall job performance is concerned, this is where they gain authorizing access for company-provided or supported professional training where career skills advancement options are offered. That is where and how employees are listed as employees as the organization models and understands its headcount and its distribution of employees in specific skills areas.

But for the purpose of this posting, the key factor here is in how teams of in-house consultants would function in a way analogous to outside consulting firms, here farming out their team members to other departments and services or to higher level strategic participants in the organization that hold ownership of the strategic goals and priorities that they would work on.

A functional assembly, as noted above, is a group of in-house consultants, plus any outside consultants needed that a process-owning stakeholder brings into the effort in working on and resolving a strategic goal, doing so according to its strategically assigned priority.

• Teams are enduring, long term structures.
• Functional assemblies are built out and dissolved on the fly and on an actively dynamic basis, there simply to meet current needs and achieve specific current high priority goals, through completing specific tasks that form the basis of their charter.

I am going to turn next in this discussion to the compensation policy series where I will discuss how the individual employee and their team would be compensated for their participation. That involves setting and scaling these employees’ basic compensation packages and determining any bonuses or other additional compensation that they would be eligible for as individuals. This would go into determining the status and value of the team as a whole in setting organizational strategic goals, and in keeping the overall organization relevant.

I am then going to post a fifth installment in this series on how in-house consulting would work with functional flexibility build out from a stable structural team-based core. I will, among other things delve in more detail as to what a functional assembly charter is, as noted in the last bullet point, above, of this posting.

You can find this and related postings, and for both the Best Practices for Building a Better Table of Organization series, and the Developing a Rational Compensation Package Policy series at HR and Personnel. You can also find this and related postings at Business Strategy and Operations – 2 and the first 200 postings in this general directory at Business Strategy and Operations.

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