The Team You Need to Design Your Job Architecture

A well-designed job architecture will make your organization more agile and efficient. But you need to be a team-player to get there.

Designing a job architecture affects your entire organization — the goal is to drive your business eventually. Thus, it is vital to get the right people on board. This guide helps you identifying those colleagues which you need in your team to support the design and implementation and make your job architecture a success.

Job architecture goes by many names such as job catalog, job structure, job library or leveling. However, they all refer to the infrastructure of jobs within your organization. This hierarchy of jobs includes a variety of relevant fields such as job naming conventions, grades, spans of control, career paths, equitable compensation programs, job value or the criteria for career movement. But the reason for being goes further than just designing effective pay programs. A job architecture provides you with a human capital infrastructure and financial practices that will drive your whole business, including learning and development, workforce planning, career paths, total compensation, and succession planning.

Consequently, the implementation of a job architecture has touchpoints with many functions and levels from your entire organization. Above all with human resources, senior executives, and job experts. Thus, you need a broad and knowledgeable project team to ensure that all implications are considered and everyone supports the transformation.

You will obviously start by involving senior executives for them to sign-off on such a large-scale project. But you should think about involving HR simultaneously. Their expertise in employee relations, compensation & benefits, talent & recruiting and of course the human resources information system (HRIS) is crucial.

Here’s a list of colleagues that you definitely should have on board.

1. Compensation & Benefits
The expert on compensation & benefits is typically the project owner and provides the team with an appropriate framework (i.e. job families, job function, title taxonomy) and organizational data to review the job architecture. Moreover, the expert not only updates and reviews the job descriptions but also evaluates how the updated job architecture impacts the current payroll program.
Will your new job architecture have an impact on the current payroll program? How will the impacts be addressed?

2. Internal Communication
The expert on internal communication is responsible for developing a sound strategy and approach to communicate the upcoming changes within the entire organization. It is important to involve all employees regularly and make sure that their concerns and questions are being addressed.
How will your organization communicate the upcoming changes?
How will questions and concerns of employees be addressed?

3. Talent & Recruiting
An expert on talent & recruiting can provide you with input about an appropriate framework and linkages to career pathways. Additionally, the expert can estimate the potential impact on the recruiting system. They know about the relationship between jobs and the level of detail needed for job descriptions, about the necessary skills and the future needs.

4. HRIS
The HRIS expert estimates the possible impact of the new job architecture framework on the HRIS and is responsible for a possible redesign. Consequently, the HRIS expert evaluates how the changes might impact the approach to capturing and reporting HR data and thus reassess the updated job architecture framework.

5. IT
Depending on how the job architecture will be implemented it is important to involve the IT department. Most likely you will make use of a new software to design and implement the new job architecture. Stay in touch with IT to clarify the situation regarding data security and IT infrastructure.
Is there a new software system required?
How is the new system supposed to fit into the existing IT landscape?

6. Job Subject Matter Experts
The job subject matter expert provides the team with feedback on classification criteria, job title structure, job progression, and alignment with business requirements. They are also vital to bring the new design to life by mapping the employees to the updated job architecture.

7. Employee Relations
If there are unionized workplaces in your organization, employee relations determine if union representatives need to be consulted prior to implementing the job architecture design.
Is there a union representative in your company which should be consulted?

8. Finance
You also should have someone from finance on the team to generally determine the affordability of potential changes in compensation programs.
Are the potential changes in the compensation program worth the effort?

9. Legal
A legal expert can advise the project team on implications for employment contracts and the need for consultation/notification. As the implications on employment contracts can affect a variety of employees it is important for the organization to be absolutely transparent and compliant. Thus, having legal support on the project team is crucial.

The team you need to successfully implement a job architecture.

These are the experts which should be at the core of your team. However, there are two more issues essential to the success of designing and implementing a job architecture in your company.

· The support and commitment of the executive team to ensure that the project can be properly executed. There should be an alignment between the executive and the project team as to how the job architecture will be implemented. You’ll need to speak with one voice.

· A clear governance framework will save your project team a lot of time by defining the exact scope of the project. The framework must address key responsibilities at each stage of the project and give a clear understanding on who has to be addressed on issues within the job architecture design.

Bringing all these people into your team will considerably raise the quality of design and speed of implementation. You will have good arguments because the large majority will benefit strongly from a well-designed job architecture in their own area of responsibility.

Our best wishes for success. Have a look at our stories to get more insights about effective job architecture implementation.