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Job Analysis and Job Design/Re-design
 

‘Job’ is a historical word that dates back several decades.  ‘Job’ during its earlier time did not mean a ‘position’ provided by an organization.  The forerunners of today’s jobs started to take shape in communities and villages as people produced for household consumption.  They grew out of the weaving, the metalworking, the shoemaking that craftspeople did in addition to their farming and shepherding.  The 19th century industrial revolution resulted in a new form of ‘job’ in factories that gradually became a new way of life for most people in place of agriculture.  The monotonous, predictable factory life that lasted for a few decades thereafter gradually gave way to today’s work world, driven by faster speed of change as a result of the higher pace and complexity in production, transportation and delivery, new products and service development, etc., to keep up with changes in the marketplace.  Organizations thus started to simplify work processes so that things could be done faster.  At times, conventional jobs inhibit flexibility and speedy response to the threats and opportunities of a rapidly changing market, leading organizations to turn over their tasks to temporary and contract workers or external vendors.  Certain organizations began to recognize that their old do-it-yourself habits were unwieldy, thus more and more organizations are limiting their activities to those parts of the business where they have special competence, and outsource the rest.  Organization downsizing and other similar changes, for instance, reorganizing/restructuring of the management systems and resources, redesign of jobs and adjustment to job accountabilities, expected performance output and qualifications of jobholders, etc., are therefore inevitable.

Technological forces are making it possible to scatter operations around the world, and do away with offices and jobs.  Such change is in line with the economic need that compels organizations to cut costs for survival.  This affects the routine of office work life familiar to most jobholders - forcing them to let go of old habits and to develop a whole new work concept and habits that better suit the changing circumstances.  In some organizations, the change dissolves the outlines of conventional jobs as more and more of the organization’s efforts are likely to be undertaken by project teams made up of individuals from different functional backgrounds; workers must be willing to switch their focus rapidly from one task to another, to work with people with different training and mindsets, to work in situations where the group is the responsible party and the manager is only a coordinator, to work without clear job descriptions, to work on several assignments at the same time, to move from one project to another, as well as from one organization to another more frequently than they are accustomed to.  Lifetime employment has completely become a matter of the past. 

Such change has opened up new opportunities for workers, e.g., working from home and telecommuting, entrepreneurship and self-employment, freelancing, holding a part-time job while taking care of one’s family.  From a conventional perspective, such work styles represent career uncertainty.  However, given the economic turbulence, such uncertainty appears less and less evitable as people’s employment is contingent upon the survival of the employer organizations.  Recognizing the turbulence in the social and economic environment, some start to actively take responsibility in looking after their own interests, e.g., in self development, career path, as well as in health insurance and savings for their old age.  On the other hand, wise companies begin to work with these new-style workers collaboratively to make the relationship as beneficial to them as possible, but the ‘benefits’ of this new work arrangement will be different from the old ones.  These new rules are evolving and are becoming operative in various parts of the economy.  Though the change is yet to be complete, it is quickly gaining momentum.

JobChampion* – An integrated approach to job analysis and job re-design by Signature Solutions

JobChampion* comprises an integrated set of job analysis and job design/re-design conceptual framework, methods and tools that respond to needs of jobholders and organizations in the current fast-changing context of the corporate world.  It covers 3 process steps as follows:



JobChampion* - a fully-integrated job  analysis and job re-design system by Signature Solutions
 
  1. Job Classification: categorization of jobs into job groups and job series based on criteria that support the organization’s vision, mission, strategy, as well as other characteristics and values deemed of importance to the organization, e.g., categorized by key result areas contributing to the organization’s mission, categorized by the different nature of work, by the types of knowledge and skills necessary for the jobs.
     
  2. Job Profiling: crafting the ‘boundary’, e.g., size, complexity, of the job considering its purpose within the larger context of the organization, as well as its scope and sophistication within the job groups and job series identified under 1.
     
  3. Job Analysis: in-depth analysis to clarify details concerning the job, e.g., key accountabilities, activities and workload undertaken by the job, key performance indicators, as well as other requirements and specifications of the job.  An output from this stage is therefore a job description of the job under study.
     
JobChampion*  - How does it differ?
 

JobChampion*  - facilitates, simplifies, and streamlines the process of job description preparation, yielding an up-to-date, comprehensive, yet flexible reference document for jobs.  It is appropriate for the design of new jobs, as well as adjustment or re-design of existing jobs in organizations.

JobChampion*  - is useful not only in job description preparation, but also in the job clarification process as it sheds new light on various aspects frequently taken for granted about a job, for instance, its scope of accountability, authority, complexity, level of qualifications and performance required, etc., in relation to other jobs within the same series. JobChampion* thus takes the collaborative approach of inviting input from jobholders and parties concerned, with particular emphasis given to job- and organization-specific data.

JobChampion*  - helps foster good understanding among staff concerning the conceptual framework, perspectives, and purposes of jobs in an organization in general, and of their jobs in particular, leading to a more flexible view about jobs, hence enhanced adaptability that facilitates consistent work and self development.

JobChampion* can also assist organizations in taking a ‘big picture’ and taking a long-term view of their organization and their people management approach, especially in reviewing its alignment with other organizational elements, e.g., organization structure, work processes, job groups and levels, the performance management system, the knowledge management system, the career path system and succession planning system.

Note: *Trademarks registration process underway 


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