While\n\nthe majority of businesses find themselves with the right amount of\n\nlayers of management, almost a third have either "delayered" or likely\n\nwill in the future.Besides being one of the latest business buzzwords, "delayering"\n\n(reducing the layers of management) seems just right for some\n\norganizations.Seventy percent of senior executives and managers overall say their\n\norganization has the right amount of layers, based on a global survey\n\nby NFI Research. However, there is a significant difference based on\n\ncompany size.A third of large companies have too many layers of management, based\n\non the survey, and more than half of them either have delayered or plan\n\nto."The most positive trend I\u2019ve seen is the current move to delayer,"\n\nsaid one survey respondent. "Too many levels of management stifle\n\ncreativity and slow down the decision-making process. In today\u2019s world,\n\na CEO needs to be able to communicate with all levels of an\n\norganization with speed and candor."As market and business conditions evolve, some companies find they have to modify their management layers more than once."My area has been delayered, then relayered in the past two years,"\n\nsaid one manager. "At the very top (executive vice president level),\n\nlayers were added. The next group (senior vice president and down)\n\ncontinually delayered. With boomers retiring, it should be interesting\n\nin the next few years."A relatively small percentage of executives and managers see their\n\norganizations as having not enough layers of management, for various\n\nreasons."Because of our growth, we\u2019ve recently added a layer of management\n\nin some areas," said one respondent. "We had too many reports for some\n\nmanagers. They were spread too thin and couldn\u2019t be productive.\n\nAdditionally, their reporting departments could not be as productive as\n\nthey needed without more time from their management."Said another: "My organization recently added a layer, moving from\n\nthree layers (president, managers and staff) to four (president,\n\nexecutive managers, supervisors and staff). The change was beneficial,\n\nas our management meetings were too large to do any effective problem\n\nsolving or strategic thinking. As we\u2019ve grown, we have made a concerted\n\neffort to minimize the number of layers, and it has resulted in a\n\nstructure that doesn\u2019t interfere with our purpose."With fewer layers of management, there are some clear potential\n\nbenefits, such as management being closer to the customer and more\n\nstreamlined execution."The fewer the layers the better," said one manager. "You, the\n\ncustomer and the boss communicate much more clearly when it\u2019s voice to\n\nvoice and face to face. Filters are only good for keeping the lint off\n\nthe clothes.""Our greatest need for reducing management layers is in managing\n\nprojects," said another. "The more layers of management a project has,\n\nthe greater number of human interfaces are created, which results in\n\ngreater complexity and unnecessarily puts project delivery at risk.\n\nThis is a common occurrence in functionally organized project\n\nmanagement structures, and is less prevalent in matrix project\n\nstructures, but the latter require stronger project management\n\nleadership to be effective."The true key in delayering is to make sure the layers that are\n\nultimately in place value the people within them and are effective at\n\nletting customers easily navigate through those layers.