Tips to Write an Organization Chart

An organization chart provides a quick glance into how your company is structured. However, writing an organizational chart requires technical know-how of where to place feature boxes, shapes, images, illustrations, and icons. This article will cover everything from chart-making to its practical uses. 

What is an organization chart? 

An organization chart is a visual experience of a company hierarchy that depicts ranks, positions, and internal structure of who is responsible for what and who reports to whom. For example, in an organogram (an organization chart, also called an org chart or organogram), the featured boxes are connected with lines forming a chart. 

What does an organizational chart look like?  

Considering the hierarchy of relationships, an organizational chart usually shows the head of the company at the top, middle managers (department heads) on the next layer, and the company workforce on the bottom line. The reporting relationship between job titles and the roles draws in boxes with connected lines.  

But before creating a chart, you must know a few things that help plan your chart from top to bottom. 

1. Know the scope

An organizational chart should represent your team members. So, knowing the scope will determine the purpose of the organization chart. Get answers to these questions to start creating an org chart:  

  • Will it be a complete guide for team members to know “who is who” and the responsibilities? 
  • Will you need multiple charts to show different departments of the company?  
  • Do you want to share these charts with partners or external stakeholders?  
  • Will it need to include page links, contact information, and icons? 

 The answers to these questions will help you gather information and draw your chart. 

2. Collect data

Collecting data about the company hierarchy is the most crucial step of making an org chart. Otherwise, you won’t be able to proceed. Talking with company HR makes it easier to filter and find information. Besides, you can collect information through emails to individual team members. You need up-to-date information on reporting relationships, including the latest job titles. Further, adding headshots of team members will make a better experience for graphical charts. 

3. Decide what tool or software to use

Today, organization charts are usually made using a tool or software. So, decide which platform you want to pick to build org charts. Then, you can choose the most popular software options available online.   

Organizational charts in PowerPoint  

Though PowerPoint may have been designed as a presentation tool, it is widely used to create org charts and flowcharts PPTs because of the easy way to depict company work structure with the team members. 

To get started:  

  • Open a new PowerPoint document. 
  • Select the insert tab and click SmartArt. 
  • Go to the hierarchy group and select the org chart template you need.  
  • Click the shapes (square, circle, rectangle, etc.) to add text. 
  • Add more shapes according to the size of the people.  
  • Back to the SmartArt Tools Design tab and click Promote/Demote buttons to move shapes vertically. 
  • Move Up/Move down buttons enable moving shapes horizontally. 

Organizational chart in Word 

Creating org charts using Microsoft Word may not be popular. But it helps design basic diagrams that display how the organization functions. 

To create an org chart in Word, you need to do the five following steps:  

  • Open the insert tab and click SmartArt. 
  • Go to the hierarchy group and select the org chart template you need. 
  • Go to shapes that represent people. Just add text to signify each person in your chart. 
  • Click SmartArt Tools Design Tab, then click Add Shape to add different shapes. 
  • To make sequential order, click the name in the Text Dialogue box, then Press Tab to move up or Shift + Tab to move down. Or you can also manage your hierarchies using the SmartArt Design Tab. Color, size, and fonts could adjust by Format tabs and the SmartArt Tools Design. 

Customizable PDFs can save you time because the template is pre-made with placeholders. Further, it allows easy sharing with teams and stakeholders. 

Organization chart in Visio from Excel 

Visio, Microsoft’s visual drag and drop tool, helps automatically create org charts. It also supports you in connecting data from existing Excel files. As a result, you can create eye-catching org charts for organizations of any size.  

  • To start, open Visio, select the Organization Chart Wizard, and Click ‘information that’s already hoarded in a file or database”. 
  • Answer questions when prompted. 
  • Import images and pictures if needed.  
  • Click finish. 

4. Plan for updates  

After you finish, use a planning calendar to create regular updates for your org chart because company structure and team dynamics won’t stay static. People move back and forth or out of the company, so reporting relations will also change. 

More tips for creating attractive org charts: 

Focus on size: If your chart is too large, it won’t be very clear. It is better to build an org chart with a one-pager template. Your audience can get a quick overview of the org structure when it is limited to single pages.  

Focus on shapes and color consistency: Use the same shapes and colors to design a particular hierarchy structure. For example, use a shape and color for top management. Then, use another balanced color tone and shape for middle management and yet another for the low-level workforce. This pattern helps people understand your chart better. 

Add relevant information: In modern org charts, make sure to add details about staff, like contact information, location, and skills. It helps understand team members informed of who does what and where. 

Focus on spacing: Keep featured boxes equal distance from each other. This formatting style will be easier to read and have a catchy sequence. 

Display manager and assistant relationship in the sidebar: Assistants should be displayed with a box connecting managers by line. This helps understand the role of the assistant and the reporting relations. 

Uses of org charts 

Organizational charts can aid new recruiters or existing staff in getting to know the company easily by assisting them in putting names and headshots to show roles and responsibilities. It is a resource used to:  

  • Show company internal structure and hierarchy 
  • Help employees to know whom to report if a problem arises.  
  • Help in understanding roles and responsibilities. 
  • Help learn staff skills and talents for promotion channels. 
  • Help to store employee contact info in one convenient place.  
  • Help allocate staff in a better way. 

I hope you got these org chart writing tips in a clear and informative way for those at every level. Contact online service providers to get suitable org charts for your company if you have difficulties creating org charts.

Pam Wiselogel
Pam Wiselogel

Hi, I'm Pam! A corporate girl turned entrepreneur who has been working from home for over 20 years and loving it. From a corporate IT Director to an online business owner, I found success while working remotely (sometimes in my PJs). I've been able to find balance in life and career and love to share what I've learned with others. With my master's degree in software engineering and a career in technology, my drive is to help others learn how to bypass the hurdles and technology challenges to gain the confidence to build the dream business they've always wanted to reach financial freedom. My work has been quoted on Forbes, Bloomberg, European Business Review, Hive, and Business Partner Magazine to name a few. Click my little head above to read all of my posts!

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