An organizational chart (also known as an organization chart, and often shortened to org chart) represents the roles and reporting structure in a team, department, division, or an entire company. Beyond corporate use, non-profits, schools, clubs, sports teams, or any other group that has a multi-level structure can also reap the benefits of an org chart. Download a free Microsoft Word organizational chart template and customize to fit your needs.
Hierarchical Organization Chart Template - Word
Most organizations are hierarchical, and therefore often require an org chart that displays reporting relationships up the chain. Use this template to map the structure of a company, division, team, or other group. There is space to fill in names and titles of all your team members so you create a view of who reports to whom.
Hierarchical Org Chart with Pictures Template - Word
New employees can use an org chart to familiarize themselves with the structure of their team, department, or other parts of the company. As such, creating a chart that includes employee images can be a useful tool. This template is just like the hierarchical organization chart template above, but you can also add an image for each person listed.
Matrix Org Chart Template - Word
In a matrix organization, an employee can report to more than one boss. These organizations are often more fluid than hierarchical organizations because of the changing reporting relationships. Generally, a team member reports to a resource manager and a functional manager. As a contributor moves from project to project, their functional manager will change throughout their time at an organization. Use this template to easily track assignments and the reporting structure in a matrix structure.
Horizontal Org Chart Template- Word
Process-focused organizations typically use a horizontal org chart to show the flow of work on a product or service as it moves through the process from one person to the next. Use this template to identify areas for improvement by following your company’s linear process. Simply fill in the space provided to track how products or services are created and who occupies each role.
Horizontal Org Chart with Pictures Template- Word
A horizontal org chart is a useful tool for illustrating the flow of work in process-focused organizations, and can also help managers identify room for improvement. This template is similar to the horizontal org chart template for Word listed above, and provides a space to add pictures of the team member working on the product or service at any given time in the process.
Utility and Benefits of Creating an Org Chart in Microsoft Word
An engineer named Daniel McCallum and an artist named George Holt Henshaw created one of the first org charts to illustrate the hierarchy of the New York and Erie railroad. The chart showed not only the positions but also the locations where each person worked. The name “organization chart” started to be used in the first part of the 20th century, and it gained in popularity, eventually leading to the peak use of the term in the 1960s. According to the Google ngram viewer, the term remains a staple for describing reporting structures.
Today, company staff can use org charts to determine who reports to whom, positions within a company, or who is responsible for a particular task or project. However, you can also use org charts to help with the following:
- Planning Projects: Show the people available for deployment.
- Estimating Workload for Teams: Gauge your resource availability and appropriately assign work.
- Roadmapping Growth: Identify where you can create new positions.
- Finding and Mapping Inefficiencies in a Workplace: Illustrate areas of redundancy.
How To Create an Org Chart
Organizational charts can vary in size, so not every chart fits well into every format. For example, if you’re creating a chart with fewer elements, Microsoft Word is a good choice. On the other hand, large corporations with multiple layers who rely on a matrix org chart might find it easier to build using Microsoft Excel. If one of the above templates doesn’t suit your needs, you can also use one of the basic org chart formats in the SmartArt feature found in Microsoft Word. There are other tools available that you can use to create org charts, including Excel (which also supports Microsoft’s SmartArt feature), Visio, LucidChart, and other programs. To learn how to create an org chart and what should be included, read this article.
Make Better Decisions, Faster by Creating Org Charts in Smartsheet
Organization charts are useful for illustrating the roles and structural relationships within a team, project, or company. In order to maximize the utility of your org chart, however, consider using a tool that allows you to control sharing permissions and track updates in real time.
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