Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Do Jobs Right – Assign the Right People!

How many times have you observed a situation where, when a job needed to get done, the manager checked to see who was available, and simply assigned the job the first available person, whether such a job assignment to that particular person made sense or not? [See Mis-Managers: How Bad Managers Can Poison the Well]  Sad to say, this is an all too common occurrence, and the result is often predictable and disappointing, if not downright disastrous. While such behavior may be somewhat understandable in the case where a new need suddenly arises, there are still better ways to address such circumstances. In cases where planning for a new project is being undertaken, such behavior is inexcusable.

First, let’s talk about what I mean by the “wrong person” or the “right person”. The “wrong person” is not meant as a pejorative term for a specific individual. It only has meaning in the context of a specific assignment. The “wrong person” means that the knowledge, background, and experience of that specific person are not a match to the requirements and needs of a particular assignment. You wouldn’t want a road worker to perform brain surgery (or at least I wouldn’t want a road worker to perform surgery on my brain, no matter how nice a guy that road worker is), or ask a brain surgeon to do road work with a jackhammer (where he could damage his highly trained hands and fingers, the “instruments” of his profession). You want to match, to the degree possible, the skills, talents, and capabilities of the individual to the requirements and needs of the assignment.