Setting up an organisation with a flat hierarchy

Initial situation

Following a mandate to optimise the project management process, we were led to question the company’s management style in order to give more autonomy to the project teams. The idea of turning to sociocracy then emerged.

How it happened

A partir des nouveaux processus co-construits avec les équipes internes, nous avons commencé par examiner comment répartir les rôles et les responsabilités en utilisant la méthode RACI (Responsable, Acteur, Consulté, Informé). This was done by involving dozens of employees, mainly project managers and management.

This work has highlighted the need to transfer decision making from management to project managers and even to other staff. Thus, it appeared that a classic hierarchical organisation was no longer compatible with the need for project management agility. We then turned to flat organisational models, of which sociocracy is a part.

In order to ensure that this new approach did not completely destabilise employees accustomed to a classic hierarchical system, new operating rules had to be put in place, constituting the new reference framework for the company’s organisation. These changes represent a real cultural change and require a period of adaptation during which everyone must be careful to respect the new operating rules.

Result

The power that was essentially held by the Managing Director was gradually distributed, allowing the project teams to become more agile and therefore more efficient.

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