Our Success Stories

Kingston University

Kingston University engaged with Caja to support a review of its professional/support services (c.1000 staff). The University was facing challenges due to:

  • Organic growth of structures that were not designed or controlled in line with strategic imperatives i.e. costs in the Professional and Support services were increasing despite a stability in student numbers
  • Structures not aligning to a clearly defined purpose and accountabilities
  • Activity duplication
  • Single points of dependency
  • Inability of teams to flex to service demand changes
  • Singular, narrow remits of managers with many one-on-one reporting lines
  • Stunted career pathways with no lateral opportunities
  • Inadequate support aligned to academic priorities

In response, Caja deployed its 4-stage Organisational Design process:

  • Stage 1 - Data Collection, Validation and Scenario Planning

    Caja consultants analysed extensive data sources to ensure the current picture was understood, externally benchmarking it against other similar sized Universities using industry recognised indices e.g. Staff:Student ratios. This included validating staff lists, reporting lines, salaries, functional purposes and key processes for each function. This stage also included financial analysis to determine the scale of financial efficiencies to be achieved in the non-pay budgets. Headcount modelling was carried out to establish the ‘art of possible’ through engagement with key Senior Leadership groups, producing an overarching business case.

  • Stage 2 - Design

    A series of principles were established for the new design of the structure with the establishment of an overarching governance group. Scope included an approach to consistent job titles, job evaluation and role profiles/job descriptions, an approach to consultation and engagement, a reduction to 5 hierarchical levels and significant headcount and financial modelling. In leading the design, Caja ensured an Impact analysis was undertaken to ensure that the implications of implementing the new structure on people, process and technology was understood. Equality Impact assessments were also conducted on each phase of the structure design.

  • Stage 3 - Implementation & Formal Consultation

    Caja lead the planning and preparation of the formal consultation documents working alongside and advising the senior leadership team. This included the processes for populating the new structures (where individuals were being slotted into amended roles, slotting into alternative roles and limited competition etc) which was the implemented through the HR Business Partners with Caja’s SMEs advising. The 90-day formal consultation process was launched following the agreed Union engagement processes and the response to Consultation published

  • Stage 4 – Post Implementation & Outcomes

    As a result of the organisational design, Caja worked closely with the Vice Chancellor to establish his top team, including the redesign of Role Profiles and external salary benchmarking. This reduced the overall number of direct reports and the number of Directorates in the Support functions from 17 to 8 and delivering the target financial efficiencies. To embed the final structures, a network of Change Ambassadors was established to embed the new structures and oversee local transition plans. In addition, a headcount management governance process was put in place to ensure the organisational design was maintained within a defined cost envelope

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