What Steps Are Involved In An Organization (Re) Design

One of the most strategic and transformative consulting projects you can offer your clients is organization redesign. Not only does organization design enable you to help your clients optimize their business performance and reshape their culture but also it positions you to land a six-figure consulting contract.

To get you started, let me share with you an overview of how to go about delivering an organization redesign project. First, there are four phases: determine design direction, develop the design, plan the implementation, and implement and evaluate.

Second, as you guide your clients through each phase, they need to address both hardware-related issues (e.g., processes, reporting relationships, spans of control, etc.) and software-related issues (e.g., leader and employee behavior and performance patterns) You, as a consultant, add value by helping them address both simultaneously. 

Third, the following are some suggestions of what you can offer your clients within each phase. 

Phase 1: Determine Design Direction
Position yourself to support client's goal at this phase, which is to craft a compelling rationale for the change and inspirational vision of the future. 

Hardware considerations:

    • Help them develop the business case for a redesign. Offer to facilitate a meeting to help them clearly define what they want to accomplish with the redesign effort.
    • Propose that you complete a current state review. In your current state review, you can find out for them:  What’s working/not working today? What reasons do we have to re-organize? Are they good ones? What are our customer requirements/business strategy needs? How will redesign affect our process/workflow requirements?
    • Facilitate the senior team in coming up a list of Design Criteria, which a list containing the various positive results that the organization redesign is expected to provide, such as “responsiveness,” “efficiency,” or “developing new markets.” The design criteria are what will guide the design process, evaluate options against and eventually measure the success of the entire effort.

Software considerations:

    • People are more likely to buy into a change they had a voice in creating, so involve stakeholders, subject matter experts and employees as much as possible. Offer an add-on option of a "stakeholder assessment" where you isolate the feedback and input of the senior team. 

Phase 2: Develop Design
Position yourself to provide process leadership to the team to guide them in coming up with a new organization design. 

Hardware considerations:

There are four levels of design. First, there are the Overall Groupings that reflect the top layer of the organization. This is the part of organization design that connects to the business strategy and forces the organization to deliver on its most important capabilities. Second, there is the management structure. This part of the design relates to management spans of control and centralization/decentralization of decision-making. Next on the agenda is role design, which defines what each person does. Finally, along with determining individual responsibilities, it is imperative to consider and make decisions about Lateral Coordination, which refers to inter-departmental coordination (horizontal alignment) and must take into account the ways in which the work is connected among departments.

Software considerations:

As in phase 1, the more employee/stakeholder involvement, the better. Involving employees in the design will aid in its adoption later and will more than likely provide unique insight that top executives don’t have about how work really gets done in the trenches. Include an add-on option for running meetings at key design steps to get the input from the senior team and affected employees. 

Phase 3: Planning for Implementation
One common reason that redesign efforts fail is that too many leaders assume the job is finished when the new design is announced. The reality is that is when the rubber hits the road and the toughest part of the work, implementation, has just begun. Offer yourself as a project manager to ensure that their implementation is done with great care and thoughtfulness.

Hardware considerations:

The new organizational chart is just the tip of the iceberg. Decisions around changes to job titles/descriptions, performance measurement, work processes, physical settings, etc. still have to be made. Furthermore, make sure you client crafts a comprehensive plan to move the organization from today to its desired future state.

Software considerations:

The implementation plan has to take into account the readiness and capacity of the organization to absorb and integrate the change. Pacing can’t be too slow, which causes a loss of momentum, but it also can’t be so fast that the organization cracks from the pressure. You will also need to help them consider how resistance to change will be anticipated and managed.

Phase 4: Implementation and Evaluation
Your clients (with your help) have analyzed, designed and pondered, and now it is time to act. Offer yourself as an on-call expert advisor, ready to help them with in-the-moment implementation issues and challenges. 

Hardware considerations:

Help your clients put metrics and hyper-care into place, in order to ensure success. Offer an add-on option to help them track and monitor progress and make course corrections when needed. 

Software considerations:

Performance that aligns with the new direction captured in the new organization design must be fostered and rewarded, especially in key leadership roles. The worst mistake organizations make at this phase is retaining visible leaders and employees who do not make the adjustment to the new normal after a reasonable amount of time. Offer your support for selection of individuals for key, visible positions. 

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How you'd like some more PROVEN best practices for ATTRACTING clients with predictability, ease and integrity sent directly to your inbox?

Enter your deets below and we'll share with you behind-the-scenes secrets and actionable ideas and inspiration...just for consultant and coaches who want to make money and a difference, doing what they love.