When I joined the Synapse team, I was asked to rebuild the reporting lines and overall studio structure.
Issues: The company started as a small group of 8-10 people. During that time, a flat reporting structure straight up to the GM/CEO made sense for efficiency and nimble day-to-day work. Since then the studio has grown to 27+ employees. Project game leads had multiple disciplines reporting to them. The project leads couldn't offer guidance and growth to their reports as they didn't specialize in those trades.
There were also 7 leads reporting up to the GM/CEO, which didn't allow the GM/CEO to step back and look out into the future. Quarterly planning suffered, and the team members felt stagnant without any discipline or career guidance.
Solution: I implemented a discipline-based reporting structure that focused on employee growth and development. We put a pod structure together in the office to keep teams nimble and communicative. We started weekly discipline syncs, and found natural leaders for each discipline: QA, Engineering, Art, and Game Design. We also formed a leadership council to allow our newly formed leadership team to grow and learn together.
We redefined the reporting structure so Myself, the PM Lead, and the CTO were now the only direct reports to the CEO. This allowed our leadership team to step back and look at the studio with a wider lens.