How many time did you work on a project or a task just to find out that someone else that you weren’t aware of work on the same project and now you need to rewrite or give up your work? How often you expected someone at work to perform a task or to be accountable for something, but he didn’t have a clue of your expectations? Count the times that someone performs a task that you were under the impression that you need to do it? Have you ever thought that communication is always the number one problem because people simply don’t know with whom they need to communicate what?
I’m sure that there is already a smile on your face since those all prevalent issues that we all encounter every day at work. Most of the people are coming to work with good intentions to do the best as they can, but they act at work like they’re acting on the road. We all jump into our car to drive anywhere and fulfill individualism. But, as we are on the road, we depend on other people. We expect from them the same as they expect from us, but are those expectation defined and known? At work (as on the road) we have expectations but lousy communication between people that depend on one on each other. Everyone tried to do the best that he can take into account limitations, state of mind, or any other factors that can make people distracted. There isn’t any system that can turn a certain light on a car to indicate that someone is distracted, on the phone, pissed off, or in any other mood. There aren’t any efficient communication system between drivers as well. We are driving to work and keep on driving at work! Sad, but true.
Organization must spend time an effort to define their structure including all the function (Roles) needed to run the business, the purpose of a function, the assets that a function need to manage, the responsibilities of a function, all interdependencies with other functions, feedback loops for a functions, Model (activities) of a function and events that trigger specific models. All of those definitions should be available and searchable to any member of the organization to understand what he needs to do and what others (that he depends on) are expected to do as well.
Regretfully just accountabilities are define today as job descriptions. Those job descriptions are not only a partial definition of expectation from the given role, but they are also losing relevance after a few months as people changing positions or roles change to respond to external or internal events. Those Job Descriptions are like strategy plans placed on a shelf and losing relevancy as they were placed on the shelf.
To take advantage of the effort of defining structure and functions organizations need to keep those definitions in a system and follow procedures that will ensure those definitions depict the current structure. Having a trustful system like that will enable people to know what the expectation from them, what they can expect from others, the basic flow of their function. Such a repository also help with communication. Interdependencies help people to know with whom they need to communicate when they make a decision, perform work or introduce any change.
Galaxies can provide a beta version of a solution like that, including the ability to view the structure visually and search for roles/groups based on data in their definitions.