In this article we examine case studies of reviews we conducted for Organizational Structure.

Organizational Structure That You Can Rely On.

Youth Services Bureau (YSB)Youth Services Bureau Organizational Structure Case Study

The Community Services (CS) Department at the Youth Services Bureau (YSB) in Ottawa, Canada provides shelter services, transitional and long-term housing options, a drop in centre with medical and counselling support services, and programming  for street involved or homeless young women and men.

Over the last five years, CS has seen tremendous growth in the demand for their services.  With a current budget of $4.6 million and approximately 70 staff, the CS Department operates two downtown shelters, a drop in centre, and three long-term housing apartment buildings.

In February 2010, YSB contracted with McConnell HR Consulting Inc. to conduct a review of the organizational structure.

Our approach included consultation with a number of stakeholders across the Youth Services Bureau and within Community Services.  We interviewed stakeholders within Central Services to gain an understanding of the corporate support made available to CS.  Using a detailed questionnaire as the basis for consultation, other senior staff were interviewed.  A functional design of the existing Organizational Structure – including tasks, functions and reporting relationships – was prepared and validated with the client.

With the data collected as part of our consultation, we conducted a detailed analysis of opportunities and challenges for CS.  These were considered and formed the basis of proposed design options.  We then prepared several optional detailed Organizational Structure for review and consideration by the client.

The relative advantages and disadvantages of each option were assessed from both short and long term perspectives.  A final detailed new organizational structure was then recommended to senior management for approval.  This has been successfully implemented by YSB.


Canadian Pharmacists Association

Canadian Pharmacits Association Organizational StructureThe Canadian Pharmacists Association is the national voluntary organization of pharmacists, committed to providing leadership for the profession.

In 2006 CPhA underwent a major organizational transformation.  Eighty percent of CPhA’s revenue came from publications, and the media was changing from print to on-line digital information products.  CPhA completely revised its entire business strategy with respect to product management and the internal organization and delivery of digital publications.

McConnell HRC was engaged to manage the Organizational Structure project.  Key aspects were the Organizational Structure of the Product Management division and the structural relationships between content, product development, product management, member services, marketing and sales.

We reviewed all relevant documentation relating to their current Organizational Structure, including the restructuring plan, business plan, budget, job descriptions, organization charts and related program and product information.  We interviewed key stakeholders, and held informational focus groups with staff.

Factors considered included: the appropriate number of management layers in the Organizational Structure, the impact of Knowledge Management requirements on job design, how CPhA could be business-oriented within the “association” model, the role of IT as an enabler, the review of key work processes / workflows, new skills and competencies, and a “Staffing Map” to place employees in the new Organizational Structure.

McConnell HRC:

  • Designed and validated a new organization structure through several iterations.
  • Defined the specific work and job requirements within the confirmed organization structure.
  • Ratified the work, jobs and organization with each department / unit (managers and staff).
  • Confirmed the new detailed organization chart; with existing, new and changed positions.
  • Wrote job descriptions for all new/modified positions.
  • Prepared an implementation plan and an Employee Communications Plan.

The new business model and organizational framework has been successfully implemented by CPhA.


Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition Organizational Structure Case StudyGlobal Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) – Geneva, Switzerland

GAIN is a Swiss foundation that mobilizes public-private partnerships and provides financial and technical support to deliver nutritious foods to people most at risk of malnutrition. It was created in 2002 at a Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Children. The organization delivers improved nutrition to an estimated 273 million people, half of whom are women and children, in more than 25 countries.

GAIN operates through four program areas: Nutrition, Partnerships and Capacity Building, Performance Measurement and Research, and External Relations.

In 2005 the Board of Directors determined that an Organizational Structure change was required for the GAIN program to be successful.  GAIN contracted with McConnell HR Consulting Inc. to conduct an overall Organizational Structure Review.  We:

  • Reviewed all Organizational Structure related documentation and interviewed staff.
  • Assessed the business rationale and operational imperative for the proposed new Organizational Structure; including the consolidation of all activities, defined accountabilities, reduced overhead and greater structural flexibility.
  • Designed a ‘to be’ state organization chart for ratification and approval.
  • Confirmed Organizational Structure units and reporting relationships.
  • Prepared a list of all positions, current and planned.
  • Prepared summary job profiles and a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) for each new position.
  • Prepared a schedule / timetable for the staffing of new positions
  • Confirmed staffing options and approach for senior management.
  • Costed the various options.
  • Prepared and delivered a communications plan advising employees of the new Organizational Structure and the implementation process.



Tim McConnell is a Organizational Structure consultant with McConnell HR Consulting Inc. They provide strategic Organizational Structure services to enhance organizational effectiveness.  Tim can be reached at

Tim McConnell, MPA, SPHR
Managing Partner

McConnell HR Consulting Inc.
260 Hearst Way, Suite 603
Ottawa, Ontario K2L 3H1

Compensation Management  – Organization Architects –  HR Strategy  –  HR Outsourcing