A role is a function in an organization. It is relied upon to execute specific tasks and contribute to the overall success of the group. In a start-up, every role has a $$ cost and is therefore precious. Roles are intended to enable the execution of the overall plan and therefore should be assessed within that context:
- How does the role enable profitability? If the customer will pay for it, that’s easy. If the role is a part of the delivery of the value proposition or performs an essential control, that’s fine. If you aren’t sure of any of these, stop and clarify the role before you hire anyone.
- When do you need it? A sense of timing is critical for musicians, comics and entrepreneurs. It also helps a lot with your numbers. Defining the timing correctly for the role can save you money, save you idle time and smooth out your execution.
- Is it redundant? This is a critical question as you can both save money and avoid conflicts if everyone is kept busy and not stepping on the others. Think about the role carefully and determine what is really different about it, if you really need it and if the timing is correct.
It can be easy to confuse roles with specific individuals. A fundamental difference can be described as this is what it does (role) versus this is who does it (person).