Organizational charts have been around a long, long time. The first org charts were reportedly created during the 1850s by a Scottish-American named Daniel McCallum. Although a new concept at that time, organizations around the world now create and use org charts regularly.
Regardless of the format of the org chart, there are some key benefits to creating and maintaining an accurate, up-to-date organizational chart:
- Business leaders and managers can easily visualize who is in each role throughout the company.
- As the company grows, it’s much easier to visualize the changes on an org chart than in a spreadsheet or other list format.
- For new employees, an org chart can help them quickly understand the structure of the company they’ve joined.
- When restructuring is necessary, an org chart helps all stakeholders visualize and project the proposed changes.
Historically org charts were manually created on paper, a tedious and time consuming process! Because of the cost and time involved in manually creating the chart this way, most companies only had a fixed number of copies of that chart. It really wasn’t feasible to just send a copy of the org chart to someone.
As computers became commonplace, drawing an org chart electronically using a desktop software program become the preferred method. This method made it easier to update the chart. Sharing the chart become much easier too. A person could export the chart as a JPG or other image format and email it, or the chart could be printed on paper and shared that way.
Today, many companies still use a desktop software program, such as Visio, to draw and maintain their org chart. Although still commonplace, this method is now out-of-date and newer online org chart software tools are preferred by professionals.
Using an online org chart program has several key advantages and benefits:
- The org chart tool is available from any computer at any time. No software installation is necessary.
- Multiple people can collaborate on the org chart updates, rather than having to feed all changes through one person who has the software installed.
- Org charts can be shared electronically in real-time. Everyone is assured to be viewing the up-to-date organizational chart, not an old copy they found in their email account.
- Data-driven org chart software products like Built for Teams can enable powerful visualizations and reporting as well as other add-on features like succession planning.
Having an online, interactive org chart is the modern way to visualize your workforce and enable your decision makers to always have critical, accurate information at their fingertips. If you’re interested in learning more about how to improve your org chart, let us know!