Question 2: Can a Key Position Be Rendered Unnecessary by Finding New Ways to Achieve Comparable Results?

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A replacement may not be necessary if key work outcomes can be achieved

in new ways. In this sense, then, SP&M can be affected by business process

reengineering, defined by best-selling authors Michael Hammer and James

Champy as ‘‘the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes

to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of

performance, such as cost, quality, service, and speed.’’2 If the organization

can reengineer work processes and thereby eliminate positions that were once

key to an old process, then replacing a key job incumbent will be unnecessary.

In short, key positions may be reengineered out of existence.

To that end, try applying the model suggested by Rummler and Brache to

process improvement3:

1. Identify the critical business issue or process that is to be reexamined.

2. Select critical processes related to the issue or subprocesses.

3. Select a leader and members for a process improvement team.

4. Train the team on process improvement methods.

5. Develop ‘‘is’’ maps to show the relationship between where and how

work flows into a system, how it is transformed through work methods,

and where it goes when the products or services are provided to

the ‘‘customers.’’

(text continues on page 265)

Exhibit 11-1. Deciding When Replacing a Key Job Incumbent Is

Unnecessary: A Flowchart

No

Is the key

position

no longer

necessary?

Do not fill the key

position. Leave it vacant.

Can a key position

be rendered unnecessary

by finding new

ways to achieve comparable

results?

Can a key position

be rendered unnecessary

by redistributing

the duties to a team in

the same part of the

organization?

Do not fill the key position.

Apply reengineering to

achieve the same results.

Are the members of

the same part

of the organization

capable of working

together as a team?

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

(continues)

Exhibit 11-1. (continued)

Use team

building.

Review work

priorities.

Form team(s) and

do not replace the

key position.

Are members of

the same part of the

organization capable

of absorbing the

extra duties without

sacrificing productivity

in their present job

duties?

No

Yes

Do members of

other parts of the

organization possess the

neccessary expertise to

carry out the work?

Can a key

position be

rendered unnecessary

by reallocating

the duties to other

parts of the

organization?

Provide

training if

time allows.

Otherwise,

use another

approach.

Are members of

another part of the

organization capable

of absorbing the

extra duties without

sacrificing productivity

in their present job

duties?

Review work

priorities.

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

(continues)

Exhibit 11-1. (continued)

Can a key position be

rendered unnecessary by

outsourcing the work?

Reallocate the work of the

key position to another

part of the organization.

Is the work critical to

the continued survival

of the organization?

Replace the

key position

incumbent.

Is organizational

control essential to

meeting stringent

work or quality

requirements?

Replace the

key position

incumbent.

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Can a key position be

rendered unnecessary

by using flexible

staffing approaches?

Outsource the job duties of

the key position.

Is the work critical to

the survival of the

organization?

Replace the

key position

incumbent.

Is organizational

control essential to

meeting stringent

work or quality

requirements?

Replace the

key position

incumbent.

Use flexible staffing

approaches to achieve

the results desired from

the key position.

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

(continues)

Exhibit 11-1. (continued)

Can combining the

approaches listed above

render unnecessary the

need for a replacement

in a key position?

Use the traditional

approach to succession

planning, striving to

replace the key job

incumbent—probably

from within.

Decide which strategies to

combine. Divide up work

requirements as necessary

and use different strategies

to meet them. Do not

replace the key position

incumbent.

Yes

No

6. Find ‘‘disconnects,’’ which are missing, redundant, or illogical factors

that could affect the critical business issue or the process.

7. Analyze the disconnects.

8. Develop a ‘‘should’’ map to present a more efficient or effective

method of handling the work.

9. Establish measures or standards for what is desired.

10. Recommend changes.

11. Implement the changes.

In essence, the same steps described above can be used to determine whether

there are ways to ‘‘engineer a key position out of existence.’’ If there is, then

no successor will be needed. (However, the work process may be broken up

and reallocated, necessitating new competencies for those who absorb the

new duties.)