Skip to main content

Roles vs. Jobs

During one of my recent classes a discussion came up about the difference between roles and jobs. ITIL v3 speaks to the importance of roles in performing the steps or activities of a process or procedure.

A role is a set of responsibilities, Activities and authorities granted to a person or team. A Role is defined in a Process. One person or team may have multiple Roles, for example the Roles of Configuration Manager and Change Manager may be carried out by a single person.               --Service Strategy Glossary
This appears to be a fairly clear definition of “role”. So why do some people have difficulty identifying the proper roles to play during the execution of a process? As the recent discussion showed, it may be because of our long focus on jobs as opposed to roles.

Most learners recognize a difference between the two. When asked how many “job titles” they have, the answer is inevitably that they have one job title. When asked how many roles they perform, they inevitably respond that they play many roles! But the traditional focus on a hierarchy of control tends to have people focus on their job titles and to whom they report, rather than on the duties, steps, activities or instructions they carry out. Unfortunately the majority of people with the title “Analyst” do little or no analysis! Also jobs often get performed one task at a time, rather than according to process or procedure.

To make a process or procedure work most effectively we must begin to shift our focus towards roles, rather than only job titles. How can we make this shift? Here are some easy steps to follow (yes, a process!):

1. Each day when you come to work identify which services you will be supporting that day (it may vary or it may not depending on your own organization)

2. Identify the possible processes you will need to use during the day to strategize, design, transition, operate or improve those services

3. Identify your assigned role within the processes

4. Locate or gather the procedural and work instruction documents for those roles and place them in a convenient location for reference.--If needed, create “cheat sheets” or “quick reference documents”

5. As need arises, perform the steps of the process, procedures, or work instructions, constantly referring to the documentation when in doubt about the next step(s).

6. Make note of how long it took you to perform the process steps as a whole. That way you can compare your daily performance and work towards improvement!

7. Eventually you will be able to perform the process, procedures or work instructions without constant reference to documentation. But keep them handy! Sometimes we may not perform a process daily and so need a refresher (even Professors!!)

Too often we have convinced ourselves that we “know” our jobs or roles because we do them so much. But it never hurts to make sure you really do perform the roles properly (according to process). When we focus on process rather than just assigned tasks, we can begin to maximize the value we bring to the customers and users of the services we provide.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner?

I was recently asked to clarify the roles of the Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner and wanted to share this with you.

Roles and Responsibilities:
Process Owner – this individual is “Accountable” for the process. They are the goto person and represent this process across the entire organization. They will ensure that the process is clearly defined, designed and documented. They will ensure that the process has a set of Policies for governance.Example: The process owner for Incident management will ensure that all of the activities to Identify, Record, Categorize, Investigate, … all the way to closing the incident are defined and documented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs, and deliverables. An example of a policy in could be… “All Incidents must be logged”. Policies are rules that govern the process. Process Owner ensures that all Process activities, (what to do), Procedures (details on how to perform the activity) and the policies (r…

How Does ITIL Help in the Management of the SDLC?

I was recently asked how ITIL helps in the management of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).  Simply put... SDLC is a Lifecycle approach to produce the software or the "product".  ITIL is a Lifecycle approach that focuses on the "service".
I’ll start by reviewing both SDLC and ITIL Lifecycles and then summarize:
SDLC  -  The intent of an SDLC process is to help produce a product that is cost-efficient, effective and of high quality. Once an application is created, the SDLC maps the proper deployment of the software into the live environment. The SDLC methodology usually contains the following stages: Analysis (requirements and design), construction, testing, release and maintenance.  The focus here is on the Software.  Most organizations will use an Agile or Waterfall approach to implement the software through the Software Development Lifecycle.
ITIL  -  is a best practice for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs …

Incidents when a Defect is Involved

Question: We currently track defects in a separate system than our ticket management system. With that said, my question is does anyone have suggestions and/or best practices on how to handle incidents when a defect is involved? Should the incident be closed since the defect is being worked on in another defect tracking system if it is noted in the incident ticket? I am considering creating an incident statuses of 'closed-unresolved' so the incident can still be reported on in our ticket management system but know it is being worked on/tracked in the defect system. With defects, it is possible that we may never work on them because they are very low priority and the impact is low to the user. However, in some cases a defect is being worked on. Should we create a problem ticket instead?
Thanks, René W.

Answer: RenĂ©. In ITIL, the activity you are describing is handled by the Problem Management process. ITIL does not use the term “defect” but it does use the term “known error” to…