Monday, April 9, 2012

Job design - Span of Control and Span of Accountability considerations

In the last blog, we began looking at how to design a good job and discussed the 4 questions to be answered. In today's blog we look at two of these 4 factors - span of control and span of accountability

Span of control refers to the range of resources (people and infrastructure) that are given to the manager to decide upon. Since the manager is responsible for controlling he/she is also responsible for the performance of these resources. Managers would have to adjust the span of control for each position on the basis of how the company delivers value to its customers - it has to align with the company's focus. This span could be "wide" or "narrow".

The Span of Accountability reflects the trade-offs that affect the measures used to evaluate a manager's achievement. The setting for this span allows us to determine the behavior we intend to see. 

The span of control and span of accountability are interrelated, and make the most sense when considered together. Span of Control defines the resources available for the manager, while the span of accountability defines the goals that manager should focus towards. This is in synch with the common knowledge - "Authority should match responsibility"

We shall look at the other two spans of in the next blog.

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