Surviving Amalgamation: The Value of the Deep-Dive

Posted on October 13th, 2016 by admin

Amalgamation is a messy business. Whether it’s at Council, agency, division or team level, bringing people together under a new structure and expecting them to continue delivering business as usual is a big ask. Often, teams and functions are thrown together with little consideration for the differences in how they have historically operated – their distinct procedures, processes and systems. The results, unsurprisingly, are not good.

So how do you prevent the wheels from falling off?
The key to seamless amalgamation is laying the groundwork. This means understanding how things are done now and using this as a starting point to think about how they should be done in the new environment. Fyusion has developed an approach which allows organisations to build a sound understanding of their teams’ current practices and environments in order to pre-empt and mitigate the issues arising from centralisation of functions. We call this the Deep Dive.

What is the Fyusion Deep Dive?
The Deep Dive is essentially a participative process based on comprehensive research and consultation with staff and stakeholders within the organisation. It is ideally undertaken before the amalgamation, to understand the ‘as is’ state and to successfully transition to the new environment. The purpose of this process is to directly engage with as wide a pool of staff and stakeholders as possible in the project in order to obtain a thorough understanding of the current structure, environment, roles and responsibilities, processes, key challenges and issues, pain points and opportunities. In other words, to understand how things are currently done and why, and to form a basis for considering how things could be done more efficiently and effectively in the new world. This understanding then informs any subsequent project stages, including the design of solutions, new processes and implementation.

Why do you need to understand the past when you are moving into the future?
A trap many organisations fall into during amalgamation is that they are so focused on the future they don’t want to reflect on the past.  In theory this sounds sensible, but in practice it can be deadly. Without a detailed understanding of past processes and practices, it is impossible to know what is possible and achievable in the future.  Most of the time the decision to amalgamate is based on the need to achieve efficiencies of resourcing and processes – but you need to understand the past to achieve these benefits. Too often, workflows are crunched together in amalgamations without an understanding of their similarities and differences, resulting in processes that are more cumbersome and resource-intensive than they were originally. The devil really is in the detail!

If your organisation is facing amalgamation or attempting to adjust to a restructure, consider the value of the Deep Dive. The more you know about where you are now, the smoother the road into the future.

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