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14 June 2024 | Posted by angela.tuduri

Business agility and organizational design | La Salle-URL

Why are initiatives that encourage employee adaptation and engagement not advancing?

The organizational structure defines the way in which a company is organized to achieve its objectives. It is the skeleton that supports the organization and determines how responsibilities are distributed, how communication flows and how decisions are made.   

In the last alumni meeting of the Master in Agile Methods (MMA) of La Salle Campus Barcelona, the causes that hinder the progress of initiatives in companies were analyzed, focusing on organizational structures.  

Under the theme Business Agility and organizational design, in this article we will define the benefits and opportunities that the organizational structure can bring to the business ecosystem.   

Organizational structure: setting up the company's skeleton  

The organizational structure is the way in which tasks and responsibilities are distributed among the different departments and teams, establishing lines of authority and communication.  

What are the most common types of organizational structures?  

There are different types of organizational structures, each with its own characteristics and advantages:  

  • Functional structure: groups employees according to their specialization. It is common in small and medium-sized companies.  

  • Divisional structure: Divides the company into divisions according to products, services or geographies. It is suitable for large and diversified companies.  

  • Matrix structure: Combines the functional and divisional structure, creating a matrix of responsibilities. It is used in complex projects or when there is a need for collaboration between different departments.  

  • Flat structure: Minimizes hierarchy and empowers employees. It is common in agile companies and startups.  

  • Horizontal structure: Based on self-management and collaboration between teams. It is uncommon, but is increasingly being implemented in innovative companies.  

Basic principles for agile organizations  

Agile organizations are based on a set of fundamental principles that enable them to be more flexible, adaptable and responsive to the needs of the market and their customers. These principles are described in the Agile Manifesto, published in 2001.  

MMA students worked on the principles that should govern this type of organization.  

  • Inspirational leadership: Leaders act as coaches and facilitators, empowering teams and creating an environment of trust.  

  • Customer focus: A deep understanding of customer needs and the generation of value for the customer become fundamental pillars.  

  • Autonomy: Teams enjoy autonomy to make decisions and manage their work, encouraging responsibility and initiative.  

  • Collaboration: A collaborative environment is promoted where fluid communication and teamwork are essential for success.  

  • Continuous improvement: The constant search for improvement through experimentation and learning is key to adapting to change. 

Organizational structures enhancing Business Agility  

Various types of autonomous structures that bring together all the necessary capabilities along the value chain were also evaluated:  

  • Value Centers: Groups generally oriented to specific business verticals, collaborating with business-neutral central support units.  

  • Entrepreneurial teams: Focused on specific smaller challenges, fostering agility and rapid response to needs.  

  • Micro communities: Formed by very small entrepreneurial teams that are supported by other specialized teams of equal size.  

Learning from real-life examples | Related training  

Finally, attendees mapped the types of organizational structures discussed with the companies visited during the Master and other real-world examples. This allowed participants to understand how these structures are implemented in various contexts and gain valuable learnings.  

Do you want to learn in depth about agile transformation and be a change agent in your team, area or company? With the Master in Agile Methods of La Salle-URL (the first worldwide) you will learn from internationally recognized professionals.   

Classes are completely practical and the Master's Final Project is done in real companies, helping to streamline within a multidisciplinary team of students.   




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