Our Expertise Areas

Designing Organizations

Complex enterprises cannot be managed with simple organizations. The many diverse issues, interests, and circumstances require inputs and interactions from many diverse sources. Effective organizations don’t happen automatically; they are the result of deliberate processes.

Successful organization design requires knowledge, skills, and time. It requires following a process to build optimal organizations that are capable of achieving the business strategy and fit the organization’s values and culture.
We work with clients to identify organization issues and design solutions that will help managers and executives increase the effectiveness of their organizations.

Designing Jobs and Job Families


Optimizing Spans of Control

Some managers have too many direct reports, some have too few, and some are just right. The number of direct reports each manager has (also called the manager’s “span of control”) drives the number of managers and management layers required in the organization. By managing spans of control, companies have directly impacted their cost, organization effectiveness, communications, employee engagement, manager-employee relationships, and more.

Optimal spans don’t just happen. Unless organizations actively manage spans of control, they are likely to find more that are either too broad or too narrow and fewer that are just right.

Fast growth and de-layering both lead naturally to stretching spans of control. Stable organizations tend to produce narrower spans of control over time, either to develop employees or to offset managerial deficiencies. Organizations also tend to narrow spans of control in downturns when they lay off individual contributors but keep supervisors.
We work with clients to help managers and executives achieve optimal spans of control in their organizations and improve organization effectiveness.

Defining and Communicating Role Relationships

Whenever more than one position is involved in making a decision or getting work done, there are significant challenges in integrating and coordinating efforts to achieve a unified result. Everyone involved needs to know what to expect from others and what others expect from them. There needs to be agreement on the roles of the various participants; otherwise there will be gaps, overlaps, and conflicts that will increase required effort and undermine results.

The Role Relationships process engages the people who will participate in achieving a result to decide and agree on What (the decisions that need to be made and the work that needs to be coordinated), Who (which jobs and organizations need to work together), and How (the roles of each job or organization in the process).

These relationships are presented in a graphic matrix. The process and matrix serve three major purposes: define roles and gain commitment from participants, diagnose process issues, and communicate and clarify roles to participants and others.
We work with clients to help managers and executives design and communicate the collaborative processes and relationships that are required for complex organizations to be effective.
Managing Dual Reporting Relationships

Many positions report to two, or even multiple, managers, based on the function they represent, the business unit they serve, the geography they are assigned, and the market or industry of their customers. For multiple reporting relationships to be effective, strong linkages must be established between the subordinate job and each of the superiors. There must be a balance of the linkages for all of the relationships to be effective.

We work with clients to help managers and executives design and manage the multiple reporting relationships and improve the effectiveness of their complex organizations.

Designing and Implementing Compensation Strategies, Architectures, and Programs


Job and Organization Design Services

q Work with managers to understand business objectives and develop organization implications, themes, structures and coordinating mechanisms.

q Clarify roles and accountabilities in existing organizations using Role Relationship Matrices and other tools.

q Plan, lead and conduct analytical reviews of organizations to identify opportunities for improvements in effectiveness and efficiency.

q Develop organization structure options and assist managers and executives in building and implementing effective jobs and organizations.

q Understand the multiple impacts of organization design, anticipates conflicting outcomes of particular design options, and work with management to create balanced solutions.

q Act as facilitator/consultant on organization analysis and design teams within functions and businesses.

q Work with clients to develop and implement communications plans that enhance understanding, commitment and success in changing organizations.

q Build job families to support achievement of business objectives in the short-term and build appropriate medium and long-term paths for employee development.

q Guide clients in analyzing, understanding, and managing spans of control.

q Plan, develop, and deploy tools, processes, and training to assist executives, managers, HR and others in designing effective jobs and organizations.

q Develop skills within clients to enable them to more effectively analyze and design jobs and organizations internally.

q Advise and counsel Human Resources leadership and other officers and business leaders on organization and job/job family designs to optimize the impact of structures on results.