Organizational Design


Whenever companies have to change organizationally, the question arises which form of system should be chosen? The change can relate to the entire company or individual departments, such as procurement, finance or HR. The merging of several areas into one area is also a conceivable starting Point.

It does not matter if the goal is a swarm, an agile or other form of organization. If a company aspires to change and set ambitious goals, but does not perceive which form of organization is most suitable, then our solution "Organizational Design" fits perfectly.

A company might be faced with these typical starting points. For example, the larger areas with a few hundred employees have to take over more tasks without increasing staff numbers. Alternatively, personnel has to be reduced without diminishing the performance and the service area. Equally important is a scenario where many local units merge into one global unit. Frequently, the pressure to innovate is the catalyst for change projects.

Modern organizational forms, such as swarm organizations, should help to bring about more innovations in the work of the same team. In that way, the key drivers always increase efficiency and cost savings.

Already in the design phase of the restructuring, "Organizational Design" develops the basis for a sustainable reorganization.


By default, the process of restructuring is divided into three phases: the design phase, the planning phase and the trans­formation phase. Organizational Design focuses only on the design phase of the project and begins by defining the prerequisites.

For the successful design of a new organization, it is recommended to have an integrated team of representatives of the new organization, future management and CPC. The design phase is divided into four sub-phases.

Vision & Strategy is the first sub-phase in which the basics are outlined. In the second sub-phase Governance, processes, organizational form and roles are defined. This is followed by sub-phase Capabilities, which determines what competencies and skills are needed. Finally, the sub-phase Collaboration follows, in which the collaboration is aligned internally as well as externally with the network and partners.

In each sub-phase, milestones are defined and results are documented, so that the reorganization works smoothly.

Vision & Strategy

The first step is to develop a future value proposition for the organization. The typical questions are: What added value can the organization offer its internal or external customers? Which distinguishing features are presented to competitors? The answers are summarized into a concise common vision.


In a second sub-phase, the necessary business processes for achieving the departmental vision are defined and adjusted. Furthermore, a suitable organizational form must be chosen. Should it be a matrix, a swarm or a pool organization or, perhaps, an agile organizational form? In a final step, the necessary roles and responsibilities are defined.


After defining and coordinating the necessary roles and responsibilities, the next step is to align them with the existing roles and skills of the employees. The goal is to gain transparency in the required organizational capabilities and the current state of affairs.


The fourth sub-phase deals with the internal and external collaboration model. On the one hand, it is important to define or adapt cooperation in terms of roles, responsibilities and processes. On the other hand, interfaces to the external networks have to be defined. These can be neighboring areas within the own organization as well as customer’s.  For example, an agile organization requires agile collaboration.

In addition to the four sub-phases of the Organizational Design, there are extra tasks that should be considered during a reorganization:


These include HR policies, corporate policies, works councils,
taxes, and topics that are usually negotiated with partners in the organization. Very early in the design phase, these stakeholders become involved in the change process.


Often, change projects are accompanied by the implementation of additional facilities, such as a new IT tool or a shared service center. While these measures are optional, they should be taken into account in the planning stage.


  1. Define a clear Vision
    Of particular importance is the definition of a clear vision that answers the question why should there be a new organizational unit or a new organizational model. Managers are challenged to face this question and to describe a sustainable vision. In finding a vision, it is important that the interests of the stakeholders and overall corporate group specifications are taken into account and included. The vision forms the reference point for the further definition of the organization.
  2. Involve the implicated
    Another key success factor is making those concerned part of the change process. That means that CPC consultants work out all the planning-relevant steps in close cooperation with the executives. At an early stage, all participants should create awareness and responsibility for achieving the goal together.
  3. Focus on customers
    As the basis of the organization‘s vision, CPC consultants focus on the orientation of the future organization, on its customers and the realized benefit.
  4. Make Organizational Design into a Project
    Set up the design phase of the future organization as a separate project. At CPC we see a greater progress with an agile approach and short design sprints followed by a direct management acceptance. In such setup it is possible to react quickly to changing requirements.


Our customer, the product management department of a German telecommunications company, aspired to be well positioned in an increasingly dynamic market environment and growing range of tasks. She decided to restructure from a line organization to a pool organization.

CPC accompanied this transformation from the idea to the implementation. The one hundred percent dedication of 300 employees and senior executives as well as a tight timeline required a high level of commitment and willingness to change. After formulating a common vision, the team and department heads worked out the roles and responsibilities, processes and collaboration model of the target organization in work packages. Selected employees were trained early as change consultants and used to initiate concrete measures for dealing with the fields of action at the employee level. Thus, the future necessary network connections and initiatives of all employees could be experienced and tested out even before the transformation.


  • Through our integrated approach of Organizational Design and Change Management, the managers and concerned
    employees were involved in shaping the transformation right from the start.
  • This ensures that the future organization fits the needs of the employees. In addition, important basic principles of a pool organization such as self-responsibility and self-organization are already felt before the transformation.
  • In the „GoLive" of the target organization, the customer was prepared for the future challenges and able to continue the subsequent transformation phase without external support. The area became a „blue print" for neighboring areas, which also desired to restructure from a line into a pool organization.



One of the global market leaders in logistics brought together three IT departments across China, Germany and India to form a global software development unit. The goal was to accompany both the design and planning of the reorganization and the subsequent implementation. The project involved around 500 employees worldwide.

CPC initially advised on the definition of a common vision, as well as on the identification of a value profile and leadership principles.

In a four-month design phase with weekly „sprints", we worked together to develop a matrix organization with the underlying processes, roles and responsibilities as well as a service catalog. In the subsequent implementation, the developed organizational model was brought to life. For this purpose, CPC implemented a comprehensive change management architecture, which guaranteed the early support of the middle management with targeted measures and innovative formats, always comprehensively informed and
involved in the workforce.


  • The comprehensive restructuring brought about enormous changes for almost every employee. CPC, together with the customer, assigned the middle management a partial responsibility for the design of the new organization and thus generated their critical support from the outset.
  • The success factor was the absolute transparency towards the employees, who were informed about project goals, achievements and challenges throughout the project with innovative formats and were asked for valuable feedback.
  • Not only did CPC advise on the strategic design of the new
    organization, but it also took on implementation responsibility, thus making a decisive contribution to its successful introduction.

"It is decisive for a successful organizational design to define the own value contribution within the company."

Sebastian Heymann, Manager at CPC


Portrait Michael Kempf
CPC Unternehmensmanagement AG
Am Flughafen
60549 Frankfurt am Main  


Portrait Sebastian Keim
Senior Manager
CPC Unternehmensmanagement AG
Am Flughafen
60549 Frankfurt am Main