While many organizations have some version of an org chart, most fail to realize the full potential and value a chart can contribute. Nor do they realize that organizational charts are a highly effective tool for workforce modeling and scenario planning.
How Org Charts Facilitate SuccessWhen they are fully utilized, organizational charts provide managers with the information they need to make decisions about organizational structure and resource allocation; provide a framework for change and measuring the financial and operational effects; and communicating structural and operational information to all employees.
The ability to visualize the company structure is one of the most important activities for managers because it allows them to quickly assess the organization's ability to meet current and future goals.
Connecting Managers to Real-Time InformationWhen Human Resources or IT create organizational charts automatically from HR databases and distribute them to management, these managers not only are able to quickly visualize the organization, they are also provided with salary, gender, tenure and other knowledge needed for decision-making purposes, spotting trends fast and achieving a better understanding of their business. Simply put, managing change is much easier when you can visualize the organization - before and after.
Planning for Organizational SuccessOrganizational charts provide management with a planning and feedback system. It's easy to collaborate on important structural and personnel decisions when viewing both the individual pieces together with the big picture. Providing managers with specific departmental information can then be used as a baseline for planning, budgeting and workforce modeling.
Organizational charts can be linked directly to spreadsheets or budgeting tools for interactive what-if analysis - facilitating planning and decision making. Those charts can then be used to provide scenarios back to executives, finance and HR for evaluation and approval. Managers can also use them to communicate and solicit feedback from their employees to build future plans.
A Picture is Worth A Thousand WordsIt is far easier for people to assimilate and understand large amounts of information as a visual picture than as a table of names and numbers. For that reason, organizational charts are an extremely effective way to communicate organizational, employee and enterprise information.
Publishing a chart to an entire organization via a shared network communicates valuable information to all employees. It's an ideal means of sharing the strategic vision. An org chart can also define the leadership as well as responsibilities, dependencies and relationships throughout the organization. And it facilitates the structures of teams with clear responsibilities, titles and lines of authority. No document carries such important information in a concise and easy to understand format as an organizational chart.
Martin Sacks is the President and CEO of HumanConcepts, the developer of OrgPlus. OrgPlus is an industry standard for organizational charting and is used by over 500,000 professionals worldwide, in organizations of every size, including over 400 of the Fortune 500 companies.