Resource Allocation

Each person is responsible for setting strategy and objectives (Vision, Strategy and Objectives) within the roles that they steward (Role Steward), and executing on that strategy through doing work, making decisions (through the Advice), and, importantly, allocating resources.

How do we allocate resources?

In some cases, executing the strategy of a role simply requires the time of the role steward. In these cases, resource allocation is easy. The role steward simply allocates her time as she deems appropriate.

In other cases, a role needs more resources than the time of one person. It may need new hires. It may need equipment. It may need money to be spent on vendors. In these cases, we need a process.

Ideally, we’d want to use just the advice process here – the things that makes this situation complex is that it’s not clear who the decision-maker should be. One can make the argument that the steward of the role that needs the resources is the most affected and therefore should be the decision-maker. One can equally well argue that the person who is responsible for raising the money is the most affected and therefore should be the decision-maker.

We will take the latter approach, with one modification and some structure. The modification we’ll make is that the person responsible for raising money can delegate the responsibility of budgeting to a separate finance role, and simply give the finance role the total budget. Then, at the beginning of each quarter, each role and realm steward send advice to both roles (the capital raising role and the budgeting role) about their capital needs for the quarter, in the form of an individual budget and a hiring plan. The budgeting steward takes that advice, and (generally through multiple back and forths on the advice process), puts together a budget for the quarter. The capital raising steward takes all the requests as general advice on how much money they should be raising.

Therefore:

Each quarter, have each role and realm steward give advice to the budgeting and capital raising stewards around their capital needs for the quarter, in the form of a budget and hiring plan. The budgeting steward takes that advice and puts together a budget and headcount for each realm accordingly, and the capital raising steward takes it as advice on how much money to raise.

Once budgets are allocated, give as much ability for individual roles and realms to do purchasing on their own. Hiring, on the other hand, goes through a process based on the Advice process.

Published May 5, 2019