How to Create an Org Chart

By Brett Derricott

As organizations grow in size, they often grow in complexity as well. When an organization is small, it’s pretty easy to keep track of each person and what they do. In a growing organization, though, it’s no longer feasible for any one person to know everyone and to keep track of who fills each position in the organization.

An organizational chart is a great tool to solve this challenge. Org charts provide a visual representation of each person in the organization and the person to whom they report. These reporting relationships create a visual hierarchy that “maps” the organizational hierarchy.

Org charts typically include photos, names, and titles, but any desired information can be included (see below how larger orgs use tools to facilitate this).

Pro tip: Basic org charts are based on people, but professionals will always build their charts based on positions so that as people come and go, the hierarchy remains intact. This is a fundamental requirement in Position Management best practices.

How Do Small Companies Create Org Charts?

As a small company grows, it’s very common to assign someone to start maintaining an org chart so that leadership (and the rest of the company) can keep track of the growing organization. Often this person is in charge of human resources, the office, or another administrative role.

This first attempt at creating and maintaining an org chart is usually a manual process that involves using simple tools like Visio, PowerPoint, or another chart drawing tool. These tools provide a blank canvas to draw an org chart can be drawn, box by box, until the entire organization is represented.

Once the initial chart is created, it doesn’t take long to realize that each new hire, termination, or promotion means the chart needs to be updated again. For a company with a few dozen employees, this manual drawing method might work fine. But even in smaller orgs with a lot of turnover or hiring, manually keeping an org chart up to date will quickly become challenging.

How do Larger, More Mature Companies Create Org Charts?

As a company continues to grow, this manual org chart drawing process becomes time intensive and untenable. Leadership in the organization become frustrated that the org chart they are reviewing is always out of date. The person or people responsible for maintaining the org chart become tired of drawing and redrawing the org chart. And everyone recognizes that a lot of time and energy is being wasted. Some larger organizations report spending over 20 hours per month on maintaining their org charts! This painstaking situation leads growing organizations to a dynamic, automated org chart software product like Built.

Using an org chart software solution, such as Built, means each new hire, termination, or promotion can be automatically synced to the org chart from an HRIS, payroll system, or other data source. This completely eliminates the need for a person to waste hours and hours each month updating the org chart. Management and leadership also benefit dramatically from having an org chart that is always accurate and up to date.

In addition to the above benefits, a data-driven org chart provides the ability to dynamically change the chart to personalize the desired display information. For example, an interactive org chart can be updated in real time to show additional data beyond the basic name, photo, and title. Want to know how long each employee has been employed by the organization? Simply click to display that. Interested in seeing how much each person is being paid? Another click will add that data.

Color coding is another benefit of a data-driven organizational chart. Using the data that powers the org chart, a software product like Built can automatically color code the chart based on any set of desired rules. For example, full time employees could be color coded blue while part time employees are color coded green.

There are many other reasons to consider using an interactive, data-driven org chart system like Built:

  • Create and merge scenario charts to explore growth and changes
  • Export charts to many different formats for use in other systems
  • Link and share interactive org charts instead of PDFs or static pictures
  • Add additional, related tools like Position Management and Succession Planning modules

Whether you’re a small organization just creating your first org chart or a large company ready to take your org chart to the next level, schedule a demo to see how Built can help.

Schedule a demo today to learn more about the benefits of managing your positions with Built.