We all know that human resource is the most important assets that any organization has. Within the current version of ISO 9001:2015 roles and responsibilities are discussed in multiple clauses within the standard, including 5.2 (assigning and communicating roles), 7.1.2 (allocation of staff to meet requirements), and 7.2 (competence and training).
The business world, over the past decades, has evolved from Henry Ford stating that “you can have a car any color you like, as long as it’s black”, to highly customizable solutions required by customers. From a world of mass production, where everything was done in the same way, to flexible products, for highly demanding clients.
Moreover, businesses have evolved from a world dominated by the manufacturing business, to an increase in service based businesses. From a complete monopoly by local businesses, to a international marketplace whereby local businesses are competing to their international counterparts.
Invariably, this has led to an increased level of service that customers expect in their purchasing experience. Not that I need to explain why running a business has become more sophisticated in recent years, but I wanted to demonstrate that archaic methods cannot be used to run a modern, successful business.
Regular organizational charts are one of the old methods that are used to demonstrate how a business works. Indeed, organizational structures are useful to give a clear picture of who reports to whom, that is certainly needed in large organizations (that employ hundreds of people), however less needed in a company of, say, 25 employees, which is the size of most companies in Malta, and indeed the size of most companies I’ve worked with.
The image above shows that when smaller companies use organizational charts, they are probably doing more harm than good. They are creating silos (depicted by the vertical cylinders) between the various functions of the organization. Such silos create multiple problems, including:
• lack of accountability
• decrease efficiency in communication
• gray areas, which seem to be no one’s responsibility
• internal politics and possibly friction between different departments
• different priorities for each function, and hence not everyone pulling the same rope
• the need for more managers
• harder to establish KPIs and objectives
… and others
The process approach that ISO 9001:2015 promotes a radically different approach. It encourages organizations to start from the customer, and note the processes that are needed to deliver the end result required.
By first noting the processes the needed to serve the customer, and then defining who will be responsible for what, and who reports to whom, it will be easier to maintain a flat, lean organization.
As per the image above, when working on ISO 9001:2015 roles and responsibilities, by first keeping the process in mind, and then defining the organization chart, business leaders can assign responsibilities accordingly.
I have used this approach in all my businesses, such as Kraze Travel – adventure travel agents in Malta.