Job descriptions vs reality?

  1. When you take on someone, new make sure the job role is clearly set down.
  2. Set clear boundaries around the job and explain how it fits with other jobs
  3. Write SMART objectives – Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, Time Bound
  4. Make sure you agree timescales for key deliverables
  5. Be clear on what is not required in the job
  6. Meet regularly with your employees to review their roles and set new expectations
  7. As the employee’s capabilities and skills grow, make sure you take off any responsibilities that are too low for them and pass them to more junior staff
  8. Allow the employee to come up with suggestions on how their job could be improved
  9. If you request them to join ad hoc projects, cross boundary work streams or special interest groups make sure they have time to do it.
  10. Reward them for going the extra mile.


Defining Projects & Programmes?

  1. Ask who are the sponsors of the project? Who is really driving this project/programme? Who are the key stakeholders? Is the business case clear?
  2. Make sure you set a clear purpose for the project – write it out in simple words – be specific (i.e. the reason for the project)
  3. Define the goals of a particular project –what are the individual objectives ?
  4. Make sure the project approach and deliverables are clear? Is this a programme with sub projects – where does it overlap with other projects?  What is in scope and also out of scope.  (i.e. We will do X, Y, Z but not A,B, C) By Scope we mean what is to be achieved, by when and by whom. What resources will you need – how many people and for how long?
  5. Use the RACI model. – Who is responsible?  Who is Accountable? Who needs to be consulted? Who should be informed? All these are different!
  6. Identify what the project dependencies are – i.e. what will be needed from customers, clients, colleagues? Access to information and data?
  7. Set budgets and costs clearly so that anything outside of these has to be renegotiated.  Understand the penalties if things go outside of these.
  8. Establish how you will monitor, review and set key milestones along the way.  Don’t be afraid to shout if the project stalls or gets off track. Set a way to manage issues if they arise. e.g. Project escalation path or issues tracking reports.
  9. Be clear on communications and changes related to your projects. How will these be managed?
  10. Finally set incentives for doing a good job, within scope and on time!

For more information on Scope Creep check out Toptal’s recommendations