Scaling, Merging, or Slowed Down by Complexity?

Organizational Design Matters.

When too much complexity and too many
constraints make it hard to get work done.

When your people spend more time
juggling the ball than moving it forward.

What makes a beautiful organization?

See the world clearly

Be fearlessly creative

Make magic together

Create amazing products

Have real impact

Leave your competitors behind 🙂

But Organizational Design is hard!

70% of change initiatives and
90% of merger integrations fail.

Common problems include:

  • Never enough time to “do it right”

  • Lack of leadership involvement

  • Competing agendas and conflicting goals

  • Lack of trust and resistance to change

  • Not involving the right people

  • Failure to consider enough aspects

Leverage Lean, Systems Thinking and Design Thinking

Learn, Innovate and Execute Faster

The Lean Systems Frameworkâ„¢ (LSF) is an extension of Lean for modern knowledge-intensive organizations. It evolved from a decade of field experience across a wide range of industries.

The LSF was influenced by Systems Thinking, Design Thinking and Cognitive Science.  It provides a richer set of models and methods for describing and improving organizations, including:

Value Stream Architecture

Information Architecture

Product Architecture

Organization Architecture

Social Architecture

An Organizational Design Process that Works

  1. Form a Working Group

  2. To ensure a collaborative and inclusive process, the first step is to form a working group.  This group typically includes mid- and high-level managers and it may even include the CEO. For a larger design effort, one might form subsidiary working groups as well.
  3. Map the Current Organization

  4. When redesigning an existing organization, it is important to first understand how it works. The working group uses models in the Lean Systems Framework to map workflows (value streams), information architecture, organization structure, physical workspaces, product families and organizational culture.  The working group uses these maps to ascertain what’s working well as well as to pinpoint and analyze problem areas.
  5. Design/Redesign

  6. Organizational Design often takes place under significant time and resource constraints and with a business that must continue operating. The design effort is organized as a series of workshops resulting in maps describing workflows, organization structure, information architecture, and so forth.  The process is driven by quantifiable objectives and constraints agreed upon by the working group.
  7. Implementation

  8. The design process culminates in a set of maps and a roadmap with a rapid implementation plan. The working group proceeds to manage the implementation of this roadmap to ensure that the initial goals are being met.

Case Studies

Managing demand from multiple internal customers required a redesign of the development organization.

Schibsted, a European media conglomerate, was transitioning from printed to online content, a complex process because the divergent app development needs of each of the media houses in its portfolio. The lead time for app development requests was measured in months, often made worse by requirements and priorities changing significantly underway. Managing demand from multiple internal customers required a redesign of the development organization.


  • App development time reduced from months to weeks or days

  • Improved transparency

  • Improved knowledge management

  • Greater awareness of cultural obstacles

  • Greater agility for accommodating last-minute changes

  • Successful implementation of Lean Development practices

Large defense program overwhelmed by complexity

The Future Combat Systems program was the largest and most ambitious program undertaken by the U.S. Army. Lockheed, a subcontractor, struggled with tremendous process and product complexity. This required a multi-dimensional approach to simplifying work and restoring flow.


  • Estimated 76% reduction in lead time for new releases

  • Remained compliant with business process requirements imposed by several stakeholders

  • Reduced risk of delivery delays

  • Reduction in software defects

  • Faster diagnosis of defects detected

  • Greater agility for accommodating last-minute changes

  • Successful knowledge transfer and implementation of Lean Development practices

Let’s talk.

Every organization is different.  Whether you are scaling, seeking to improve innovation, working to speed execution, or face M&A integration challenges, we can probably help.

Contact us