4 things to measure to see if your restructure worked
Updated: Apr 28
On a recent long-haul flight, I watched the film Hidden Figures, the story of 3 female African-American mathematicians at NASA who helped launch the first American into Earth’s orbit, a stepping stone to the first moon landing. What I found interesting was that the goal wasn’t the orbit. It was to land the astronaut back safely. Because what’s the point of touching the stars if you end up in a fiery ball of destruction, unable to share what you discovered along the way to aid future missions?
Every team I’ve ever worked in - there’s a been a restructure. In one case, there were restructures before I came, during my tenure, and shortly after leaving. Usually a new team design is driven by a strategic goal that will improve performance. But I wonder how often the leaders go back to see if they achieved their goal, especially if teams are being redesigned this frequently?
Here’s a secret
The goal of your team restructure project is not the delivery of the new team structure. That’s circular logic. Just designing the structure, filling the roles with the required talent, and releasing the people whose skills are no longer needed isn’t what you are putting all this effort, money and time in for. It’s to realise the benefits - to achieve the strategic goal or purpose. Being able to say: “Yes, the new team is in!” does not equal success. You don’t eat an apple for the sake of eating - you eat it for nutrition, energy, to satisfy a craving. Eating is just the activity to your end goal - it’s the process. As is restructuring.
Why you need to measure
Setting up a target at the start and tracking progress along the way is essential for you to get the value from your restructure. You’ve probably heard the old adage: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”!
What to measure
This depends on your overall strategic purpose, but most likely it will be linked to your overall performance, such as net profit or market share.
In addition, track the restructure-specific goals to see how they feed to the overall performance. At a minimum, these could include:
Cost - Consultants, project staff, payouts, & incl. the time of your permanent internal staff such as HR (because if they weren’t working on this, they could be adding value elsewhere)
Employee engagement - Don’t automatically assume this will go down during the process - what’s to stop it from going up with the right support? Especially as it can directly affect...
Customer satisfaction/experience - It’s crucial that during this time of change, negative impacts to your customers are minimised.
When to measure
Do a base measurement at the start of the process, before you make the announcement. Then measure each of your goals after:
3 months - track the initial impacts
6 months - there might slight adjustments needed in newly designed teams based on learnings
12 months - you’ll likely see a “second wave” of staff depart between 6-12 months & unforeseen backfilling & recruiting costs arise
2 years - by this time, the cost, time & effort should have paid off if it’s been designed right, delivered right, & tracked right.
Just like a rocket ship, if you notice any downward tracking, re-adjust.
And the cherry on top? Involve your people in the measurement and celebrate success.
Summing it all up
Blast off, hit the stars, just remember to come back down to earth again. Don’t stay in orbit and leave everything in flux - landing safely and learning for your next mission is true success.
I'm Lata Hamilton - the Founder & CEO of Passion Pioneers, a Change Management consultancy specialising in digital transformation, operating model changes, and new ways of working and leadership.
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