To Deliver Value (to Customers), You Need to Become an Organisational Architect

Building an organisation that delivers customer value doesn’t happen overnight. It requires developing a clear vision of the futurethoughtful analysis and strategising, and meticulous culture building. You must understand your value stream and the processes needed to deliver it. 

But all the strategising in the world will only amount to meaningless exercises if you can’t operationalise them. How do you ensure that when you input resources into your business, something predictable and repeatable comes out of it? 

To do that, you need to be an organisation architect.


What Is an Organisation Architect?

If you’ve ever seen an architectural blueprint, you know it’s more than just a building drawing. It contains vital information such as measurements, technical details, materials, and instructions to construct the building properly. Organisations need similar documents that outline standardised procedures, processes, and best practices. 

Thus, an organisation architect puts all the strategic building blocks together to build the organisation. An organisation architect understands how a process works, generates output, what actions are needed to create that output, and what input is required to deliver those actions. Additionally, they understand the amount of work necessary, the work a single person can handle, and any variables such as complexity and seasonality. Most importantly, they understand the roles needed to make processes work and the skill sets and knowledge bases required to fulfil those roles. And, as an offshoot of that, the organisation architect understands what’s needed to develop people in those roles. 


Building the Organisational Blueprint

Just as a structural architect drafts a blueprint to construct a building, an organisational architect should develop similar documentation. Part of that is an organisational chart or organigram delineating hierarchy, responsibilities, decision-making, and reporting structures. The objective is to create a synchronised organisation where everyone knows their roles and how to fulfil them. 

A well-structured organisation will strike a perfect balance between workload and skilled capacity and reliably deliver measurable and valuable outputs to customers. 

Additionally, it’s essential to develop various support documents that, when combined, make up your “blueprint.” These include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Employee handbook with policies
  • Job descriptions
  • Process manuals
  • Reporting templates
  • Training materials


How to Become an Organisational Architect

Becoming an architect takes a lot of schooling and long hours. Luckily, you don’t have to go through all that to become an organisational architect. 

Start by revisiting your vision and strategic pillars. Assess how they contribute to adding value to the customer. Next, use the SIPOC framework to map out the value stream. Create an inventory of tasks that are needed to deliver this value stream. Try to group them based on their skill sets. 

Once you have that, you can assign a role and measure the quantity of work. This will help you understand the rate at which those tasks should be completed and how much work one person can realistically do. From there, you can calculate how many work hours are needed, which will give you an understanding of the workforce you need. Lastly, develop objectives for each role and a decision-making framework for handling any obstacles that surface that are outside the normal operating parameters. 

I’ve simplified this process to explain it, but it’s essential to know that it’s much more complex than it looks. 

If you feel challenged with this topic, I’m here to help. Subscribe to the Growth Letter for more recommendations on becoming a growth leader, or book a coaching to discuss your specific challenges.

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