Why was the work commissioned?
This global mining company has a Head Office in North America and Regional Offices around the world for its many operations. The Regional Office located in Australia supports the mining operations in the Australia, The Pacific and Asia. It provides a range of services such as HR, finance, IT, Supply and specialist technical ones such as geology. Prior to the review, more than 250 staff were employed in the Regional Office.
There had been a Head Office initiative to reduce employee numbers in the business and many of the other regional offices had completed this using a pen and paper exercise. This initiative was driven in part by the global financial crisis as well as a desire to streamline the business. The Group Executive who commissioned the organization restructure perceived that the Australian based Regional Office structure was “fat” and “messy”. However, his desired outcome was to achieve an effective structure by which the business could achieve its goals in a way that would be sustainable over time. Because of this, he chose to use a different, more data based and thorough approach than the pen and paper exercise.
The Structural Review Itself
An internal team of 10 was assembled and facilitated by 2 external consultants. A baseline of the existing structure was developed to understand what work was being done, by whom and how. This was achieved by gathering data from all of the people working in the Regional Office, using a 360 degree method. This data was authenticated and cross checked. A set of structural principles were applied by the team to develop a set of structural recommendations about an optimal structure for the office over time that would allow delivery of the business objectives. The review took 5 weeks and at the end the recommendations were made to the executive team of the Australian Regional Office.
The work of the Executive Team was then to review the recommendations, determine what would be adopted and to gain approval from the Head Office for the changes. The Executive Team also determined an implementation plan.
What were the results?
- Over 90% of the review team recommendations were endorsed
- Over 40% of roles in the Regional Office were significantly changed or new
- 20% of roles had new reporting relationships
- 9 new roles were created, most dedicated to improvement work
- The total Regional Office manpower reduction was approx 20 roles
- The new structure aligned with the Talent Management System used in the business
- 90% of roles were re-titled to reflect the actual work being done
- The expected payback was less than 6 months