Organization design is not just a way of arranging employees in an agreeable way with clear reporting lines. On the contrary, it is a way of enabling your workforce to achieve your specific organization objectives. It does not matter how many times you communicate your objectives or even display them in a cascaded dashboard to encourage your team to achieve them. We believe that you can only reach your targets if you are using the suitable tools and ‘Organization Design’ is one of the best tools to help you. For this reason, we start our process by exploring and understanding, and not just directly setting, your strategic objectives and directions. This will enable us to propose “the suitable Organization Structure”.
How we do it
Phase 1: Design Concept:
Step (1): Any organizational structure should reflect and support the company’s strategic objectives. On the other hand, it should capitalize on the company’s sources of competitive advantage while taking into consideration the environmental constraints surrounding it (i.e. legal, cultural, locations, etc). This also includes detailed understanding of the company’s customer structure, (i.e. segmentation, value propositions, revenue contribution, location, etc) as well as the company’s product mix. Accordingly, the design process starts with a thorough exploration of the company’s business model and its future plans and directions. This step is extremely important to the success of the design process and requires the involvement of top management through a series of meetings, in which our team will probe to understand the business context. In some cases, a ‘Value Chain Analysis’ will be conducted for each business line. If there is an existing initiative for a strategic plan already in place, it will be mandatory for it to be provided within this phase, in order to build upon it and to tailor our design concept to it.
Step (2): Based on the exploration step, we will propose design concept alternatives to be discussed with top management. The design concept will include:
- Main units representing the building blocks for the proposed structure.
- Vertical and lateral relationships.
- Each unit’s accountability.
Step (3): Organization structure is a compromise between a set of advantages and a set of drawbacks. It is also a unique solution for each individual organization. During this phase, we will discuss each alternative’s features and rationale and we will propose solutions for fixing potential drawbacks. The expected outcome is to eliminate irrelevant design concepts and to prioritize the potential design concepts.
Phase (1) deliverables:
One or more design concepts which include:
Phase 2: Testing:
The short listed design concepts will be tested to explore the viability of each one. The set of tests will include:
- Critical Links test: An organization’s relationship diagram will be produced showing the high level workflow within different unit functions. Each link will be tested to explore whether it will be a workable link or it needs to be fine-tuned to smooth the workflow among different departments.
- Accountability test: To make sure that the design concept will reach the ultimate objectives, we have to test that each unit has full control over its key activities to reach its objectives and that we will be able to measure the unit’s achievement. Overlapping areas will be addressed to find a mechanism to distinguish different units.
- Flexibility test: The structuring process is a long and demanding task which cannot be repeated within a short time span since it may affect business stability. More importantly, because repetitive major changes may also create frustration within the organizational culture. Based on these facts, the potential design concept should be able to last for a certain period before introducing a new dramatic change. This test will explore the potential future expansion, to make sure that the design concept will be flexible enough to deal with it, without the need for any drastic re-structuring process.
- Specialist Culture test: The design concept should take into consideration the specific environment of each unit. As an example, if a technical unit is located within a highly driven commercial department, the commercial culture will dominate the technical one, which may hinder the technical unit from reaching its objectives.
- Redundancy test: For large organizations, the managerial levels will be tested to define parenting value propositions for each management level.
Each test can lead to fine tune a certain design concept or to knock-out another one. By the end of the testing process, we will reach the optimum design concept.
Phase (2) deliverables:
Phase 3 Implementation:
Step (1): Together with top management, we will list key people within the organization to match their preferences and competencies to the new design concept. We may also need to use people assessment techniques to reach a candidate/position best match (N.B. this activity is not considered within the financial investment of the Organizational Structuring module). It is also acceptable to apply minor changes to the organization design concept to benefit from the existing employees’ capabilities and to avoid potential de-motivation of the organization’s human assets.
Step (2): The agreed upon organization design concept is the final objective which needs to be implemented. However, in some cases, we will not be able to implement it immediately. This step may need to be introduced through a smooth induction plan which considers the business operation, candidates’ availability and the need for hiring, in addition to other factors to be considered. At this stage we will set an implementation time bound action plan aiming to fully deploy the design concept. The action plan will also include the communication timing, target groups, and means of communication.
Step (3): Based on the action plan, we will design the detailed unit structure and departmental structure (i.e. design blue prints) with the line managers. Our role within this step is to facilitate the unit structure process since at the operational level this will rely on the technical understanding of each unit head.
Phase (3) deliverables:
What we deliver
- Organization structure.
- Departmental structure.
- Units’ roles, responsibilities, and objectives.
- Organization relationship map.
- Gap analysis & Implementation plan.
- Management positions’ allocation (Based on assessment center outcomes).
- Differentiated professional approach: We use testing, workshops, surveys and questionnaires.
- Strong organization design links: We link the organization structure to the organization strategic planning exercise, business needs and assessment.
- A comprehensive model: We provide a complete model approach, including structures, units, workflow and links.
- Gradual introduction of new design: We provide an implementation plan for the new structure and transition phase to assist the organization in this delicate crossover between the old and new organizational structures.