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Moving from Silos to Teams: Updating a Department’s Organizational Structure to Support Its Bold New Strategy

Case Study

Moving from Silos to Teams: Updating a Department’s Organizational Structure to Support Its Bold New Strategy

Censeo transformed a department’s organizational structure to better support its new ambitious strategic plan.


The client, a major federal department, recently refreshed its strategic plan. It is an ambitious one, focused on expanding the department’s customer reach by 100X in number. At the time of this engagement, leadership also wanted to instill a culture of change and innovation in the heart of the department, enabling its people to continuously learn, improve and ultimately better serve their customers. Censeo was brought in to help design and implement a new organizational structure that enables the department to deliver its bold strategy.


Taking a top-down design approach, Censeo worked with department leadership to define a conceptual blueprint that described the department’s organizational mission, core competencies and shared values. From these discussions, we helped leadership describe a select number of organizational imperatives. Examples included: demonstrating measurable impact on customers, being quick to act on new program opportunities, minimizing barriers between team members, and supporting employees’ skill development. Through a series of workshops, Censeo facilitated an evaluation of different organizational models to determine what would work best for the department to meet these imperatives.


The result is a new organizational structure with large, multi-skilled teams each assigned to a customer segment. Not only does the new structure ensure that customer impact is central to decision-making, it also enables the department to have the staffing agility to assign people new program opportunities. Furthermore, the new organization structure also introduces cross-cutting support functions. Examples include Talent Development, Budget and Finance, and Measurement and Evaluation. This change has eliminated process fragmentation and encouraged knowledge sharing across people and teams.
Organizations are comprised of people, the roles that they perform, the structures that organize their relationships, and the processes they perform. In addition to developing an organization structure, Censeo also played an integral role in communicating and implementing this organizational change. This included defining operational and organizational (management) processes, and roles and responsibilities, required to put the concept to action. Throughout the transition, employees have demonstrated excitement about the new opportunities provided by the updated structure for increased program reach, collaboration and professional development.

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