Managerial layers and spans analysis

An organisation structure translates strategy into tangible results. It is used to manage assets, control resources, create value and, most of all, empower people to excel and to spur success.

Over time, the disorder is introduced by poorly planned changes, new reporting relationships and narrow spans of control. This can increase costs dramatically, which reduces competitiveness and profitability. Clients want to cut through the clutter, so we remove managerial layers and create new structures, accountabilities and procedures.

Improvements in processes should be supported by changes in the organisational structure. Working procedures must be shaped around the few, important processes that ensure customers’ needs are met.​

When reorganising an existing structure we start by looking at the ‘levels of work’ (managerial work can be classified into categories or levels depending on the length of time that each type of job requires in order for it to achieve its aims and fulfil its purpose). This is used to create associations between the type of job, the weight of accountability and the organisational hierarchy, or to create a structure from scratch. We then:​

  • identify current problems: duplication, too many levels, too many layers, too much management, excessive cost
  • examine the characteristics and requirements for every managerial job
  • define all jobs by title, job code and function, and map them to the appropriate levels of work
  • assign locally appropriate definitions to all the levels needed, noting that not all work levels are relevant to, or necessary for, every organisation
  • consult the job grade structure and amend it to reduce or, less likely, increase the number of grades if that makes sense
  • aim to reduce the number of managerial jobs wherever possible
  • complete the new scheme for job grades, layers, reporting structure and employee numbers
  • create, where needed, senior non-managerial streams to accommodate high grade non-managerial staff
  • draw and sense-check a new structure chart, audit the number of layers and widths of spans and calculate the average spans.

Why use us?

We believe organisations should be designed around the core processes that create value for customers and that a flatter structure leads to better managerial performance, more highly motivated workers, speedier communication and shared goals. A smaller number of layers is also a powerful antidote to managerial remoteness.

​We don’t present pre-prepared model solutions, but instead we listen and quickly get to understand the wider business drivers and your culture

We offer:

  • Objectivity – robust analysis and challenge from independent specialists who have no vested interest.
  • Clear and specific outcomes – recommendations that identify what senior managers need to consider.
  • Rigour combined with pace, to provide sufficient understanding for managers to act.
  • We have experience in multiple sectors: aerospace, construction and building products; consumer goods; distribution; energy; engineering, nuclear and transport; housing associations and other third sector organisations. In central Government departments we have streamlined operations and helped Executive Agencies to integrate new services and reduce costs.

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