I was working with a customer recently, and at one point they commented that they were always “too busy organizing to actually do any work.” This phrase should be as common as “paradigm” or “transformation” in IT, because many top IT managers are overly obsessed with organization — in particular their IT org chart.Specializing in process improvement I have had many customers ask for advice on their org chart; they want to know what organization structure the best practice frameworks & gurus recommend. They won’t come right out and say it; but they strongly imply that if they could just get their org-chart right all of their problems would be solved. It is difficult to quantify, but many re-orgs seem to realize only marginal benefits that are more than off-set by the disruptions they cause.
Unfortunately best practice sources provide little to no guidance on organizational structures. What guidance do they provide?
1) Your organization should be designed to support your business goals.
2) Implement processes that work across the org-chart.
3) Develop a culture that encourages collaboration & the sharing of knowledge
Typically the main area that re-orgs are looking to address is getting different teams to work better together. Having teams that regularly work together report up to the same manager does improve their ability to work together; but in a large company no matter how you slice it there are always going to be teams that have to work with different parts of the organization.
Re-orgs should be occasional adjustments to reflect changes in work volume or business needs; they should occur far less frequently than salary reviews. Focusing on process and culture are how you get disparate teams to work together. Sorry, that isn’t very fun or sexy at all.