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Optimize Your Span of Control

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

  • Absence of a standard approach to optimizing span of control (SoC) creates a lot of uncertainty around measurement, analysis, and timing decisions.
  • Managers play a significant role in driving engagement. Overlooking engagement decisions in SoC can be risky. The SoC structure must be optimized to leave space for leadership action that improves engagement.

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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

  • Span of control isn't a math problem; it is an organizational effectiveness problem. To effectively optimize SoC, organizations must be strategic in aligning SoC with organizational goals in both the short and long term.
  • There’s no magic number when it comes to SoC; in order to be agile in the face of rapid change, every organization, business function, or industry requires a structure specific to its unique circumstances, and these may change over time.

Impact and Result

Use McLean & Company’s customized SoC process to effectively prepare to restructure. Complete the SoC Playbook to capture project decisions and data for all iterations of your SoC optimization process, including:

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

Optimize Your Span of Control Research & Tools

2. Assess impacts on current SoC

Assess SoC 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.

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 SoC
  • Call 1: Discuss data collection options.
  • Call 2: Review current SoC data to identify patterns and insights.

Guided Implementation 2: Assess impacts on current SoC
  • 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