You’re likely too familiar with RACI charts. For those who aren’t, RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consult, Inform.
The way it works is you lay out a matrix. In the rows, you list tasks. In the columns you list groups. You then go row by row and put an R, A, C, I in the column of the appropriate group.
Not all groups have to have a letter. But all tasks (rows) need to have a group to be Accountable and Responsible.
Organizations love doing this. But here’s the sad truth: They hardly ever help. A lot of the work merely produces pretty presentations that are never referenced again.
Why? Well, think of all the cool people you know. Do they really need a chart to tell them to do the right thing?
Or even yourself. Generally speaking, don’t you have a good sense for what the right thing to do is?
A lot of times it’s not knowing what this right thing is, but actually doing it.
You Don’t Need a Job Description
You can extend this to supply chain job descriptions. Here are several reasons why it’s a pointless exercise.
1. Too many scenarios. Can we really expect to list out all possible scenarios within a supply chain?
A supply chain is a collection of processes and the people that run them. It’s a living system. Maybe you can remotely consider doing it for some simple supply chains. But generally, you’ll be chasing a moving target.
2. Requires thinking. There are no standard scenarios in a living supply chain. This is why it needs a smart person like yourself to manage it.
If it’s something that can be completely described in a couple of pages, then it can be programmed. Then why do they need you at all right?
Do you really want a job that can at some point be automated to a machine?
3. Not referenced again. And even in situations where job descriptions or RACI charts are meticulously built, most people never reference them in the heat of day-to-day activity.
It just seems silly to pull out a piece of paper every time a gray area comes up. Sillier still because there are so many situations that are not black or white.
How to Get Promoted
Over the years, the people we typically see promoted quickly are those that throw away job descriptions and RACI charts. They simply use their best judgement on a case-by-case basis.
Some people we know even use the “What would my kids say?” or “What would my mom say?” test. Meaning, if your kids or mother fully understood the context of your actions would you be embarrassed or proud?
Are we saying that you should volunteer to do all the work all the time? Absolutely not.
What we’re suggesting is that all of us have enough intelligence to know the right approach to most situations. Sometimes this will require you to go beyond your job description. Sometimes it will require less.
But it’s an impossible task to write out a few pages to describe what these should be — more importantly, often uneccessary.
Will some people take advantage of you? Almost guaranteed. But as we’ve said before a career is a marathon not a sprint.
In the short term, it may be tough to see any positive results in your current situations. But over time, the good people and good jobs that share your values will tend to find you.
The goal is to consistently build the right habits. Our experience has been that if you do this, your average normally breaks pretty well.
Let us know what you think by commenting below.