Organizational Structure

A key element in realizing the objectives of the Technology Strategy is providing the optimum organizational structure, roles and responsibilities in which the plan will be executed. The interrelationship between the Organizational Structure and Technology Strategy can provide a framework and catalyst for continuous improvement or conversely, be a barrier to meeting objectives; but in either case will strongly influence the ultimate productivity of the organization. There is no benchmark technology organizational structure which can be applied successfully in all cases – however these key issues and considerations need to be addressed:
  • Product/Market vs. Competency focus; P&L based vs. Matrix
  • Cross-business technology sharing; Technology Platforms
  • Technology Leadership Council responsibilities
  • Globalization – Internal/External use of low cost regions, Diversity
  • Common Support Infrastructure: i.e. Services, Testing, Certification, Documentation
Whalen Management Group has developed the concept of Global Technology Communities of Practice to bring to light the hidden synergies buried in most Global Organizations with multiple Technology and Engineering development sites. Technology Communities of Practice engage a cross-business team of Technologists in a specific area to develop and leverage:
  • Global Capability inventory and needs analysis derived from business/Product roadmaps
  • Technology evolution plans/roadmaps; Including Pathfinding
  • Identification and development of global platform architectures where appropriate
  • Domain knowledge, Application knowledge and Module sharing
  • Coordinated and aligned Supply Management strategies; consolidation and leverage
Even the slightest Organizational changes can be extremely disruptive and need to be managed as part of the overall Technology Strategy. In many cases, the same desired results can be achieved with minimal structural change through the introduction of new process disciplines and IT toolsets which can enable a virtual technology community.