Team size and performance. Building a winning combination.

How many people do we need? What profiles? Have we budgeted properly? Entrepreneurs and managers may often face these kinds of questions when reorganizing the company or when launching new initiatives.
Team Size
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There are many reasons why your company may need to initiate a search for new resources. It could be due to an acquisition, to set up a new division, for internal optimization needs or to establish a NewCo or a Start Up.

The first thing to consider is that you will need a clear definition of what and who you need, however, while in some cases it is possible to analyze the AS-IS process, in others there may not even be a valid benchmark in the entire market. Especially if we are talking about resourcing for a start up. The method to follow in order to build KPIs, therefore, must be differentiated.

The second point to keep in mind is the trial and error process which is inevitable when defining the necessary roles and profiles. Is is not unusual to start with an initial idea of the budget required and a rough organizational model to then change it along the way.

Enormous time and effort is usually invested in order to define the basic activities of a job description. Once you have the description, it would certainly be easy to stop the analysis at this level, however it leaves ample room for error. For example, if you create a sales team consisting of 5 junior sales accounts with the exact same profile, you will not have 5 copies that all do exactly the same thing as per written in their job description. For this reason, it is not sufficient to build solely a list of activities required by the role; time should be taken to understand not only the hard skills, but also the soft skills that need to be brought into the team to insure that there is the right mix of aptitudes that will allow the new initiative to reach its goal.

The third point is that performance and number of resources are not always positively correlated, especially when new technologies are expected to be used. One of the simplest approaches we suggest, is to reason by hypothesis. You could estimate the number of resources required for a business unit, taking into consideration only manual processes, therefore as per a traditional process and use this number as a reference. You can use the reference number to modify the process by reducing the number of people when introducing technology.

Needless to say, it is of fundamental importance that these assessments are carried out methodically so that the right skills are made available. Mistakes made during the planning phase will have costly repercussions throughout the entire life cycle of the new initiative impacting negatively on the investment. Apart from the HR veteran who has seen many a reorganization, it is always advisable to rely on the advice of an expert when starting a project of such nature.

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