Restructure your organisation to align better with your strategic direction and remove waste and inefficiency.
We team with you to apply structured techniques and assess comparative organisations, both from within and outside your market sector, to help you develop and implement your new, more effective organisation structure.
We strongly believe that organisation design (OD) is a mixture of art and science.
A variety of structured, analytical approaches can be used to develop a set of workable organisation design options, and to determine the number and type of resources that are required. However, the final decision on which option to choose, and how many staff are required, may rest as much upon the existing or desired new culture and the characteristics of the management team, as it does on the outputs from the analysis. This is one of the reasons why it is important to involve the organisation’s leadership team at the outset and throughout the OD process.
We have a proven methodology for organisation design that applies a set of analytical tools to help define the size and shape of the new organisation, but also gives flexibility to senior management to make the final decisions on the nature and shape of the solution. This approach has been applied equally effectively for setting up brand new organisations and modifying existing ones, both large and small.
The first step is to use the organisation’s vision and strategy to set the overall context for OD. What are we trying to achieve, by when and why? If the vision and strategy don’t already exist, they must be defined before starting OD. It is also very important in the early stages to discuss, agree and document the key design principles that will guide all the remaining stages of OD design and implementation.
The crucial initial analytical phase involves confirming the outputs that the organisation needs to produce and the processes it will use. An effective process design should always be done either before, or at least in parallel with, the organisation design. This must include defining and documenting key outputs.
It is also critical to assess the volume and effort required for each process and output in order to estimate the number of staff required. The key point here is to model this at a suitable level so that, even if the initial staff sizing is not correct, at least there is a model to continue monitoring and fine-tuning your staff numbers.
This first stage of OD may also often involve documenting and baselining the current organisation, including identifying numbers of staff, their skills, knowledge and experience, assessing the current capacity, capability and maturity of the organisation, and identifying its strengths and weaknesses. The Core Design stage should also include defining, at least at a high level, the responsibilities and accountabilities that will need to be assigned across the new organisation. You also need to establish a top-level framework for governance and control and the metrics that you will use to manage performance.
The more ‘artistic’ element of organisation design involves assessing other similar organisations within the same sector and other sectors to determine ‘what makes them tick’. It is also important to review and model, at a high level, the different classic organisation design types, including functional, geographic and matrix types.
It is very rare that a single OD construct will stand out as the only answer. This is where senior leadership and judgement will be required. Most importantly, the leadership must ensure that a firm decision is taken, and then they must drive through the implementation of the chosen OD solution and ensures its effectiveness. All organisations by their nature break down some walls and build up others, and this is where the real value of leadership comes. Management must make sure that any shortcomings are managed through effective relationships at the interfaces.
Once the core design is complete and, very importantly, signed-off by the leadership, you should drive out the detailed design of your organisation, including:
- Role and Job Descriptions
- Competency and Skill Definition
- Headcounts and Locations
- Performance measures, incentives and rewards.
Once you’ve completed your detailed organisation design you must make sure you implement the changes effectively. Again, you may have a range of options, for example: a ‘big bang’ approach where you make all the changes at once; or a phased approach whereby you implement the changes for one division or department initially and then move on to other parts of the organisation.
Whatever approach you choose, you should always make sure you apply sensible delivery disciplines, including establishing good governance and control of the OD implementation project, focused and effective people change management techniques, plus frequent and open communications at every level of the organisation.