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7 questions to ask when developing your organisational structure

Businesses are dynamic systems. And like all systems, they work best when their components are aligned and working smoothly together.

For many businesses, organic growth, opportunistic client wins and the necessary focus on clients often creates a structure of convenience rather than one optimised for effective delivery. It’s important then, to review this structure objectively and decide if it’s fit for purpose or in need of change.

So, when developing your organisation's structure, ask yourself these seven questions:

1. Does this help me achieve my vision? Referring back to your business vision and mission statement regularly will allow you stay consistent with the changes you want to make. It’ll also help to assure you that you’re heading in the right direction.

2. What’s best for the business? A useful exercise is to review your structure around what the business needs rather than who's in it.

3. Does this align with the culture and values of the business? Sometimes change just needs to happen. However, getting people on board with changes is easier if they see that developments are consistent with what the business stands for.

4. What do our clients want? Take time to understand how your clients buy from you and what their journey through your business involves for them. This will help you develop closer relations with clients and provide for their current and future needs.

5. What type of service do I want to deliver? Build your organisational structure around the type of service you’re planning to deliver. If you deliver multiple services, think about how you can structure them to work smoothly together.

6. Is my structure helping me deliver more profitability? Make sure your structure allows you to deliver your services efficiently, with the right level of resourcing to maintain good margins.

7. Would I be able to scale the business quickly? If you win a new client or develop a new service offering, your structure will need to allow for rapid growth. It will also need to be resilient enough to stand up under pressure.

Any changes you make need to fit with your existing business systems. Alternatively, you can modify your systems, such as HR processes, to accommodate the changes.

Plan change carefully to minimise disruption. By going through a systematic process, the logic behind the changes will be clearer. This will also make it easier for you to move to your new structure while keeping up with the day-to-day running of the  business.


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