Overview of the Job Redesign Process
The process of job redesign can differ from company to company, but a good starting point is our 10-
step process that has been the basis of all our job redesign transformations. We have also provided some
templates for you to download for those steps which require them.
Click on any of the following to understand in more detail
We start our journey by understanding the context and the opportunity at hand. there are four outcomes from this step:
- Understanding of current and future business priorities and direction
- Awareness of the business operating model and technology roadmap
- Engagement with management in the project
- Awareness of potential challenges with job redesign
The main process is to carry out executive interviews with the management team that will be impacted by job redesign. If you are from an accounting firm, this would be the head of your business unit. If you are from corporate, this would be your CFO or Finance Director.
Reference industry trends and relevant emerging skills for discussion to guide the interview on future business operations and priorities. If your company has a strategic plan document, that can also be a source of information.
Sample interview questions:
Business Strategy & Growth Plans
- What are the key strategic priorities or focus areas that you will undertake to achieve your vision within the short term (next 1-2 years) and long term (3-5 years)?
- What are some of the key challenges that you may face in achieving these goals?
- How has your clients/users behaviours changed in the last three years?
Operating Model & Role of Technology
- What are some other technologies that you are implementing / planning to implement in order to optimise business processes?
- Has there been significant shifts in operating model over the last 1-2 years?
Opportunities for Job Redesign
- What are likely the key challenges and opportunities for job redesign?
- Are there any significant pain points that we should look into?
- In what ways do you see the bookkeeping roles being redesigned?
- What are the emerging skills that may be expected of the new roles?
Jobs are made up of a series of tasks, decisions, and interactions. To be able to redesign the job, we need to first understand it. To do this, we can collect task-time data and conduct a employee sentiments survey.
- Identify tasks and interactions to be optimised
- Understand job role architecture and which tasks take up the bulk of time
Prerequisite: Documentation of the processes and tasks carried out by the bookkeeper (e.g. SOP or process flowchart). If you don't have the processes and tasks documented, you can refer to the sheet in the task-time survey below.
Use a task-time survey to identify the task-time breakdown of the bookkeepers. As a bookkeeper's tasks and processes (largely) differ from closing week and non-closing week, the task-time survey is split into those two sections.
Once the bookkeepers are finished with their survey, check those timing with their supervisors to validate the accuracy.
Employee Sentiment Survey
- Gather employee sentiments on current jobs, aspirations and improvement areas
The employee sentiment survey is the main way we carry out this process as it allows for anonymous and scalable way of gathering the information. If your bookkeeper team is smaller than three people, you can have a 1-on-1 discussion with them, using the survey as a guide.
Selecting tasks to automate and redesign largely have trade off implications. For example, targetting AP data entry for automation may provide the most time savings, but would require more complex scripting, time, and cost to develop, in comparison to generating management reports. For this reason, you should work with the management to select and prioritise a series of design principles.
Identify the drivers for a business case for the redesign. Some common examples are:
- - Potential time saving
- - Tackling employee / user pain point
- - Development cost for RPA script
- - Scalability of RPA script
Once the drivers are finalised, prioritise the drivers based on what makes sense to you and your management.
With the design principles in place you are now able to prioritise the tasks redesign.
In a meeting with your management, prioritise the different automation opportunities based on the design principle and agree on the scope of the automation and job redesign project.
RPA automation will create efficiencies for the bookkeeper. As such, we have to take a look at how the job changes to increase in value. Click here to find out how much time savings the companies saw in our pilot project. This is where we look to reassign task.
HOW?For job redesign, there are three main outcomes:
- Enlarge: Additional tasks added that are similar responsibilities of doing the same thing (e.g. Having the bookkeepers process more data entry)
- Enrich: Additional tasks that would require upskilling (e.g Having the bookkeepers do financial analysis instead of data entry)
- Reconfigure: Shifting of responsibilities to different roles (e.g. specialising the role of managing RPA bots and data entry)
What type of reassignment you will do for the bookkeeper in your organisation is highly contextualised to your organisation. If your bookkeepers are highly specialised and you want to increase productivity, you can click here to use the specialist track as inspiration. If you're aiming for your bookkeepers to carry out additional roles such as financial analysis, you can click hereto view the generalist track.
If you are implementing RPA, something to keep in mind is that some of the time saved by the RPA will need to be for managing and troubleshooting.
TIPS: Don't overload your bookkeepers! Balance out the additional task you're putting on and the efficiency gained from the RPA.
Just changing the job description will not enable and drive people to change the way they work. Some HR levers are required to fully enable the redesigned job to work.
Training for new skills: Training is required for either the incumbent or new hires of the new role to be upskilled to the level that they are proficient in all the new tasks. You can browse our training roadmap here as a starting point.
Manpower allocation: With the increased efficiencies and reassignment of your tasks, you may need to revisit your manpower allocation for the department.
Change in target talent pool: If you're going to have roles to manage RPA and data entry without carrying out other accounting tasks (like the Financial Data Management Executive), it's possible that you now can open up the roles to non-accountants.
Pay adjustments: With job enrichment and reconfiguration, job size will increase. Traditionally, this would lead to a corresponding change to pay, especially if those skills are in demand.
The job redesign process is lengthy and you may want to implement pieces in a step-by-step manner. A proper implementation roadmap and training roadmap can provide a guide for long-term job redesign implementation.
HOW?Create an implementation roadmap for the immediate-term and long-term, covering:
- Key activities required
- Stakeholders involved
- Estimated time frame
For the training roadmap, you would want to develop a plan with training programme, on-the-job training plans and success indicators to have an effective upskilling programme. Click here to look through our recommended list of training programmes.
RPA automation is key in creating the efficiencies required to redesign the job.
The implementation of RPA will largely depend on the consultants implementing the RPA script.
Reskilling and easing into the new RPA scripts is key in fully adopting the automation and redesigned role.
Training is required for either the incumbent or new hires of the new role to be upskilled to the level that they are proficient in the new tasks. During the upskilling process it is important to keep everyone feeling supported and to manage expectations. There will be a learning curve for the first few months of carrying out the redesigned role.
You can monitor the training through a monitoring template. You can download our version below.
Reviewing the impact of the project to understand the success of the project and what lessons can be learned for future endeavours.
HOW?There are a few metrics that can be measured for impact analysis:
- Identify the efficiencies of the RPA scripts by comparing task time carried out manually against RPA bot.
- Carry out a post sentiment survey and/or focus discussion groups with impacted incumbents and their supervisors.
TIP: Ideally the metrics are measured a few months after the implementation.