The Fulfillment Matrix is a living document that assigns specific duties to individuals or roles within the company. Its purpose is to ensure that all needed functions are clearly assigned with nothing missing.
Generally the Matrix assigns primary and secondary responsibility to a given function. The buck stops with the supervisor, indicated with a “1”. Individuals supporting the function are designated with a “2”.
Job descriptions are then derived from the Matrix. It’s important to begin by listing all needed functionalities rather than to construct the Matrix from existing jobs. A job like Tasting Room Manager won’t be important until you set one up, but it should still be listed as a placeholder with an assignment to someone for preliminary planning.
Even if there is only one person in the company who wears all the hats, an awareness of the whole hat rack helps to budget time to attend to each and to realize when the time has come for outsourcing or hiring employees. The great thing about an expanding company is that you always get to keep the jobs you love and delegate the ones you hate or are unskilled at to somebody who loves them and is competent to perform them.
The Matrix should be revisited regularly. Besides employee turnover, functions can grow or shrink and shift in nature. For example, website development involves a larger time commitment and a different skill set than website operation and security maintenance.
Small Business Audit
Use this seven-part inquiry to determine where your team strategy is working and where you are vulnerable.
- Employees: Does a satisfactory balance exist between loyalty (“Social Contract”) and accountability (“Business Contract”)?
Metrics: Turnover, salary & benefits parity, labor efficiency.
- Robustness: How sensitive is the business to volume changes?
Metrics: Fixed costs and obligations, indebtedness,
- Mortality: How dependent are you on key personnel?
Metrics: Can you take a two-week vacation?
Can middle management articulate your vision?
- Flexibility: Are new product diversifications in the hopper if you need them?
Metrics: Product testing, supplier contracts, market research
- Focus: Is marketing in place which serves your vision for the future?
Metrics: Do customers know who you are and where you’re going?
- Integrity: Are you vulnerable to legal attack?
Metrics: OSHA audit, County compliance, Federal and State Compliance, infringement, outstanding contract breach
- Solidity: How clean are relationships among Stakeholders?
Metrics: documentation of incentives, buy-out provisions, retirement plans