Frequently Asked Questions

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Q1: Is Reconfig a social network analysis tool?

Reconfig is not a Social Network Analysis (SNA) tool even though Reconfig uses some SNA methods. While SNA focuses heavily on the informal or semi-formal communication going on in an organization, Reconfig is dedicated to the formal communication required for the organization to operate. Reconfig is tuned to analyze and design the organization to deliver on its purpose and strategy.

If you are looking for traditional SNA analysis of centricity and community structures there are plenty of alternatives that to this better than Reconfig. Reconfig was built from Day 1 with the key goal of designing more effective formal organizations.

Q2: How does Reconfig protect the data privacy?

Working with potentially Reconfig strives to be 

No, it does not. Reconfig maps the roles, and suggest how to
organize roles, not people. However, we have found that the
interpretation of the results is easier for clients when they can see
who currently holds a role (See Figure 23. One can de-select
names and only show titles if one prefers.) The individuals
should not necessarily keep the same roles when the structure is
changed. We recommend a separate role allocation process to
staff the roles in the new organization.

Q3: The tool seems to collect information about the current interdependencies. What if the strategy suggests that one should work differently in the future? 

Yes, that is right. One reason is that we believe that information about what people currently do is more reliable than (more speculative and uncertain) information about what people might be doing. 

However, there are definitely cases where the strategy or the external environment would suggest that a major shift is necessary. We have developed 4-5 different approaches that can be used in these cases. As one example, one may customize the standard Reconfig template, and instead, ask future-oriented questions.

One example could be:
“The management team has established a strategy to integrate our operations in the Southern region by 2020. In order to reach this goal, which team/sub-unit do you think that your unit should work more closely with, compared to what you do today?”

An alternative is to ask the same questions as in the standard version of the tool, but to filter out the activities that are going to be less important in the future. For example, in a project for a car manufacturer which seeks to convert its models to electrical engines, one may ask engineers what types of engines they work on, and, in the analysis phases, prioritize the data related to electrical engines. It is now also possible to edit the data manually. This means that one can add or delete roles and interdependencies, depending on the organization’s strategy and priorities. For example, if there are units that currently do not interact but should collaborate in the future, you can add these relationships.

Q4: Can Reconfig support all phases of the re-design process?

At the moment, we support some key tasks in the organization design process, but not all. We are continuously adding new features and our vision is to be a complete “workbench” for organization design. 

At the same time, we do not believe that every task can or should be performed in a software tool or that every task can be reduced to an analytical exercise. On the contrary, we recommend “triangulation” – the use of different sources of information, both quantitative and qualitative. 

For example, in most organization design processes, one should conduct interviews and workshops, in addition to using Reconfig. But by using Reconfig, one will speed up the data gathering process and free up time that can be used for analysis and interpretation.