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  • Thamar Albaqami

Job Architecture: A Compass to Strategy’s Success

It is beyond a shadow of a doubt that any organization's strategy is the cornerstone of its development and success. Accordingly, it goes without saying that even the best and most sound strategies would fail as a consequence of the failure of its job architecture. This is something that many people, including those with more experience, might fail to notice, especially given the widespread notion that strategies lead everything.

As to start, job architecture, also known as job structures, is the framework of roles and responsibilities which organizations develop for their members. If such structures are poorly designed, they would undermine the most robust strategies since job structures, organizational structure and processes fail to support the organization’s strategy. An organization might, for instance, have a strategy that prioritizes innovation and creativity, but its job structures might be designed with compliance and adherence to rules, policies, and procedures as their top priority. This would result in an imbalance and a lack of paths for innovation and creativity, which would make it more difficult for the organization to achieve the goals of its strategy.

Another frequent pitfall in job architecture is the ineffective, inaccurate, and unclear description of job roles and responsibilities. In other words, it is when the roles are unclear. This will naturally lead to confusion and overlapping roles, which in turn contributes to a lack of accountability and poor performance. If employees are not sufficiently aware of their responsibilities and roles, and do not support one another and stand together, it necessarily indicates a lack of leadership and commitment to achieving the goals of any organization.

What is more, poor job structuring would prevent employees from moving up in their career path. By way of explanation, when job roles are poorly defined, it is challenging for employees to understand what they must do in their organization or to advance in their careers. Actually, this leads to weak or unclear career paths, which in turn cause frustration, disengagement, and poor involvement, high turnover rates and the loss of top talent follow.

In order for job architecture to be successful, an organization has to follow a strict strategic approach when designing the roles and responsibilities of its members. Consequently, this contributes to being a motive and a lever for the success of any strategy for such organization. This includes defining clear responsibilities and expectations, establishing systematic paths for career advancement, and flexible and dynamic structures that will enable its team to optimally collaborate.

Another advantage that organizations can gain from using job architecture as a tool with a leading role in strategic empowerment is the alignment of roles and responsibilities with strategic goals. Actually, this promotes employees to be more interactive and motivated to achieve the strategic goals of the organization. Most importantly, an organization could develop a culture based on innovation in its industry and workplace by designing roles and responsibilities that support innovation and creativity, which in turn promotes growth and success.

To sum up, as we have pointed out, if job architecture fails, it is very likely that strategy will also fail. Therefore, in order to avoid this failure early on, every organization that is dedicated to achieving its goals must take a decisive stance and a clear approach when designing the roles and responsibilities of its members in accordance with best practices and methodologies in job architecture. Further, it is highly recommended to highlight the significance of alignment between these roles and responsibilities and the strategic goals and to establish clear career advancement paths. Organizations shall also increase the effectiveness of all forms and types of structures, particularly the most adaptable and dynamic ones. These structures subsequently avoid risks that hardly anyone can predict.

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