What is an Organisational Chart?

An ‘organisational chart,’ also known as an ‘org chart’ or ‘organigram,’ is a visual representation or diagram that illustrates the structure of an organisation. It provides a hierarchical view of the various departments, positions, and relationships within the organisation.

The organisational chart typically includes boxes or shapes that represent different positions or roles within the organisation. These positions are arranged in a hierarchical manner, with higher-level positions appearing at the top and lower-level positions appearing at the bottom. The chart displays the reporting relationships between positions, indicating who reports to whom within the organisation.

Key elements of an organisational chart include:

Positions or job titles: Each position or job title within the organisation is represented by a box or shape in the chart. These positions can range from top-level executives, such as CEOs or presidents, to middle management, supervisors, and individual contributors.

Reporting relationships: Arrows or lines connect the positions to indicate the flow of authority and communication within the organisation. The lines show who reports to whom and illustrate the hierarchical structure.

Hierarchical levels: The chart usually depicts the levels of authority and management within the organisation. The highest-level positions, such as executives or department heads, appear at the top, while lower-level positions are placed below.

Departmental divisions: The organisational chart may include divisions or departments, with positions grouped together based on their functional areas or teams. This helps visualise how different units or departments are organised and interconnected.

Organisational charts serve several purposes within an organisation, including:

Visualising structure: They provide a clear visual representation of the organisational structure, helping employees and stakeholders understand the hierarchy, reporting relationships, and overall framework of the organisation.

Clarifying roles and responsibilities: Organisational charts help define the roles and responsibilities of different positions within the organisation, promoting clarity and understanding of job functions.

Identifying communication channels: By illustrating reporting relationships, the chart helps identify the flow of communication and decision-making channels within the organisation.

Facilitating coordination and collaboration: The organisational chart enables employees to see how their roles and departments fit into the larger structure of the organisation. It helps foster coordination and collaboration between different teams or units.

Supporting decision-making: Organisational charts can assist in decision-making processes, such as identifying areas for restructuring, determining spans of control, or planning for growth and expansion.

Overall, an organisational chart is a valuable tool for visually representing and understanding the structure, relationships, and hierarchy of an organisation. It provides a snapshot of how the organisation is organised and functions, aiding in effective management and communication.