The advantages to defining job roles instead of job positions

Position-based vs. role-based organisations

In a position-based organisation, each individual has only one job position (Senior Data Analyst), whereas in a role-based organisation, individuals are represented by their role portfolio (Data Analyst, Copy Translator, Talent Recruiter). Each role can also be held by multiple people.

Building your organisation with positions vs. building it with roles

In a position-based organisation, an individual is situated in one position in the pyramid. In a role-based organisation, that same individual may instead hold roles on different teams across the entire organisation.

Problems with positions

1. Positions are static

2. Positions are single points of failure

Removing an individual from a pyramidal position-based organisation can have farther reaching consequences.

3. Position descriptions are generally not shared in a useful way

Roles to the rescue

1. Roles are dynamic and adaptable

2. Roles don’t depend on individual people

One of the strongest free-standing structures is a geodesic dome. Each joint is multiply connected. If you remove any random supporting bar it will have little effect on the strength of the structure as a whole. Role-based organisations take advantage of this: individuals can hold multiple roles, and roles can be held by multiple people.

3. Roles provide a holistic view of what the organisation needs to succeed

Additional benefit: Personal growth

Use a map to simplify the complexity

As a shared reference, Peerdom helps you simplify the dynamic complexity of maintaining a role-based organisation. When you select a peer (right-hand column), their current role portfolio is highlighted (left-hand side).

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