The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Org Charts

Even in a small business, employees and managers can struggle to know who to turn to with questions or concerns. You want to ensure that everyone inside your organization knows where they fit in and where to turn when they need something. An organizational chart can answer all of these questions and more if used correctly. You might have heard the term but wondered if it's necessary for your small business or even the steps you need to take to create one. Here's everything you need to know about the organizational chart.

What Is an Organizational Chart?

An organizational chart is a visual diagram that outlines the hierarchy and reporting needs of an organization. You may also hear this referred to as an org chart. They can be used in businesses, government agencies, universities, and other types of organizations.

What Is an Organizational Chart?

The org chart helps to clarify who needs to report to a particular person or where they can find help when they need it. Many companies and organizations use an org chart as a management tool, a directory of personnel, or as a tool for planning. Create an organizational chart in a way that you find most useful for the things you want to accomplish with it.

Org Chart Examples

When you get ready to create your own organizational chart, you'll find that there are four major types. These include:

  • Structured by division
  • From the top management position to the bottom
  • Flat
  • Matrix

There are many uses for organization charts, and before you choose a type, you need to decide its purpose. Common uses are:

  • Defines and displays responsibilities and reporting for each employee.
  • Shows hierarchy and other organizational information.
  • Manage growth or effectively bring about change.
  • Open the lines of communication between employees and departments.
  • Provides a directory of employees that easy to use.
  • Provides a visual representation of how an employee's work fits into the overall efforts of a company.

After deciding the ways you want to use an org chart, it's time to create one.

How to Make an Org Chart

There are many types of software that can help you make an organizational chart. You can even make one in Word or Excel. To make an organizational chart, you need to begin with a list of employees. If your business or organization is large enough to have departments, you might tap the department heads for the names and positions of everyone in their department.

Once you have the list of employees, you start with the person at the top, such as an active business owner or CEO. From there, you create spots for the managers that directly report to the person at the top. Then you connect the people who report to them. You do this until all the employees and positions are accounted for in the organization.

Org Chart Software

When you're ready to make your own organizational chart, you don't need to bring out the poster board, markers, and ruler. There is a variety of software available to help you design a professional org chart. You can use any generic word document software or spreadsheet software to design a functional chart.

MindManager software can guide you through creating an organizational chart one step at a time. This makes it easier for you to navigate than a document or spreadsheet program and provides a more professional look.

Get Started Fast with Templates!

MindManager comes pre-installed with many templates for you to choose from. To use these templates:

  1. Open MindManager
  2. Click NEW in the navigation menu
  3. Select the template you want to use
  4. A preview screen will appear. Check to if you want to use your selected template
  5. Select Create Map
  6. Customize the template for your specific project

Other Types of Maps and Charts


An organizational chart provides you with a visual representation of a company's or other organization's reporting hierarchy. You can use one of four available designs to create one to manage employees or to serve as a directory. An org chart is easy to create, and there is software available to make the job easier.