Navigo Blog

Choosing the right tools for restructuring your workforce

Written by Tom Wade

November 29, 2012

Organisational restructures. What a pain! Rows and columns of data, business rules to meet, people to collaborate with all within a tight deadline. Does this sound familiar?

I often get asked, “I need to provide my executive with some viable ‘what-if’ scenarios for an organisation restructure by this time next month. How can I do this in the quickest, most effective manner?” Luckily, the answer is easy.

It really surprises me that, in this day and age, there are so many people relying on spreadsheets and Visio to manage their workforce restructures. These tools are not designed to be used for organisational restructures and make the whole process of planning a lot more painful than it needs to be.

Believe it or not, planning a restructure does not require the individual/s to churn through rows and columns of employee information. Doing it this way ultimately results in the mother of all headaches!

Let me provide some paracetamol!

Seeing is believing
There are many solutions out there that enable the user to plan their restructures using data visualisation. By visualising information and key metrics, planners can immediately see the impact a restructure will have.  This could be budget, headcount, FTE, age of the workforce or any number of different analytics taken from the HR and Payroll Systems.

Using a visual representation of your workforce, you remove the requirement to churn through data when making changes. Simply drag and drop positions and employees from one area to another. Some solutions dynamically update the organisational and hierarchical information as you move people around. You can even create business rules, such as budget no greater than $500k, that will be highlighted if exceeded.

Flying a jumbo without training
Using the right tool to assist with organisational restructures is a good example of working smarter, not harder. Many organisations come to me asking me for assistance in this area, only to then say they don’t have any budget approved to purchase a solution. My response is always  “How much is it going to cost you to not purchase a solution?”

Imagine the time and effort required to create some different organisational heirachy ‘what-if’ scenarios if you don’t have the right tools?

KPMG Consultants liken this to flying a jet – “to make major [business] decisions without first testing their consequences in a safe environment can be likened to training an airline pilot by having him fly a 747 without first having spent months in the simulator”.


If you’re looking to restructure your workforce but not sure where to start, take a look at our recent post 7 steps to planning a successful restructure. We’ve also included a free downloadable checklist for you.

So stop trying to take on the world with your bare hands and look for solutions that have been designed to save you time, money and resources when doing your next re-org.


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