Management Bug: Overlapping Responsibilities

A MngtBug is a problem, cause or impact in a human manager’s decision which produces an incorrect or unexpected result. Every other week we share a little bit of our knowledge base on social media and our newsletter.

This week’s MngtBug is…

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Have you ever seen this MngtBug? How did you solve it?
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Description

This week’s “Overlapping Responsibilities” is a very common problem independently of the size of the team and/or company.

By definition, overlapping responsibilities refers to a situation in which more than one individual is responsible for the same activity.
Only one person should be responsible for completing one activity. When 2 or more employees are unclear about who should do a job because of overlapping responsibility, it usually leads to conflict and poor working relationships. Often the Job does not get done because each employee assumes the other will do it. (Extracted and adapted from https://managementinnovations.wordpress.com/tag/overlapping-responsibility/)

Unclear roles and responsibilities can be stressful because:

  • Your team members don’t understand how they fit into the team, resulting in difficulty in finding “task significance”. Task significance is what helps people feel like their job makes a difference.
  • People waste time, doing work that they shouldn’t be or don’t want to be doing
  • Team members find it difficult to develop the required skills. Their jobs are not well defined, so it’s hard to tell what skills they need.

You probably know what your team members should be doing. However, you need to make sure that everybody is on the same page if they are going to have any job satisfaction. (Extracted and adapted from https://www.thoughtfulleader.com/unclear-roles-and-responsibilities/)

Known Associates

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This MngtBug has been mentioned in relation to a number of MngtFixes such as…

“Team Reorganization”,
“Job Descriptions Definition”,
“Delegation Poker Implementation”,
“Temporary Employee Rotation”,
“Process Ownership Definition”,
and of course “Roles and Ownership Definition”!

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What about you? What do you want more or less of on medium post?
Do you have other suggestions?

I would love to know more about your feedback and stories so that we can learn, share and grow together!

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Have a nice week and remember…
Human Managers should strive to be humans while managing and be managed as humans!

Written by

Eduardo Espinheira is a Consultant, Facilitator, Manager, Public Speaker, Creator of the Management Bugs&Fixes and the Machiavellian PM Stories

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