Minahan Group
Organization Strategy & Design

Sample Engagements

Client: International Union

Project: IT Assessments

As a result of a merger between two international unions, MM&A was retained to conduct an assessment of the current state of the IT function and make organizational, operational, and future technology improvement recommendations. The assessment included stakeholder interviews with both union presidents and key staff from their respective IT organizations, and an online survey and assessment of future technology needs. In addition to the organizational review, a comprehensive review of current IT systems, particularly membership tracking and billing systems, was conducted. Working with a small internal team, MM&A developed a comprehensive strategic map for implementation, including a highly detailed series of recommendations outlining organizational options, technical architecture, and infrastructure requirements for a future state IT organization. 

Results: All key recommendations were adopted and implemented, resulting in a greatly improved and more cost efficient IT organization. New capabilities were added that allowed a more efficient management of membership lists and billing activities.

Project: Federal Scientific Research Coordination

Facilitating the work of senior scientists from a variety of federal environmental research labs in allocating funds for nationwide research program. The goals of the project were to improve the quality of the science team's decisions, reduce the length of time that decision take, improve the team's decision process, better coordinate work across research labs, and enable the team to better learn from its past. Consulting assistance include observation of team's business meetings, data collection among scientists from various lab sites, support to the preparation and design of decision meetings, facilitation of problem solving meetings, use of critical incident methodology, coaching to team leader and feedback to team members. 

Results: significant improvements in the quality of team decisions, and the clarity of roles as reported by scientists and lab directors, increased effectiveness of team leader in dealing with scientists and lab director.

Client: International Organization

Project: Region-wide Strategic Change Program

Leading a consulting team in the design, facilitation, and implementation of a change program in a region of an international organization. The change initiative includes soliciting inputs from business clients, developing a statement of regional values, business strategy and scorecard, simplifying business processes, designing new client interfaces, developing a new organizational structure, designing leadership and management jobs, developing a regional approach to teamwork, aligning incentives with desired outcomes, and building regional change management capacity. Consulting assistance includes developing the methodology for the change initiative, providing the conceptual models, structuring tasks, managing interdependencies, developing the communications and engagement strategy, managing involvement of senior management, coaching senior managers, facilitating decision meetings and retreats, providing access to outside resources. 

Results: mission, vision, business strategy implemented, organizing principles accepted, major processes streamlined, new structure implemented, strengthening capacity of leadership team, ongoing decentralization, management roles redefined, budget and IT support rationalized.

Client: Risk Management Organization

Project: Strategic Planning

Consulting to the leadership of a risk management organization handling $22B per year, in developing a strategic plan, succession plan, and enhancing capacity of the leadership team. The goals are to reposition the organization in its primary market, support the leadership team through a leadership transition, and increase the organization's capacity to influence its environment. Consulting assistance includes design and facilitation of the strategic planning methodology, developing engagement and communications strategies for the organization, designing and facilitating a benchmarking process, coaching of senior executives, facilitating decision meetings and retreats. 

Results: benchmarking underway, strategic plan developed and being implemented, influence strategies developed, seminars for senior clients and partners designed and being delivered, success indicators being developed.

Client: International Organization

Project: Treasury-wide Business and Strategic Management

Led a consulting team in the design, facilitation, and implementation of a strategic visioning process for the Vice President and Treasurer of an international organization. Initiated by a change in leadership, this project included a market analysis and positioning phase, assessment of competitive strengths and weaknesses, collaborative process for developing a mission and vision statement, developing business strategies for major departments, consolidation of functions, aligning major business processes, departmental restructuring, developing a new "compact" with staff, ongoing implementation. Consulting assistance included executive coaching, providing conceptual models and structuring tasks, assisting with communications, advising on engagement strategy, facilitating key meetings and retreats. 

Results: new business units formed, business operating plans in place, departments consolidated, leadership team appointed, new managerial compact implemented. 

Client: Financial Operations Department, International Organization

Project: Asset and Liability Management

Led a consulting team and provided ongoing consulting support to directors and management teams over a 10 year period in the Financial Operations Department of an international organization. The goals were to consolidate asset/liability management functions and expand opportunities for staff development, with emphases on values-based management, efficient use of resources, retaining key people, all the while remaining competitive in financial markets. Consulting tasks included conducting action research on the work of the department, redesign of funding group work and jobs, management audit of systems development and technology support functions, management audit of accounting practices and systems, facilitated process to articulate departmental values, facilitated departmental consolidation decision process, coaching to managers, implementation support. 

Results: increased efficiency and reduced overheads by streamlined work flows and redesigned jobs for: core business, information management, technology support, and accounting and auditing and consolidation of divisions.

Client: Bank

Project: Defining Institutional Values

Led a consulting team which developed guiding principles for an international organization and tested them with senior management and staff. The goal was to develop and market test a core set of values, or guiding principles, which would support the Bank's future business strategy. Management tasks included the design and delivery of the staff consultation process involving 300 staff in 30 focus groups, to provide them direct access and the opportunity to react to the guiding principles, development of sampling strategy for the focus groups, recruitment and deployment of 30 project team members, aggregation of results, and preparation of final report and management briefings. 

Result: Guiding Principles articulated, used as major input to business strategy development and other change efforts, and more than 300 people engaged in the process.

Client: International Organization

Project: Presidential Task Force

Designed and facilitated the work of the President's task force on managerial and professional excellence at an international organization. The goal was to build on work already done to develop a diagnosis and make recommendations on improving the managerial and professional excellence within the institution. This task force, and one other, provided the key recommendations which drove the development of the institution's change agenda for FY96-99. Consulting tasks included nomination of vice presidents and directors as participants, acting as liaison to related institutional work, designing and organizing the day to day work of the group and its subteams, summarizing suggestions provided to the President's office, accessing and synthesizing relevant literature, providing consulting support to the group, deploying consulting support to the subteams, mobilizing resources for process mapping and presentation preparation, advising leaders on change and influence strategies. 

Results: Recommendations accepted by President and vice presidents, implementation ongoing.

Project: Organizational Diagnosis and Development

Facilitated the HR VP's task force on performance management systems and practices at an international organization. The goal was to assess the organization's current performance management system and to provide recommendations for improvements. Consulting tasks included nomination and recruitment of participants, providing access to archives and other related institutional information, designing the overall approach to the work, assisting task teams to define tasks and develop work approaches, testing ideas with key constituents, providing access to support tools for presentation preparation and process mapping, advising leader on change and influence strategies. 

Results: Recommendations accepted by President and vice presidents, implementation ongoing.

Client: International Organization

Project: Region-wide Information Technology Management and Support

Designed, facilitated, and lead a consulting team working with a group of managers and staff from the East Asia and Pacific region of an international organization. The goal was to assess the organization and management of information technology in the region and to suggest improvements. Group members included users, managers, and other stakeholders, including people who could lose their jobs. Consulting tasks included clarification of outcomes, scope of work, and role of the sponsor, recruitment of participants, coaching the group leader, defining and integrating the work of participants and various stakeholders, managing the tasks of subteams, providing access to other institutional resources involved in similar areas, advising on the structure and parameters of the final report, developing a communication and dissemination strategy. 

Results: Technology strategy developed, support function redefined, most staff redeployed, savings of US$500K per annum.

Client: International Organization

Project: Region-wide Consolidation and Downsizing

Designed and managed the process for consolidation of three regional departments into two, and the absorption of a 15% budget cut in a region of an international organization. The goal was to reduce overheads and fragmentation of delivery capacity by consolidating three operating departments into two with no interruption of country or delivery continuity. Tasks included facilitating senior managers' articulation of goals, principles and staff selection criteria, design of the decision process, chairing sector-wide decision meetings, validating decisions with senior managers, mobilizing support for staff not selected, integrating services with the HR function, designing support mechanisms for managers, developing communication strategy, and managing the managers' messages. 

Results: All goals fully achieved in four weeks.

Client: International Organization

Project: Region-wide Process Streamlining

Co-designed and facilitated the mainstreaming of business process simplification in a region of an international organization. The goal was to consolidate best practices from three operating departments into unified, streamlined business processes for the region. Consulting support included designing the approach for inventorying best practices, advising the project-wide steering group, defining the tasks of the cross-department teams, facilitating off-site meetings, designing the approach to integrating the work across teams, support senior managers during implementation. 

Results: The region reduced most product preparation costs by 20% and reduced time-to-market by 15%.

Client: International Organization

Project: Department-wide Business Process Innovation

Led the implementation consulting team for a department wide business process innovation project in a region of an international organization. The goal was to follow up on a major business process redesign effort in the department, to align the support systems and processes with the streamlined procedures. Consulting support included support to the design team and its consultants, design and facilitation of off-site management workshops and departmental retreats, providing coaching and feedback to managers, advising on the alignment of management practices and systems, support to country teams. 

Results: The department reduced its project preparation costs by 20%, and the results were mainstreamed elsewhere in the region and the Bank.

Client: International Organization

Project: Business Process Innovation in HR Function

Led the consulting team that designed and facilitated the process improvement team which consolidated transactions into an HR service center at an international organization. The goal was to centralize and automate all HR transactions into one high tech service center. Consulting support included developing the methodology for the work, nominating team members, managing the benchmarking phase, defining and supporting individual and small group work, facilitating group meetings, monitoring linkages to other HR initiatives, assistance in process mapping, managing focus groups to market test ideas, outline final recommendations, provide feedback and coaching to team leaders. 

Results: All HR transactions are now centralized in service center; overall costs have been reduced by 10%, which response times have improved by an average of 12%.

Client: International Organization

Project: Managed the Organization Development Program

Designed, staffed, and managed organization-wide OD program at an international organization. The goals were to support senior managers with organization development consulting, and to increase the organization development capacity of HR staff and managers. Technical work included the design and delivery of interventions such as strategic planning, business process innovation, job design, and application of new technology.


  • Developed The Effectiveness Group, a network of internal partners and external consultants, to work on organizational change projects and to development change management capacity within the HR function, providing change management partnerships, internships, and professional mentoring for HR staff.

  • Designed, piloted, and delivered Bankwide Upward Feedback process, to provide 360 degree feedback to managers and coordinate feedback and follow-up to departmental attitude surveys.

  • Designed and managed Bankwide Action Research project to streamline business processes, more fully utilize office technology, and redesign jobs.

Client: World bank

Project: Technology Implementation

Participated in the implementation of new desk-top technology, focused on the impact on the organization of work, and the design of jobs. The goal was to provide desktop access to an international organization mainframes and centralized email servers to all staff. Tasks included abolishing centralized word processing units, developing a strategy to provide a Bankwide technical support infrastructure for PCs, managing several action research projects to apply the technology to streamline business processes; work with units in developing new ways to use readily accessible information.

Results: Work units developed strategies to overcome resistance to the technology, a technology support infrastructure was fully implemented Bankwide within one year, and the word processing units were abolished.

Client: World bank

Project: System-wide Reorganization

Participated in the design and implementation teams for major World Bank reorganization and downsizing. The goals were to develop a new institutional structure to increase client focus, to reposition the overall skills mix, and to downsize by 10%. Tasksincluded managing the design and simulation of the managerial and staff selection processes, managing the outplacement counseling service and the coordination of all other Bankwide support services; development of severance package; consulting to the implementation in the Finance complex. 

Results: Implemented new structures for Operations, Research, and Policy complexes, new managers and staff selected and in place in 90 days, 550 staff jobs abolished; payroll reduced by US$150M.

Project: Skills Mix Program

Managed a US$1.2M two year skills repositioning and retraining program. The goal was to add certain technical skills and macroeconomic capacity to an international organization by retraining sector economists and generalists. Tasks included designing an HR planning framework for use by line managers; developing a needs analysis protocol for use by HR staff; managing the peer group review process among the HR staff; consulting to the creation of, and approving development plans for staff to be retrained. 

Result: More than 120 technical staff were trained and redeployed into new functions.

Client: International Organization

Project: Management Selection Process

Managed the selection process for all managerial jobs in Operations, Research, and Policy at an international organization. The goal was to design and manage a transparent and collegial process by which vice presidents would make consider available candidates and make selections for managerial vacancies. Tasks included design of the process, developing specs for information system and data base to support the processes; engaging clients managers and HR staff; managing the processes for determining the candidate pool, preparing long lists and short lists; secretary to the meeting chair; and coordinating information flow within the HR function.

Result: After 3 months of design and startup, the system was fully operational, handling twice the monthly volume than previously.

Client: International Organization

Project: Management Development Program

Participated in the design and delivery of the first comprehensive management development program at an international organization. The goal was to broaden managers, who already had strong intellective capacity, and increase their capacity and skill in listening, communicating, performance planning, coaching, giving feedback, and organizational diagnosis. Tasks included development of the overall training curriculum; design of three week-long off site training courses; developing the candidate profile and needs assessment tools; introduction of live-case methodology and the use of video tape; introduction of instrumented feedback (MBTI, FIRO-B, Kirton A/I, Strong-Campbell, Wilson MLMS.)

Result: A program that was oversubscribed after the first week, and which enabled managers to expand their capacity in performance and HR management.