The Roads, Places and Environment (RPE) Group is a 1000-person group within the UK Department for Transport (DfT), which is responsible for planning and investing in UK’s transport and infrastructure.
The RPE Group had grown rapidly as it took on responsibility for government priorities such as decarbonisation and Levelling Up. Over 12 months the group had grown by 45 per cent to around 1,000 FTE, increasing directorate sizes and control spans to challenging levels, and causing tensions where responsibilities were not clearly demarcated. RPE engaged Nous to help it create a more sustainable organisational structure for the future.
Deputy Director and Project Lead at the Department for Transport, UK
Nous led RPE through a best-practice six-step organization design process to determine the right structure for the group. Working closely together we:
We worked iteratively with senior department stakeholders to define, test and improve the design at each stage. This collaborative approach ensured that key figures in the department had ownership of the final design outcomes.
Given the broad and evolving nature of government priorities and emphasis in transport and environment policy, it was critical to define the group’s current strategic priorities in a condensed format. We helped RPE to concretize this in a strategy on a page as part of the project’s first step. This concise document was foundational for the later design work.
The final design, which was signed off for phased implementation, structured the RPE Group around key policy areas and strategic priorities, improved control spans to increase senior bandwidth, and consolidated functions that were cross-cutting and better situated elsewhere. This will position the department to continue working effectively and respond to future demands.