This role interviews for clarity and alignment prototype is most effective if done cross departments.
Roles are often implicit and differing views on what someone's role is, usually creates friction. Therefore having structured conversations about roles helps to surface any misalignment.
Role mapping can become a heavy and detailed process. The trick is to keep it lightweight and to remember that the outcome doesn't have to be a directory of role descriptions with KPI's. Most of the value is the process itself which as a result creates clarity and transparency.
What steps to take for the practice
Gather a small cross-department group to act as interviewers.
Explain the interview process, which is a set of simple questions:
What are you doing? Here it is important to get the verbs - the actual doing, you should be able to picture the person doing this, so "managing" or "CEO" are not valid answers.
Who are you helping? The point is to understand how this role is contributing to the purpose and goals of the organisation, as in a hierarchy of creative visions. If the answer is no-one this role is likely a vision holder.
Who is helping you? This is for understanding the hierarchy of creative visions and to detect mis-alignments. Eg. is someone is saying X is helping me, but X is not saying she is helping, then it's interesting.
Each person on the interview team picks a 3-5 persons to interview (it's fun to interview someone you don't work with day-today).
Do the interviews and write the answers down in a shared directory. If you send the questions beforehand it goes more smooth in my experience (15-20 min).
The interviewers read the interview notes and meet to discuss learnings, surprises and insights.
Share your learnings, surprises and insights with everybody in the departments that took part in the prototype. This can spawn a good discussion and some changes to roles.
Clarity and alignment on roles.
My experience is that when an individual is being interviewed it makes him/her think more about their role(s) and I have seen people take action to change their roles because of this new awareness.
The interviewer group will get a good overview so it's important to take time to share the learnings in detail so the value is really harvested.
In organisations that like structure, this process can be used to produce a role map to see the connections between roles. I have used the tool Maptio.
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