Organizational charts, or org charts, are tree diagrams that illustrate the relationships among personnel, departments, or divisions in an organization. You can create an org chart to visualize the hierarchy within your quality improvement team or to identify the relationships between personnel in the process you are trying to improve. The organizational chart usually shows the managers and sub-workers who make up an organization. The chart also shows relationships between staff in the organization which can be:
- Line - direct relationship between superior and subordinate.
- Lateral - relationship between different departments on the same hierarchical level.
- Staff - relationship between an managerial assistant and other areas. The assistant will be able to offer advice to a line manager. However, they have no authority over the line manager actions.
- Functional - relationships between specialist positions and other areas. The specialist will normally have authority to insist that a line manager implements any of their instructions.
In many large companies the organization chart can be large and incredibly complicated and is therefore sometimes dissected into smaller charts for each individual department within the organization.
There are three different types of organization chart:
Limitations of an organizational chart
There are several limitations with organizational charts:
- Organizational chart only shows 'formal relationships' and tells nothing of the pattern of human (social) relationships which develop.
- Organizational chart shows nothing about the managerial style adopted (eg autocratic or democratic)
- Organizational chart very quickly becomes out-of-date, especially in large organizations who change their staff regularly
Organizational chart created with our organizational chart software