Membership Organisation – Operating Model Review Case Study

Background

After having 30% of its business taken out a number of years previously, this membership organisation emerged having undergone a name change, an organisational restructure and a new strategic plan focused on reconnecting with their members, and providing outcomes designed to add value to their businesses.

Following the embedding of some changes and to respond to the market they needed to rescope their structure and develop both regional strategies and plans. A newly positioned Client Delivery Team made up of 5 specialist services, were at the core of the value proposition to members and the business model. Members saw the services provided by the Client Delivery Team and the wider organisation as an integral part of their business’ success (enabling them to make informed business decisions) and integral to ongoing funding through the payment of annual levies.

For the Client Delivery team priorities, projects and activities have focused on:

  1. Investing in research & development
  2. Delivering knowledge that drives performance
  3. Improving members capability
  4. Building confidence in the organisation and profile in the sector

The demands on the Client Delivery team to manage research projects, develop publications, workshop material and factsheets, participate in advisory groups and organise wide-ranging small, medium and large events was impacting their resource capacity. Their workload was unsustainable and demands ever increasing – putting the deliverables of their roles at odds with the broader strategy.

Therefore, it was timely to consider the increased sustainable value that this team could bring both to the organisation and the members they served.

Purpose of project:

The Client Delivery team was regionally based and delivered activities across the four strategic areas listed above.

The intent of the operating model review was to determine if the current structure, deliverables and way of working continued to be fit for purpose for the team to deliver the best value outputs for members – whilst operating in an ever changing political and economic environment with financial and resource constraints.

Approach:

The operating model review focused on four key phases:

  1. Identify internal and external environmental influences
  2. Analyse current state
  3. Design the future state
  4. Propose actions for improvement

Constraints:

The existing structure was inefficient – resulting in the Client Delivery team being overstretched. Areas that needed to be addressed included:

  • A large dispersed team that lacked internal support and infrastructure to create momentum
  • Delivery of multiple community events
  • Inefficient communication and administration processes resulting in a lot of overtime
  • A lack of clarity in terms of the value proposition – resulting in activities not always delivering against the primary goal of helping members become better business managers

Recommendations:

The recommendations that resulted from the Operating Model review included a restructure that would focus on maximising the value the Client Delivery team could bring to their stakeholders through more robust communication and leadership whilst supporting and streamlining the delivery of extension activities.

A number of holistic changes to the way the team operated were recommended to create the ideal environment for ensuring resources were focused on the efficient and cohesive delivery of information and services to the members.

  1. Alter management structure to provide clear and consistent leadership
  2. Streamline systems and process to reduce resource burn – including outsourcing event coordination
  3. Strengthen and broaden communication channels to support unification amongst the team and stronger relationships with the stakeholders
  4. Increase support resource to allow Client Delivery team to focus on high value activities
  5. Implement a partnership model to improve engagement with members

Outcomes:

The recommendations fed into a wider organisational review based on a revised strategy, a redefined value proposition and a clearer understanding of ‘what success looked like’.

  • A clearer understanding was gained into the impact the administration burden was having on the team’s ability to deliver
  • An improved organisation design was implemented focused on successful delivery of services and value proposition to the members