Restructuring or Reorganizing an Organization

Shweta Saraf

Director of Platform Networking at Netflix



We wanted to build a more vertical team, so when the time came for restructuring we ended up combining several teams and there was a definite learning curve. People had to undergo training and become more comfortable.

Actions taken

  • As a leader, I had to establish a long term vision of what the team needed to achieve these goals and how they would progress over a period of 12-18 months.
  • I had to understand the business need for doing a restructure rather than focusing my work on building a relationship with the manager.
  • I turned to small engineering for when a lot of urgent things needed to be done. We broke boundaries of who reports to whom and when we found the best person to do the job, we gave them a quarter to complete that job and operate in a team structure.
  • I worked with all of my stakeholders upon entering into this new plan. I had to run the concept by a few key people in the organization to take their input into account.
  • When I was ready to publically announce these changes, it was imperative that I first speak to the employees who would face direct manager changes.

Lessons learned

  • A leader has to look far beyond what a manager would normally envision for the team. They have to see future pitfalls and successes before they happen.
  • Restructuring needs to be done for the right reasons, like growing someone into a new role or a business expansion that has teams growing at a faster rate, therefore needing reorganization. Do not disrupt this for selfish reasons.
  • There is a very strong alignment with what success looks like. Everyone became aligned on that front even if they hadn't worked with each other. It has allowed people to cross-pollinate and work together without the fear of a manager change.
  • The opinions of those other than managers, such as senior engineers and product people, are important to avoid having any big red flags or surprises.

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Shweta Saraf

Director of Platform Networking at Netflix

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