Designing Organizations

Rebuilding an organization with all its elements is one of the most underestimated tasks. Not only is there to choose the right organizational structure and design end-to-end processes, it is also important to pay sufficient attention to employee and stakeholder acceptance.

01 Organizational Design

If companies want to or must change their organization, several questions come up right away: What is the best form of organization to choose? Does the change affect the entire company, several divisions or a large department, such as purchasing, finance or HR? Or should several organizational units be merged into one?

Designing innovative forms of organization

No matter whether the target state is a matrix organization, swarm organization, an agile organization or any other type of organization: If companies want to change and have set themselves ambitious goals, but do not know yet with which form of organization they can best achieve these goals, then our solution “Organizational Design” is a perfect fit.

Typical initial objectives of organizational change projects are, for example: a) departments are expected to take on more tasks with the same number of staff, b) headcount should be reduced without limiting the performance and service offering of the department or
c) many local units are to be merged into one global unit. Sometimes d) the pressure to innovate also triggers organizational change projects. Modern forms of organization, such as swarm organizations, should help e) to produce more innovations with the same team strength. So, the main drivers for organizational design are usually efficiency and / or cost saving goals.

Four Steps of Organizational Design

Usually an organizational restructuring process is divided into three phases: the design phase, the planning phase and the transformation phase. Our solution “Organizational Design” focuses on the first phase – the design phase – and is the basis for a sustainable reorganization. For the successful design of a new organization, we recommend setting up an integrated team consisting of representatives of the new organization, the future management and CPC consultants.

The design phase is divided into four sub-phases: “Vision & Strategy” lays the foundation. “Governance” defines processes, organizational form and roles. “Capabilities” determines the required skills and abilities. “Collaboration” defines how to work together in the new setup, both internally and with partners. From each sub-phase, results are documented for the subsequent phases of the organizational restructuring process (i.e. planning and transformation phases), so that in the end, the new organization can function smoothly.


The first sub-phase creates the conditions for all further organizational designs. The first step is to develop a future “value proposition” for the organization. Typical questions are: What added value can the organization offer its (internal or external) customers? What distinguishes it from its competitors? The answers are combined into a catchy, shared vision of the new organization.


In a next step, the necessary business processes for achieving the organizational vision are defined and adapted. Also, a suitable organizational structure must now be selected. Should it be a matrix, swarm or pool organization? An agile organization form? In a final step, the necessary roles and responsibilities in the new organization are defined.


Once the necessary roles and responsibilities have been defined and agreed, the next step is to compare the new roles and responsibilities with the current roles and skills of the employees and determine possible gaps. The goal is to obtain transparency about any organizational skill needs.


The fourth sub-phase deals with the internal and external collaboration model. This involves defining or adapting the collaboration in terms of roles, responsibilities and processes (who does what and how?). At the same time, all external interfaces must be specified. These can be neighboring areas within the own organization as well as customer interfaces. This can become especially tricky if one organizational unit adopts an agile organization form and collaboration model, whereas neighboring units run by a different model of collaboration..

Apart from the four sub-phases of the design phase, there are additional tasks that should be considered during a reorganization:


This includes HR policies, corporate policies, works council, and tax law – all of them being issues that are normally negotiated with partners in the organization. Very early in the design phase, people from these interest groups must be involved in the change process.


Change projects are often accompanied by additional changes, e. g. the implementation of a new IT tool or the establishment of a shared service center. These measures should already be considered during the planning stage of the organizational change project.

Key Success Factors for Organizational Design

Define a clear vision

A clear vision answers the question why there should be a new organizational unit or model after all. Leaders have to face this question and describe a sustainable vision.The vision forms the reference point for further defining the organization. When defining the vision, it is important that the interests of the stakeholders and all corporate guidelines are taken into consideration.

Turn affected persons into participants

The awareness and responsibility for a common goal to be achieved should be created at an early stage among all those involved – both managers and employees. Turning those affected into participants means that we as consultants develop the roadmap in close cooperation with top and middle management as well as with experts among the employees.

Focus on customers

From our experience, the basis of any great organizational vision is a strong focus on the future organization, its customers and the added value it is expected to generate for the customers.

Make organizational design a project

Set up the design phase of the future organization as a separate project. CPC has achieved considerable success with an agile approach, with short design sprints followed by direct stakeholder approval. In such a setup it is possible to react quickly to changing requirements.

SUCCESS STORY: Introduction of a Process-Oriented Organization

The corporate IT department of a leading car manufacturer was facing challenges resulting from the global corporate structure. IT systems had to be integrated, as there was a tendency for projects to cover more than one business unit. At the same time, corporate IT noted that projects no longer shared a “common project language” and that heterogeneous workflows prevented efficient collaboration.

How could it all have come to this? Historically grown structures, and the fact that both IT and business departments were used to operate on their own, had led to this diversity of structures, processes and roles.

How to resolve this situation? In a two-year project, a process-oriented organization was introduced in corporate IT. For this, structures and processes were harmonized with the involvement of the business side.

Our Approach

Durch unseren integrierten Ansatz von Organizational Design und Change Management wurden die betroffenen Führungskräfte und Mitarbeiter von Anfang an in die Gestaltung der Transformation eingebunden.

Dadurch wird sicher gestellt, dass die künftige Organisation zu den Bedürfnissen der Mitarbeiter passt. Außerdem werden wichtige Grundprinzipien einer Poolorganisation wie Eigenverantwortung und Selbstorganisation bereits vor der Transformation spürbar.

Beim „Go-Live“ der Zielorganisation war der Kunde auf die künftigen Herausforderungen vorbereitet und befähigt, die nachfolgende Transformationsphase auch ohne externe Unterstützung fortzuführen. Der Bereich wurde zum „Blue Print“ für Nachbarbereiche, die sich ebenfalls von einer Linien- zu einer Poolorganisation umstrukturieren wollten.

  1. Review of the status quo
  • Challenge existing processes and put them to the test
  • Collect and validate best practices
  • Optimize templates
  • Evaluate potentially supporting systems
  1. Develop a uniform, overarching process model
  • Standardize processes
  • Standardize roles
  • Standardize deliverables
  • Consider best practices during standardization
  1. Validate and optimize the model with experts from the corresponding IT departments
  • Verify the quality of the process model in Conference Room Simulations with more than 100 representative use cases
  • Validate all interfaces to neighboring process domains
  • Practice and internalize the roles and their interaction in trainings and process workshops
  1. Create Commitment
  • Convince management of the viability and operational benefits of the model

What Benefits did we achieve:

  • Projects, line organizations, and collaboration models between different departments in IT can now be set up faster and easier because the process model provides a replicable blueprint.
  • The interfaces to the departments are transparent and enable efficient cooperation.
  • Projects worldwide now speak a uniform language.

02 Process Excellence

Non-transparent workflows and unclear role assignments cost companies a lot of money. That is why many organizations decide to standardize and optimize workflows for departments, divisions or the entire organization. We support our customers in defining end-to-end processes, deliverables, roles and interfaces. With our change approach we make sure that all involved parties achieve a common understanding and internalize the new roles and processes. This increases acceptance among employees and stakeholders.

Typical Triggers for Process Changes

Whether it be internal causes, external requirements, standards or regulations – the reasons why companies want to document, standardize or optimize their processes are just as diverse as the associated goals, which can be:

  • Standardize workflows for operational units, business divisions or an entire organization
  • Optimize processes to save costs
  • Document existing workflows for a certification or an audit
  • Standardize processes in light of a merger or an acquisition
  • Make process knowledge freely available within the company in order to reduce training time and to avoid losing knowledge
  • Transfer processes from a project to the line organization

For each of these challenges, it is important to define a tailor-made approach. While it is usually sufficient for passing a certification to merely capture and document processes in a structured way, it is a whole different story to introduce a process-oriented organization with end-to-end processes, as this comprises all components of process management: from process documentation to process optimization to organizational implementation.

Our Modular Solution Kit

Depending on the goals behind the process change, we work with our customers to develop a tailor-made approach consisting of one, several or all of the following modules.

Module 1

Concept – Align Scope, Level of Detail and Goals of the Process-Oriented Organization.

First, together with our customer, we define the scope of what should be designed. Do we look at management processes, value chain, or supporting processes? For the entire organization, for a business unit, or a single department? At the same time, we determine the required level of detail in the design of the process-oriented organization. In addition, we set and prioritize the optimization goals. Typical optimization goals are time, quality, and / or cost.

Module 2

Process Documentation – Methodically Sound.

In structured interviews, we examine the existing processes together with the involved parties to the necessary level of detail. Process documentation is carried out following a jointly defined methodology (e.g. based on BPMN 2.0)

Module 3

Communication Concept – Involve Stakeholders Early.

Without a focused and early involvement of the relevant stakeholders, the project is likely to fail. For example, if the production department redesigns its organizational structures without integrating the adjacent areas sufficiently, tensions and mistakes at the interfaces will most likely occur. A communication concept should identify all relevant target groups and define the type of involvement and communication measures. This is an indispensable part of sustainable Change Management.

Module 4

Process-Review – Relentlessly Uncover Current Vulnerabilities.

For existing processes, we first carry out a process review. Often, the collaboration model is not sufficiently defined, and key questions remain unanswered:

  • What roles exist at present? What tasks, competences and responsibilities are assigned to each role?
  • Who delivers their work to whom and in what order?
  • What are the deliverables? Who created them?
  • Which delivery items are mandatory? Which have more of a supportive function?
  • How do the different roles and sections work together? What interfaces exist?

With this analysis, the current weaknesses in the workflows and needs for action can be uncovered relentlessly.

Module 5

Process Design – Optimize Processes, Roles and Deliverables.

In process design, we identify room for optimization together with those who participate in the process. Here we rely on creative methodology such as the 6-3-5 method. For more complex workflows, our format Conference Room Simulation is an excellent choice. In a realistic practical experiment, we simulate different variations of future processes with the relevant stakeholders to determine what works best. Process design also includes the definition and description of roles, deliverables and interfaces.

Module 6

Integration – Consequently Integrate Processes in One or More Organizations.

After process design, it is important to integrate the new processes and organizational structures with all adjacent organizations and areas. We (again) use our solution Conference Room Simulation. With that, the new processes, roles, delivery items and interfaces are simulated involving the relevant parties. Errors, gaps, and conflicts are identified long before the actual implementation. This saves time and money. In addition, participants gain a common understanding of the new processes and can develop commitment and a sense of ownership.

Module 7

Implementation – Implement the New Process-Oriented Organization Sustainably.

Implementation is about training employees to live the new processes and roles as well as creating acceptance for the new process-oriented organization. Here, too, we count on our best practice: target group specific training and communication measures form the basis. Our implementation tools, such as the process workshop, have proven to ensure sustainability. With this format, each employee takes on exactly the tasks that await them later in the day-to-day work. In a safe trial setting, the new processes, interfaces and roles are tested for their functionality and acceptance. The workshop promotes interaction among employees as well as their understanding of the upcoming change. As a result, the new workflows can be put to daily practice quicker.

Module 8

Process Management – Form the Basis for Continuous Improvement.

Within the framework of process management, standardized structures (roles, responsibilities, bodies / committees and frameworks) are created for process governance. This is a solid foundation for any future process changes and improvements as well as for possible introduction of new processes.

Your Benefits at a Glance

Our process experts do not impose solutions. We provide our customers with the opportunity to find the best possible solutions together, supporting with know-how and formats such as Conference Room Simulation. This is how we ensure that the results are lived in practice and do not end up being filed away.

Modular Building Blocks
Our modular approach offers our customers tailor-made solutions – from process documentation to process optimization to process management. We work together from concept phase all the way to the implementation of process-oriented organizational models. The focus is always on an increase in efficiency of workflows, whether for individual teams or an entire company.

Our approach is equally suitable for large corporations and medium-sized companies.

Unsere Vorgehensweise ist für große Konzerne und mittelständische Unternehmen gleichermaßen anwendbar.

Through proven formats such as the process workshop, we ensure that the new roles and processes are experienced and internalized before rollout in the best possible way. Through this, we sustainably anchor change in the organization.

Whether our customers operate in Germany, Brazil or China, we always pay attention to the cultural and national reality on site. All relevant stakeholders are identified at an early stage and involved with empathy and respect. This creates acceptance and commitment.

For the successful implementation of a process-oriented organization, you should rely on an experienced partner in change, as this is a critical factor. Most employees have massive reservations when it comes to changes to their usual way of doing things. As a leading Change Management consultancy, we are certain that you will benefit from our expertise in the field.

03 Conference Room Simulation

Many process projects fail, most or are not completed within the planned time or budget. The typical reason for this is a mere lack of coordination. The project managers take great care in the specification and design of the processes, but do not seek the necessary contact with the affected departments.

The result: the view for the bigger picture is lost. The feasibility and any underlying assumptions of the changed or new processes are hardly questioned. Shortly before the rollout, these misunderstandings and errors come to light – and the new processes and structures encounter resistance from those affected. Conflicts between project management and specialist departments threaten to paralyze the rollout, costs and timelines run out of control.

Early testing of new processes

When companies are forced to change their organizational structures due to competition or new legal requirements, they face a mammoth task.

Projects that aim at optimization of cross-departmental processes, improving system efficiency or defining new roles and interfaces often encounter a number of significant challenges.

  • Are the key players of the involved departments familiar with the new processes and systems down to the necessary detail?
  • Do the new interfaces and roles work smoothly?
  • How can acceptance of the involved employees be achieved?
  • Do the desired processes meet the management requirements and the business case?
  • How to identify conceptual gaps and errors in time to fix them?

Trials and dry-runs are necessary to answer these questions. That is why we have developed a unique format which has proven its effectiveness numerous times: the Conference Room Simulation.

Excellent results in the early project phase

Insufficient communication, unrealistic expectations, absent key players, lack of problem awareness – the list of challenges in process projects can be continued. Most problems could easily be avoided with a Conference Room Simulation.

The format brings all experts to the table at an early stage and simulates the most important process sequences in a realistic practical trial. Vulnerabilities, flaws and risks are identified by the various perspectives involved, and suggestions for improvement can be aligned on the spot. This is a good way to save project budget.

The simulations are carried out in a safe framework. The participants have the opportunity to play through all possible process scenarios. In this way, sources of error can be eliminated without any damage to the day-to-day business, as this would happen if the error remained undetected until after the rollout.

In the simulation, the participants deal with the processes in the necessary detail. CPC designs the meetings in a very realistic manner and, if necessary, integrates prototypes of the new systems into the simulation. Employees practice and internalize their new roles.

Projects do not just produce winners. However, often the players who expect any disadvantages from the new process do not speak up until the final stage of the project. During the Conference Room Simulation, such fear and criticism is normally addressed quickly. Those in charge of the new process then have the time and opportunity to work with these reservations and redress them – a prerequisite for the stability of the new processes and structures. Since the simulations lead to excellent insights in an early project phase, they have a positive effect on the overall project quality.

From analysis to stress test

Before starting a Conference Room Simulation, we put the existing process documentation to test. Process maturity and plausibility are in focus. This analysis lays the foundation for a successful simulation.

Determine the goal of the simulation

After the process analysis, we develop clear simulation goals with project management, considering all relevant departments and participants. In this way, we ensure a shared understanding of the strategic course.

Develop the concept for the simulation

Based on the agreed goals, we develop the simulation concept. We create a protected environment in which the new processes, structures, roles and systems are tested in a realistic way.

Experience the simulation

The actual simulation is about detecting gaps and errors, practicing roles and processes. It also concerns exchanging information about the new processes and clarifying possible conflicts.

Recognize the need for action

The simulation finally reveals the need for very concrete actions. In a final wrap-up sequence, the participants reflect on the main simulation results and define further measures.

10 benefits of a Conference Room Simulation at a glance:

  1. Conference Room Simulation enables new processes, structures, roles, interfaces and systems to be tested step by step and detects sources of error at an early stage.
  2. Different solutions can be tested and compared to each other.
  3. Many of the identified errors in the processes can directly be fixed. Extensive improvements are implemented in follow-up meetings.
  4. Business case-relevant information (costs, resources, lead times, etc.) can be documented as part of the simulation. This allows comparing as-is and target processes.
  5. All involved departments and roles are engaged in the simulation. This ensures commitment and ownership.
  6. Conflicts among the different parties are brought to the table and can be resolved.
  7. Grey areas regarding the responsibility for particular process steps become visible in the simulation.
  8. The participants of the Conference Room Simulation understand the overall process and interfaces, not just a section of their field.
  9. Handling concerns openly creates the basis for sustainable acceptance.
  10. You can also simulate any possible disturbance or disruption of the process.

SUCCESS STORY: Everyone at one table

The complexity of the IT landscape in the repair shops of our customer – a leading German car manufacturer – was no longer acceptable. From diagnosis to ordering spare parts to warranty to goodwill – each department insisted on a separate system.

This fragmentation ultimately ran counter to the company’s service claim. So our customer decided to fight that proliferation. From vehicle acceptance to invoicing: all workshop processes and IT systems had to be developed in such a way that they ended up interlocking seamlessly.

Since this extensive integration of IT systems involved numerous departments, we had to get all executives to row in the same direction. We had little time for this ambitious goal.

The solution:

It quickly became clear that this challenge could only be overcome with a Conference Room Simulation. In the simulation, our experts focused on three cornerstones:

  1. First of all, we worked on collaboration. For this purpose, during the Conference Room Simulation the customer staff practiced their new roles and came to understand their mission in the upcoming change process.
  2. The facilitators of the simulation brought together the key players of the project. In this way, the executives of the car manufacturer were able to directly align with one another, correct errors, eliminate inconsistencies and coordinate the system change.
  3. Because the involved department heads played through more than 100 application cases and variants under extremely realistic conditions, the quality of the IT systems that were developed afterwards based on these insights was impressive.

In the end, the global rollout went very well. Today, the employees have much more time for customer support and service. Our customer expressed their satisfaction and emphasized the effective and efficient cooperation among all departments.

Without the Conference Room Simulation, process gaps would not have been discovered until a much later date, which would have caused enormous costs for additional adjustments. All project team members agreed: “We were able to achieve all these successes only through simulation.”

Download : Solution: Conference Room Simulation