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 eventually drive your business. Thus, it is vital to get the right people on board. This guide helps you identify those colleagues you need on 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 various relevant items such as job naming conventions, grades, spans of control, career paths, compensation, 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 an infrastructure for human capital and financial practices that will drive your whole business, including learning and development, workforce planning, career paths, total compensation, pay equity, and succession planning.

Consequently, implementing a job architecture involves many functions and levels from your entire organization, especially 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 to get their approval on such a large-scale project. But you should also consider involving HR simultaneously. Their expertise in employee relations, compensation and benefits, talent and recruiting, and, of course, the human resources information system (HRIS) is crucial.

Try to get the following colleagues on board for your project.

1. Compensation & Benefits
The expert in compensation and benefits is typically the project owner and provides the team with an appropriate framework (e.g., job families, job functions, title classification), and organizational data to review the job architecture. 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 impact 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 employees’ questions and concerns be addressed?

3. Talent & Recruiting
An expert on talent and recruiting can provide 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, the level of detail needed for job descriptions, the necessary skills, and future needs.

The HRIS expert estimates the possible impact of the new job architecture framework on your HR software 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 can give you important input about 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 new software to design and implement the new job architecture. Stay in touch with IT to clarify 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 before implementing the job architecture design.
Is there a union representative in your company who 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 the implications of employment contracts and the need for consultation/notification. As the implications of 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 implement a job architecture successfully.

These are the experts who should be at the core of your team. However, two more issues are 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!