As a company grows, it can become tough to keep track of who's responsible for what. "You have people constantly crossing functional lines," says Thomas G. Kamp, president of Premier Computer Corp., in Oklahoma City. "It becomes easy for accountability to get lost.'
Premier, a disk-drive repair company, has grown from 25 people to about 260 in just four years. "I found myself not knowing who was responsible for ensuring proper turnaround time, for example," Kamp complains. So he devised a simple system for keeping track of each employee's accountability, including his own. At least once a year, he asks his 18 executives and managers to draw up a matrix specifying their responsibilities and those of each of the people under them. "By writing it all down, they come to own it," he says.
The matrix looks like this: across the top, employees' initials serve as column headings. Down the side are different job tasks (such as internal growth planning) or limits of authority (such as approving purchases of less than $500). After all the matrixes are complete, Kamp hands them out in a looseleaf binder. "It's a reference tool," he says.