A Template for Identifying Critical Roles Based on Strategic Capabilities | Brian Heger

Talent Management

An organization’s ability to identify and plan for its critical roles is an important aspect of workforce planning and talent management. However, organizations often encounter common pitfalls in identifying their critical roles, including:

  • basing a role’s criticality solely on its job level, overlooking non-executive roles
  • determining criticality based on the difficulty of filling a role, which may not accurately reflect its criticality
  • assessing role criticality based on the incumbent rather than the role’s impact on creating value for the organization and its stakeholders

Against this backdrop, I am sharing my new one-page editable template aimed to help organizations identify critical roles based on their impact on enabling strategic capabilities. The template allows an organization to list 4 to 5 strategic capabilities vital to its business strategy and evaluate roles against them. By placing a checkmark for each role that has a disproportionate impact on the strategic capabilities, the visual output can provide a foundation for further discussion. While other factors contribute to role criticality, strategic capabilities play a crucial role. Nonetheless, this tool serves as one of several ways that organizations can identify critical roles.