5 Pillars of Ideal Organizational Chart Creation

April 7, 2023

8:25 AM

By OrgChart Team


organizational chart design — 5 Pillars of Ideal Organizational Chart Creation

What do the city of Rome and your company’s ideal org chart have in common? Neither can be built in a day.

Through a combination of strategy, engineering, and military conquests, Rome’s construction took years and involved the efforts of many people. As the city grew, its engineers developed advanced construction techniques, such as the use of concrete, arches, and vaults, which contributed to great structures like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and aqueducts that brought fresh water to the city.

Similarly, successful organizational chart creation isn’t a one-and-done process, performed in a human resources silo. As a company evolves, so too should its org chart. Here, we’ll discuss five essential pillars for creating an ideal org chart — and unlike Rome, it will take much less time to build.

Plan according to your organization’s vision and mission.

It makes sense that the structure of an organization is only as strong as the mission and values that support it. However, many companies begin mapping out what already exists without thinking critically if that structure actually helps meet their short- and long-term goals and objectives.

Before even thinking about org chart creation, key stakeholders need to revisit the big picture: who are we, and why are we here? If it isn’t apparent, or hasn’t been discussed in some time, here are some ways to get to the answer as a team:

  • Identify the organization’s core values. These are the fundamental beliefs that guide decision-making, culture, and behavior.
  • Define the organization’s purpose. Why does the organization exist? What problem does it solve? What needs does it address? What unique value does it provide to its stakeholders?
  • Set specific goals. What does the organization want to achieve? How do these goals align with the organization’s values and purpose?
  • Consider the target audience. Who does the organization serve? What are their needs and expectations?
  • Draft a mission statement. Taking into account the organization’s values, purpose, goals, and target audience, draft a clear and concise mission statement that summarizes the organization’s primary focus and objectives.
  • Refine and finalize the mission statement: Share your draft mission statement with key stakeholders, such as employees, customers, and partners, and get feedback. Use this feedback to refine and finalize your mission statement.

Once everyone is aligned on the organization’s mission and vision, it is time to begin thinking about organizational structure and design.

Build around functions, roles, and responsibilities — not individuals.

There is no right or wrong org structure — there are many different organizational designs that meet the needs of companies at varying stages of growth. There is, however, an incorrect way to go about choosing a design.

Don’t start with specific individuals and build the org chart out around them. Rather, keep names out of the equation and focus instead on the roles and responsibilities required to meet the organization’s goals and objectives. Is it to bring new products to market? Or is it to expand into new markets via a merger or acquisition? What type of autonomy and control is required to achieve these goals?

By removing the names, the organization is forced to think in terms of what key roles, functional teams, and responsibilities will get to the end goal. The result is often an org chart that looks much different from what is currently in use.

Understand limitations.

While it can be exciting charting a new course, it’s important to keep in mind well-known limitations, specifically around the span of control. There is quite a bit of research available on the number of people a manager can supervise effectively, and it may already be an issue with your current organizational structure.

Think about where decision-making bottlenecks often occur, or where there has been employee turnover and disengagement. It may be occurring in departments where an individual manager has too many direct reports.

Be dynamic: collaborate, update, share, repeat.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced businesses to become more nimble — the org chart should be as well. Instead of a one-and-done event, today’s org chart is dynamic, always evolving and updating with the company’s needs.

In an increasingly hybrid, distributed workplace, easy cross-team (or cross-continent) organizational chart creation and collaboration is a must. All employees should have varying degrees of access to the information within the company’s structure. Key stakeholders should be able to collaborate, share, and update the org chart with ease.

Utilize the right org chart creation tools

The org chart is one of the most important tools for organizational planning, insights, and visibility. Today, vital information exists within most HRIS systems — so why would some organizations still extract and compile data manually?

Now more than ever, it is critical to get the org chart you need, when you need it.

Enter OrgChart. A flexible, scalable, and secure web-based solution, OrgChart connects with existing HR tools and data for a seamless workplace visualization experience. OrgChart helps teams get up and running quickly in order to:

  • Get a complete visual understanding of the company
  • See the current state of the organization in real-time, via automatic updates
  • Understand the depth and breadth of employee talents
  • Uncover emerging workforce trends
  • Reveal synergies between team needs and available talent

OrgChart: Your Building Blocks for Success.

OrgChart helps HR professionals leverage information in support of their efforts to enable the successful execution of business strategy through people by generating organizational charts and facilitating workforce planning initiatives.

“You must be able to easily and accurately see the people behind the chart. We know HR professionals are the experts in their organization’s people. We empower them with the ability to produce the visibility, insights, and mission their organizations need.” – Tom McCarty, CEO, OrgChart

Discover how OrgChart can help you reimagine your workforce and build for the future.