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Balancing Act: Designing a Leaner Organizational Structure for a Federal Defense Agency’s Contracting Command

Case Study

Balancing Act: Designing a Leaner Organizational Structure for a Federal Defense Agency’s Contracting Command

Faced with sequestration and declining resources, a federal defense agency’s contracting command needed to re-align resources to ensure enduring support of its mission

The Censeo team’s work on the transformation project was exceptional over the past year, exceeding our expectations of the value they would provide to the transformation effort… the recommendations they created from the analysis were much deeper and more valuable to the transformation team’s efforts than we anticipated. – Transformation Project Lead


Over the years, the Command, which provides acquisition support to federal defense customers, had expanded to more 100 locations based on ad hoc support needs and legacy relationships. Customer alignment and resource allocation evolved locally and without coordination from the center. As a result, the workload wasn’t balanced across the organization and was disconnected from resourcing. Additionally, locations were mostly self-contained operating units failing to leverage expertise and shared services across the organization.

When the Command was faced with a decreasing budget but no reductions in workload, it recognized the need to rethink its operating approach. The Command engaged Censeo to help them analyze their current state, design an operating and organizational model that helped them achieve their mission with fewer resources, and transform the organization to the new model.


Censeo took a three-pronged approach to analyzing the current state of the Command and develop appropriate courses of action:

  • Stakeholder and Customer discussions to identify true needs and facilitate acceptance
  • Workload analysis by location, customer, and area of expertise to identify current imbalances and future realignment options
  • Evaluation of existing operating model and overhead structure to identify opportunities for consolidation and efficiency gains


The analysis showed that customers appreciated a dedicated point of contact but did not need full service centers onsite. Additionally, workload analysis identified which locations were currently carrying a higher per-employee-workload than others and which customers drove the imbalance. When combined with the identified operating inefficiencies, Censeo was able to design a new operating model that better leveraged the Command’s resources, reduced overhead requirements, and balanced workload.

The solution included a “store-front / back-office” model to consolidate activities in shared service centers, including the closing of certain physical locations, consolidation of oversight and management, and a realignment of customers to balance the workload across all centers.


The Command was able to absorb its required workforce reduction without impairing its mission. Furthermore, the operational improvement from consolidated expertise, streamlined customer alignment, and concentrated shared service centers increased the organization’s overall effectiveness.