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Organizational Chart

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[edit] When do you need an Organizational Chart?

A very small organization with a handful of longtime employees may function just fine without an organizational chart because "everyone knows" what their job is.

But, as any type of organization grows its number of employees and functions, confusion and differences of understanding can result. When this happens it is a sure sign that it is time for an organizational chart (or "org chart" as it is sometimes called). There are also several practical reasons:

  • New employees joining the organization can quickly learn the landscape of who does what and who reports to who
  • Any changes in the organization of personnel, responsibilities or growth can be clearly communicated throughout the organization
  • It can provide general clarity and alignment for everyone in the organization on roles, responsibilities and authorities which can reduce confusions
  • Org charts can be useful informational tools for others that need to understand your organization - banks, investors, foundations, customers, consultants

[edit] Keep it Simple

Organizational charts work best if they are one page with basic information of people and titles/roles so that the entire picture of the organization is understood. As an organization grows beyond one page it may need separate pages for each division for example.

[edit] Limitations

Organizational charts are not good tools to explain more complex factors about an organization. They are not a good method to explain the management style of an organization, how the organization operates and detail on roles and responsibilities.

[edit] Resources

  1. Wikipedia:Organizational Chart provides general definition, background and history on organizational charts
  2. has detailed information on the how to of organizational charts for all sizes of organizations and a multitude of purposes.

[edit] Author

The author of this article is Terry Gardiner.

Terry Gardiner is the founder and President of Silver Lining Seafoods and NorQuest Seafoods - a medium size Alaska seafood processing companies; and currently Board member of the Anvil Corporation, an employee owned company specializing in oil and gas engineering.

His co-operative experiences include member director of the Commercial Fishermen Co-operative association; creation of legislation for the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank; and advisor to the US Dept of Health and Social Services for the state Health CO-OPs.

Terry served ten years as a member of the Alaska House of Representatives -several legislative committee chairmanships, Speaker of the House, Chairman of the Alaska Criminal Code Commission and board member on various state and federal boards and commissions.

His non-profit experiences include National Policy Director for the Small Business Majority in Washington DC; working with the Herndon Alliance and ForTerra.

Terry authored the leadership book, "Six-Word Lessons to Build Effective Leaders: 100 Lessons to Equip Your People to Create Winning Organizations".

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