How to manage your org design project in 5 steps

Written by Lee Kennedy

Lee, Navigo's Head of Marketing, is passionate about solving operational and strategic HR issues. She is actively exploring the most efficient ways for organisations to visualise and model their workforce.

February 13, 2023

Org design project steps

Being asked to plan and execute an org design is an intimidating task. If the past has taught us anything, the best way to set yourself up for success is to set a clear strategy and to conduct efficient workforce modelling in a tool that enables you to assess the impacts in real-time. Here are 5 quick steps to help you run a smooth org design project:


Step 1 Initiate organisation strategy
Step 2 Data in
Step 3 Assess the current state
Step 4 Design, test & recommend proposals
Step 5 Rollout the future structure

1. Initiate organisation strategy

The organisational decision makers must first set strategic and operational priorities. By defining the reasons behind the change and setting specific goals, it’ll be easier to keep everyone aligned and to track your progress. Assemble your team and kickstart your org design project.

Org design project overview

Org design

2. Data in

First let’s cover one of the core building blocks of an org design project, quick and easy access to clean HR data.

Combine all relevant people data into one tool

time icon

Automate recurring refresh for always up-to-date data

User-based access for secure sharing across your org

clean drive icon

Fix broken reporting lines & errors

Single source of truth

A key challenge for HR is creating a complete picture of your workforce in one place. Having a reliable source of truth means:


Get a clear view of your current state for analysis

Build accurate workforce redesigns

Leaders access to one pool of data for reporting

Learn more about our integrations.
SAP Gold Partner Status - Dashboards
Clean HR & employee data To build an effective workforce plan, it’s important to have clean, useful workforce data as a foundation. The best way to fast track a data cleansing project is to visualise data in an org chart. This allows your team to easily see broken data, duplicates and orphans. Or even better, we can do this for you.
Data cleansing - Hygiene

3. Assess the current state

Org charts are useful for mapping out reporting structures for employees. This allows you to better understand the current state and openly share information. They also enable org design teams to create and test ‘future state’ proposals, providing clear visibility of quick wins for improvement and strengths to protect. Org design tools help by highlighting:

Issues with reporting structure, span & layers or too few resources
Departments that are under or over salary budget
Age, ethnicity, gender imbalance or significant leave liability
Key roles, high performers & talent matching

Here’s some view examples that help with workforce analysis. Drill up and down layers quickly and highlight opportunities where changes will make the biggest impact:

HR Dashboard
Management dashboards See more >
org.manager advanced chart - sunburst
Sunburst KPI analysis See view >

By accessing strategic views of your workforce, you can explore proposals in depth. Have all the information you need in one place, so you can be certain which ‘future state’ proposal is the best fit.

4. Design, test & recommend proposals

Why is it important to have an effective organisational design? So workflows run smoothly and so people know where they sit and how their work contributes toward the overall direction of the company.

Use the simulation feature to take a snapshot of your structure, so you can easily create a new workforce design with drag and drop – without altering your core HR data.

Some key benefits of using a dedicated org design tool:

Intuitive interface, easy drag & drop

Position or person based org charts

Secure collaboration for fast approval

Complete audit trail of all changes

Below is an example of a restructure use case, using visualisation rules & a sunburst view to quickly drill through lots of levels of data. This view allows users to quickly identify where to start addressing risks in the business and workforce costs.

By using a tool to design your workforce changes, you can see real-time updates to your people metrics along with every decision you make. You can even access an org design dashboard that will provide a high-level overview of the impact that your proposed changes will have across the organisation.

Split screen gif

When the proposals are tested against the strategic and operational business priorities, a preferred design emerges. Once you understand the gap between current and future state, it becomes much easier to zero in on actions. Next, it’s time to translate the preferred design into a top level, detailed organisation chart.

5. Rollout the future structure

Once an org design proposal has been approved, a solid roll out plan is essential for a successful adoption. Some best practices for delivery include:

When communicating your new structure, be clear & transparent
Outline a development plan for high performers in your succession plan
Establish short & long term KPIs for the change, these can be tracked on a dashboard
Focus on delivering the goals & benefits that were originally promised

By using an org design tool to share your future org structure, you’ve already done the groundwork to communicate your plan. By allowing your entire team to independently view the new structure, employees have time to process where they fit and can quickly understand big picture changes.

Hierarchy - OMSF view

What others have to say

Our people and leaders use org.manager charts on a daily basis. Access to real workforce insights has helped leaders make more informed decisions.

Maria Soo, A/Lead Workforce Planning, Ambulance Victoria

Want to learn more leading up to your org design project? Download our free PDF covering the 6 key aspects of organisation design, more specifically:

  • Building a set of common organisation design principles
  • Understanding your structure options
  • Managing your organisation design as a project
  • Selecting and implementing the right fit
organisation design cover
Ready to start your org design project? Check out our new learning centre. It’s packed with lots of free downloadable content, webinars and mini lessons.  If you’d like to see more of org.manager in action, book a demo today.



  1. 5 HR tips to managing a growing team - Navigo HR Blog - […] a restructure tool can be ‘stressful and nerve-racking,’ but it makes it ‘much easier’ to manage the restructure process according…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also like…

How to effectively design agile team structures

How to effectively design agile team structures

Instead of traditional top-down management, agile team structures emphasise on collaboration, flexibility & delivering value quickly. Learn how agile team software can help elevate your business.

Enhance your reporting game with HR Dashboards

Enhance your reporting game with HR Dashboards

A HR dashboard is a data visualisation that consolidates essential workforce information into a user-friendly interface. Learn how it can help you enhance your HR strategy & drive sustainable growth.