Friday, January 25, 2008

Think People not roles when driving change

December and January are traditionally months of change in organisations. New things are kicked off, people get promoted, people get moved around and generally things shift around a bit.

This means that you get occasions when there is the discussion about the "organisations chart" or the "roles" that will be required. Now if you are planning and don't know the people then its fine to talk in terms of roles, but remember that fundamentally people drive what they will do and a role specification could help or hinder them. If you know who the people are going to be then its much more effective to think directly in terms of people.

The problem is that quite often people don't like talking about what they want to do, they prefer to talk in terms of abstract roles as "sensible" while of course meaning "I would like to do that". These discussions really do tend to go nowhere as they either end up with people creating very vague roles so everyone thinks they are doing what they want and they all end up conflicting as they try and do it.

Also if you are working within your team or area and you know the skills that you have available then don't say "What the role needs is someone with A grade technical skills who can communicate with the business as well as managing the team perfectly and keep the budget under 5 quid". Well yes this would help, but you don't have access to that person so why define an organisation chart or role definition that can't possibly succeed?

This is critical in SOA when you are looking at assigning people into any form of new approach to delivery or business change. Success will be driven by specific people, not by specific roles. Too often there is the perception of equivalence where none exists just because a title or role is the same.

So plan to succeed with the people you have, and if they don't cut it this means you need different people. Don't hide behind role definitions and complain that people didn't meet them.

Technorati Tags: ,

No comments: