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Optimize Span of Control

Increase cost containment, productivity, and people management capabilities by optimizing span of control.

Contrary to popular belief, widening the span of control by reducing the number of managers does not always correlate to cost savings. Span of control isn't a math problem; it’s an organizational effectiveness problem.

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Speak With An Analyst.

  • Get on-demand project support
  • Get advice, coaching, and insight at key project milestones
  • Go through a Guided Implementation to help you get through your project

Our Advice

Critical Insight

There’s no magic number when it comes to span of control; to be agile in the face of rapid change, organizations must be strategic in aligning span of control with organizational goals in both the short and the long term.

Impact and Result

Use McLean & Company’s customized span of control process to effectively prepare to restructure, including the following activities:

  • Collection and analysis of organizational data to identify span of control patterns, extract insights, and determine pain points.
  • Assessment of the five critical factors that impact span of control, from both an organizational and a functional perspective.
  • Review of the various cost-saving scenarios through widening span of control.
  • Establishment of high-level span of control parameters to guide customization efforts.
  • Tracking of organizational and project metrics.

Optimize Span of Control Research & Tools

1. Determine current span of control

Select span of control project team, collect current data, and review data to extract insights.

2. Assess impacts on current span of control

Assess span of control impacts on the organization, brainstorm cost savings, and determine next steps.

3. Prepare to deploy initiative

Set scope and timeline, develop optimization process, and conduct information sessions in preparation for project implementation.

4. McLean Academy Learning Snapshot

Watch this learning snapshot for an introduction to developing an organizational design.

Optimize Span of Control preview picture

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 6 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Determine current span of control
  • Call 1: Discuss data collection options.
  • Call 2: Review current span of control data to identify patterns and insights.

Guided Implementation 2: Assess impacts on current span of control
  • Call 1: Discuss assessment of impact factors.
  • Call 2: Review potential for cost savings.

Guided Implementation 3: Prepare to deploy initiative
  • Call 1: Discuss project scope and process steps.
  • Call 2: Review communication plan.


  • Human Resources Manager, Construction Machinery and Equipment Company
  • Ronald Capelle, President & CEO and Author, Capelle Associates
  • Sharon Patterson, Former SVP, Human Resources, Canadian Tire Corporation
  • Andrea Peres, Director, Human Resources, Moneris
  • Bramora Rebello, Director, Compensation & HR Analytics, Chemtrade Logistics
  • Karen Riddell, Director, Talent Strategy & Employee Experience, London Health Sciences Centre
  • Richard Sperling, Consultant and Principal, Sperling HR, LLC.
  • Naomi Stanford, Organizational Design Consultant
  • Stuart Wigham, Director at Wigham Consultancy Services Ltd.
  • Tammy Williams, Director, Human Resources, Zappos