Span of control is the ratio between managers and their direct reports. The table below estimates the span of control based on the size of the company. I have read that 5 is considered an ideal value for traditionally lead organizations, that the span of control tends to be higher at operational levels (more works per manager), then lower at mid-levels, and finally higher again at the top levels.
Amazon’s website has one-click purchases. Why? To make it easy to say yes to what you are buying. There is only one click between “I want” and “I bought!” Additional clicks risk losing the customer. I believe that layers of management are like clicks on the shopping page – each layer of management is an opportunity to to say no to an innovative idea. The more layers of management, the harder it is to be responsive and innovative. How many layers of management does your company have? How many are too many?
A low span of control could be an warning of low productivity (due to a low percentage of operational staff) and a difficult decision-making processes due to the long chains of command and conflicting goals of many influential stakeholders.
Too much management can be very expensive because of:
Companies come to when they recognize that they are challenged to accomplish corporate initiatives. Would you like to talk about this issue? Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation here!
Edit: Added the list of costs associated with too much management.
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