Is your supporting organisational infrastructure fit for purpose?

Professional firms need to be aware of signs that their firm’s organisational design might not be fit-for-purpose. The symptoms of ineffective organisational design can manifest themselves either internally (i.e. from fee-earners or business services staff) or externally (i.e. from clients themselves). It is important to be attuned to common symptoms, which include those issues illustrated in the table below.

Existing client feedback data and insights from client partners can also provide a useful evidence base for understanding the pain points caused by ineffective organisational design. When reviewing client feedback look out for references to inconsistent service across practice areas or geographies, information not being shared between different advisers or teams, and clients who use many different advisory firms for specific types of service.

In our experience, the idea of a “one-stop-shop” is particularly attractive for clients of professional firms, but only if it lightens the burden of project management for them. Clients place a high premium on advisors who come to them proactively to introduce colleagues outside of their area of expertise to discuss relevant issues or opportunities.

If your existing data doesn’t give you sufficient insight, then this is a useful catalyst to start engaging directly with clients to understand whether your firm’s organisational structure has a negative impact on the client experience. Independently-facilitated conversations with clients can be a helpful tool to gather insight on the effectiveness of your firm’s current structure and how it manifests itself from the client’s perspective. These conversations can provide valuable insight on:

  • The effectiveness of your firm’s communication, coordination and project management capabilities
  • Inconsistencies in service experience and the commercial impact for clients
  • The gaps in the client experience where information falls through the net
  • What competitor firms are doing to improve service delivery
  • Lost opportunities for working together with clients and how to rectify this
  • Priority areas for change in order to improve the client experience

Read more about organisational design