process improvement

Capacity: Too much, Too little, or just not aligned?

Eric June 2018 Article .jpg

Shifts in revenue, expenses, funding, and/or staffing resources, are threatening the operational sustainability of Organizations and is driving them to the point of having to restructure. In response to this shift, Organizations must now prioritize understanding their capacity, structure themselves accordingly, and improve efficiency when meeting levels of customer demand. 

Capacity, defined as the actual or potential ability to perform, yield or withstand, or the maximum amount or number that can be received or contained, is where discussions need to begin. 

As it relates to Organizations, capacity concerns how staffing and systems are efficiently designed to effectively deliver services to a specific volume of business. It is about building the organizational structure to withstand the volume of business in a financially sustainable way, all while achieving the desired outcomes.

Healthcare, Human Services, and Higher Education, are just a few of the many sectors that are taking a more in-depth look at capacity, efficiency, outcomes, and job performance. Historically, issues with capacity were solved simply by adding additional staff. Today, with limited financial resources available, Organizations must find ways to become more efficient in order to survive.

Having a detailed plan and specific approach to Organization Design is a major factor in successfully restructuring and positioning an organization for long-term success. In our experience with clients, following a proven approach to restructuring will help Organizations increase production, save money, optimize staff, reengineer service delivery, and support decision making by Leadership.  

Our approach to Organization Design is structured in 3 phases: Core Process, Job Functions, and Overall Structure. Each phase is highlighted below:

Core Process
Prior to an organization examining the role of Staff in a company, department, or team, they must first define the current core process that a customer (student, patient, individual, etc.) would experience operationally. The core process, or customer experience, must be dissected in order to learn where the capacity and volume levels are not logically, functionally, and financially aligned. 

We examine this from the wholistic viewpoint of the operational process as a whole, in order to understand the high level of strategic need, the logical flow, and the value to the customer. It is then that we can ensure the capacity can withstand customer demand and elasticity in volume. 

It is also during this Phase, that valuable insight can be shared concerning aspects of the core process that no longer add value and what aspects are missing and need to be added. This is one phase of three that helps build the logic to support the decision making and change process for redesign.

Job Functions
As work is being done to define an organization’s core process, Phase 2: Job Functions, begins.  Our propriety Job Post Process, allows us to develop a comprehensive understanding of the roles of job functions within an organization. Once this depth of understanding is reached, we can align those functions to the core process and, in turn, determine staffing levels, allocation of resources, staffing capacity, and alignment within the overall structure. 

Overall Structure
Phase 3: Organizational structure, is the final piece of the operational puzzle which builds upon the capacity information derived from the Core Process and Job Function Phase analysis. This Phase will bring in to question staffing roles, functional alignment, and outcome effectiveness. 

While these are complex decisions, we encourage clients to focus on the benefits of redesigning an organization to improve capacity. Some of which include: 

  • Increases in revenue performance or expansion
  • Identifying non-value added activities and cost savings
  • Increases in staff production and moral
  • Strategic discussions about the alignment of services to future demand
  • Identifying gaps and duplications in service

At Curtis Strategy, we understand the challenges organizations face when capacity discussions arise. We have supported departmental and organization-wide restructuring initiatives to ensure organizations remain viable for the future. If you have any additional questions or would like to discuss how Curtis Strategy can support your organization’s capacity, please contact us.