Thursday, August 5, 2010

Organizational Restructuring Techniques

Information is power. Without it you're running a ship without a rudder. With the tools available to us today, there is no longer a valid excuse as to why critical data cannot be made available in a timely fashion at everyone's desk. Don't take the previous statement lightly. If your people are telling you otherwise, ask them why.

The next question is: Where should decisions best be made? The answers to this question will undoubtedly change the structure of an organization. So the concern is not only how the organization functions, but how the organization needs to be restructured.

Rather than being concerned with today's activities, management should be concerned with what is important now and what will be important in the future. At this point, don't make things harder than they need to be. If management doesn't have the information they need to make decisions, that's one thing; but if management doesn't know what it needs to make decisions — that's a different story entirely.

Management should be made aware that a rethinking of the organization's goals may change corporate procedures and the organization's structure. If they know this going in, they most likely will take a greater interest in the study.

It is often difficult for management to take an outside view of the organization. They are too involved in their own problems, emotions and company politics. K-Mart fought technology tooth and nail until they found themselves in an inferior position to the rest of the market. 'Change' can be terrifying and the need for 'change' may not be recognized by individuals involved in procedures that, in their view, have worked for years. You might consider hiring an outside consultant to work with management and provide a buffer zone for the hashing out of failed assumptions based solely on emotions.

Outside consultants may have expertise in different fields, experienced with critical success factors, technology impact analysis, strategic systems vision and/or data modeling; but one thing's for sure — they must work well together, move fast and professionally and operate in an atmosphere of respect and mutual cooperation, and above all, have the full support of top management.

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