How Do I Develop an Organizational Chart?

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  • Written By: Whitney Leigh White
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 06 February 2020
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An organizational chart can be created for entities other than businesses, and is many times included within handbooks, business plans, and more to provide a visualization of the chain of commands, also known as hierarchies. At one time, organizational charts were created by hand, but, as advancements in technology have taken place, it is most common for them to be made using computer programs. Since there are so many computer programs available to create these types of charts, you will discover the exact creation process differs from program to program. Even though the process differs, there are some tips that you can follow to create an effective and easy-to-understand organizational chart.

When creating an organizational chart, it helps if you think of the chart as an upside-down tree and remember to read it from top to bottom. The top part of the chart includes the highest ranking individual(s) within your entity. Below, looking like branches, are the subordinates of your entity. Each branch of the chart shows which individuals report to whom and how the individuals are connected. It depends on the exact size of your entity as to how large your chart will be.


If your entity has a large number of departments with a range of variations, you will find that your chart is more difficult to create. It is up to you when it comes to placing names or titles within your chart. Some people choose to include both, whereas others choose to only include title names of departments and then list the number of people in that department. If you want a chart that makes it easier to accomplish performance-based assessments on different individuals, you should include specific people’s names. Upper management usually prefers to view charts that show specific names.

Any time that you have an individual within your chart that has more than one relationship with another member, make sure that you connect the relationships with broken lines, not solid lines. If you want to add biographies to some of each of your chart members, most computer programs utilized for making organizational charts will enable you to insert a hyperlink to a chart member’s box. Persons viewing the chart on a computer with a connection to the Internet can simply click on the hyperlink and be taken to the website of the person’s bio.

Many times, you will find it useful to create an open-ended organizational chart. This type allows you to utilize it for planning purposes. If you have critical tasks to be handed out to entity members, open-ended charts make the task simpler because the tasks can be distributed to individuals based on their hierarchy ranking.


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