What Does The Term Strategic Mean in a Job Description?

By Steven Mcmanus


Paterson Job Evaluation is the predominant job evaluation system used in Southern Africa. This article makes reference to Paterson Bands (F is the top – CEO level; A is the lowest level).

From C Band upwards there is a requirement to understand the theory behind the work that is being done, in order to strategize and come up with the best approach. What changes from C through to F Band is the context. At F Band the context is the overall organisation, at E Band it is major functions, at D Band disciplines and sub-disciplines, while at C Band the context is the systems, processes and procedures.


F Band – Strategic Intent (Corporate strategic direction and policy sign off)
At the top of the organisation we have executives who are focussed on “strategic intent”. They spend a lot of time on what the organisation should and should not be doing. They deal with issues such as what is the business of the organisation, which markets should the business be in, which countries etc. They are responsible for the long term vision and strategy to ensure long-term viability. [e.g. Vision: We are a low cost Southern African manufacturer of light motor vehicles]


E Band – Strategic Execution (Translation of corporate direction into organisation planning and management)
At the next level we have executives and senior managers who translate the strategic intent into an executable plan which we call strategic execution. This involves the translation of strategic organisation goals (strategic intent) into operational practice/goals. The translation of general business strategy into operational systems, practices and processes through the contribution of knowledge inputs. Setting and monitoring of functional direction for the organisation in respect of a specific specialist discipline. [e.g. Operations: We will import pre-assembled light motor vehicles and use a 50% local build in PE with full sales and service centres in 8 cities in 2017, expanding to 32 locations by 2020)


D Band – Professional Tactical / Practice (Translation of organisation plans into functional plans and tactics)
The next level of strategy involves developing the best tactics or operational practices by planning, organising and co-coordinating the required resources, namely money, people, materials, equipment, information and technology, to achieve given objectives in the most productive and cost effective way. Management of systems, processes and practices in such a way as to achieve best operating practices. [e.g. Operations-Manufacturing: We will use a sequential production line in 8 assembly sections, 50% robotic, to manufacture 8 vehicles per hour at full capacity]


C Band – Supervisory / Advanced Operational (Optimising a given functional system to achieve plans. Solving a range of technical problems within a recognised technical discipline through the appropriate use of a range of tools)
While this is not typically referred to as strategic, this level of work develops detailed operational strategies within systems, processes and procedures to make them optimally efficient, quality and cost effective.


A and B Band mostly select the applicable system, process or procedures and use them with very little requirement to understand the underlying theory.



Steven has been evaluating jobs for the past 20 years.