I am sure you never thought a person could be described as being multi-dimensional.
Some of the best international company environments have multiple concurrent dimensions of work taking place at the same time. These “dimensions” can best be described as types of responsbilities.
There are the core operations and work, but then there are (often necessary) complementary functions that are part of the company culture, or part of their knowledge management framework, or part of their outreach strategy, or part of their professional training tracks.
One reason why this helps reduce some overheads is because it helps the company individually characterize how each individual employee in your firm differs, even if their basic job title is still “software engineer”. This characterization can help determine salaries, bonuses, leadership qualification, promotion qualifications, etc.
A company can certainly make a good environment where every individual has specific sets of responsibilities, but this depends on whether the person can handle multiple job titles and types of responsibilities.
I try to build these multi-dimensional areas whenever possible, because it lets me know the entire supply-chain of responsibility within my company. I can know who has supposedly taken the responsibility of an area, and how much I can rely of which person, for what.
The Multidimensional employee is the person who is mature enough to not shy away from multi-dimensional responsbilities. Also, the person does not get overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once, and understands how to manage his time between the responsibilities.
So if you work for me you wouldn’t be surprised to have a job title like:
Engineer Point, User input design, <project name>. <department name> +
Research lead, <complex problem area name> +
New Hire Mentor – documentation, Engineer-in-training track +
API Editor – <project name>, Communications.
Note: For me, your core responsibility (i.e. your first title) should always be the responsibility where all work is planned in WBS and put in project planning tools. The rest are areas where you will be building responibility over time, against milestones, but not necessarily against a specific schedule.