Organisational Design

As external and internal landscapes continue to evolve for many organisations, it is crucial to align functions and capabilities, ensuring they are set up effectively to deliver on strategic and operational objectives. In order to achieve this, developing a fit-for-purpose organisational design is key.

What is Organisational Design?

Organisational design is a way of articulating how an organisation will deliver on its core objectives and strategic goals. Organisational design looks at the operating model of an organisation, considers the essential functions required, and then how these can be organised into teams and roles (also referred to as functional design). It is another way to talk about organisational structure without individuals mapped to roles.

The organisational design process is a way of reviewing what an organisation wants and needs to operate successfully. It examines how teams need to work together to achieve outcomes. It supports the delivery of the future state.

What is an Operating Model?

An operating model is a blueprint, and collective description of all elements that add up to how an organisation/function/team operates. The operating model may include the macro structure (how functions are organised), accountabilities, governance, culture, competencies, processes and performance metrics.

TMS’ Approach to Organisational Design 

TMS takes a human-centred approach to organisational design. This ensures organisational structures, functions and roles are developed through an iterative process, where the people we are designing for are a core part of the process. By adopting a human-centred design approach, the organisation structure and resourcing solutions are tailored to the requirements of the organisation and its workforce, which leads to increased buy-in.

TMS’ best-practice approach to organisational design considers each element of the operating model, as outlined in the graphic below, which then informs the development of the functional, structural and role design.









Functional Design

The development of a functional design is typically informed by a thorough consultation process, combined with a comprehensive review of organisational documentation and environmental scan. The findings from the consultation phase assist in developing a list of key functions that an organisation requires to deliver on its strategic goals. The functions are grouped based on the skills and capabilities to perform them, considering process flow and opportunities for efficiency. The functional groupings form the functional design.

Structural Design

TMS operates under the principle that ‘form follows function,’ and as such, utilises the functional design to inform the structural design. With these considerations, TMS can then determine which structural design will be most appropriate for the organisation. This may include functional, divisional, matrix, team, network, flat, circular structures, or a combination. A number of structural design options are prepared, which are tested with leaders and staff during focus groups and workshops to gather feedback on the preferred design. The preferred design should encourage efficient workflows and working and communicating laterally.

Role Design

TMS can also support the design of each role. Role design considers the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, methods and relationships required to perform its required functions. This typically takes the form of a position description or role statement and may be applicable for a single role or a cohort or roles, depending on the requirements of the structure.

Some of the clients that TMS has delivered organisational design services for include:


Contact the TMS team for a complimentary and obligation-free consultation about how we can partner with you to complete an organisational design project.

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