section image

Choosing your Org Chart Tool

A step-by-step guide on why and how to choose an Org Chart Tool

The problem statement: You have outgrown your org chart solution

Your HR team is struggling with maintaining your org chart up to date

The traditional approach to organizational charts often involves manual methods like PowerPoint, Visio, or collaboration tools like Miro and Mural. These methods, though once considered standard, are now revealing their limitations, especially as organizations expand and become more complex.

Creating and updating an org chart manually can be time-consuming. The hours spent adjusting, adding, or removing elements could be better used for strategic HR tasks, especially when dealing with intricate organizational structures. When overwhelmed with the magnitude of other responsibilities, HR professionals might unintentionally neglect the org chart. Consequently, these charts can quickly become outdated, misrepresenting the actual structure and dynamics of the organization.

Reduced transparency and clarity about your org structure across teams

Manually created org charts, especially when complex, can be hard to read and navigate. This results in employees shying away from using them, defeating their primary purpose. Newcomers to an organization heavily rely on the org chart to grasp the company's structure, values, and interactions. A convoluted and outdated chart can leave them feeling lost, hindering their integration and productivity. One of the main benefits of a well-maintained org chart is promoting transparency, fostering collaboration, and empowering teams to self-organize. A neglected chart can actively harm these organizational values.

Finding your org chart tool

However, with the emergence of modern org chart software, there's a fresh and efficient way forward. These contemporary tools, attuned to the nuances of today's businesses, emphasize real-time adjustments and heightened user interaction. Their design ensures that the entire organization, from leadership to the newest team members, always has an up-to-date view of the company's structure.

The automation capabilities of these modern tools bring a sigh of relief to HR departments. Tasks that once consumed hours can now be accomplished in moments, freeing HR professionals to focus on broader organizational strategies and goals.

Coupled with their intuitive design, these new-age org chart tools are not only user-friendly but are often equipped to integrate seamlessly with other HR systems. This integration further smooths out processes, weaving consistency across various platforms and tools.

The one thing left is that you need to decide what you want to focus on and which feature set your org chart tool of choice should have. We will dive into these foundational thoughts in the next part.

Step 1: Your goals for the org chart tool

Before you start browsing for the right org chart tool for your teams and your organization, you should think of the key objectives that software should solve for you and who needs access to your tool. We have conducted a list of the main use cases an org chart tool usually covers:

**Onboarding: **

An org chart tool is instrumental in streamlining the onboarding process for new employees. It offers a visual depiction of company hierarchy, simplifying communication and fostering an understanding of team roles and the company culture. For effective onboarding, a robust org chart tool should be interactive, integrated with HR systems, offer search and filter capabilities, embed additional resources, have an intuitive interface, and allow customization. When optimally utilized, it serves as a dynamic guide that accelerates a newcomer's transition into the organization.

Transparency & understanding your organization:

Org chart tools can help dramatically in increasing transparency within an organization. They illuminate the company's structure, making it easier to identify both familiar and unfamiliar colleagues across various departments. This clarity fosters collaboration and bridges departmental silos. For optimal transparency, the tool should be interactive, enabling users to delve into profiles of colleagues, be updated in real-time to reflect staff changes, offer search and filter options for quick navigation, embed deeper insights or projects related to individuals or teams, be accessible across devices, and zooming in and out should be easily possible. Such a tool not only reveals the "who" but also the "how" and "why" of organizational dynamics.

Unleash hidden potential:

By detailing not just roles but also individual skills and expertise, org charts can provide a comprehensive view of untapped talents. For this purpose, the tool should feature in-depth employee profiles, showcasing their skills and qualifications. Integration with professional development platforms can highlight ongoing training or certifications. A search functionality specific to skills and expertise, alongside user endorsements or validations, further refines the discovery of potential.

Resource allocation:

Another goal could be the optimization of resource allocation within an organization. For such org chart tools can offer a clear visual of the entire workforce, aiding decision-makers in identifying where resources are concentrated and where there might be gaps. Integration with project management platforms can offer insights into ongoing tasks and timelines. Filtering options for specific roles, skill sets, and availability further refine the resource allocation process.


Org chart tools transform complex organizational data into concise, report-ready visuals, ensuring clarity and precision in communication making it an ideal companion for reports and putting data into the right context and perspective. The respective org chart tool should offer the export of the created charts in various formats in order to include them in reports written in other third party tools.

Step 2: Which information and data you want the org chart to include

When considering the design of an org chart, one must recognize that today's org chart goes beyond mere hierarchical diagrams; they're a treasure trove of insights. A modern org chart is expected to provide a panoramic view of an organization, capturing not just roles but also a wealth of data that informs about the health, capabilities, and dynamics of the company.

Integrating skills heat maps into the org chart, for example, can offer an immediate glimpse into the expertise distribution, revealing areas of strength or gaps that might need attention. Similarly, embedding survey results directly within the org chart can give stakeholders a nuanced understanding of team sentiments and the cultural health of various departments. Goal performance progress is another crucial metric to weave into the org chart.

By doing so, the org chart morphs into a strategic dashboard, offering real-time insights into how different units or individuals are progressing towards their objectives. Such an enriched org chart becomes more than a static representation; it's a dynamic tool that continually offers actionable insights, ensuring that leadership and employees alike remain informed and aligned. Thus, infusing the org chart with a blend of qualitative and quantitative data ensures it remains relevant, insightful, and invaluable in shaping organizational strategies.

Step 3: What functionality should your org chart have

In today's digital age, the need for a dynamic org chart tool is more pressing than ever, especially for HR departments aiming to save time while also providing insightful views into the organizational structure.

A modern org chart tool should seamlessly integrate with the existing HR systems, ensuring that every change in personnel or structure is automatically reflected in the org chart. For users aiming to delve deep into the organization's structure, an intuitive interface is vital, meaning it should be possible to zoom in and out and interact with the different elements on the org chart to get deeper insights. Search and filter functionalities in the org chart amplify its efficiency, enabling users to view the organization from various perspectives.

Customization stands out as another essential feature. Every organization is unique, and the org chart tool should be flexible enough to capture these nuances, from job roles to specific skill sets. Moreover, the org chart should offer interactive profiles, turning every name or role into a gateway of deeper insights about team members.

And of course, given the sensitive nature of organizational data, the org chart tool should have robust security and privacy controls. All these features combine to make the org chart tool an indispensable asset for HR departments and the broader organization.

Step 4: Compare the cost vs. value of the org chart software

Understanding the value derived from implementing a new org chart tool might not fit neatly into a traditional ROI equation, but it's undeniable that such tools provide considerable organizational benefits. An effective org chart tool offers a clear visualization of the company's structure, enabling better decision-making, streamlined communication, and enhanced strategic planning. The direct financial implications of these improvements might be difficult to pinpoint, but one can conclude the time saved, the mistakes avoided, and the opportunities seized.

Consider the time HR and managerial teams previously spent manually updating, interpreting, or explaining the company's structure. With a dynamic and interactive org chart tool, such repetitive tasks are minimized, if not entirely eliminated, leading to cost savings in terms of man-hours. This time can be redirected to more value-adding activities, leading to improved productivity.

Furthermore, a well-structured org chart tool can be pivotal in identifying and mitigating potential risks in team dynamics, helping leaders preemptively address any issues. The value here is in the prevented losses from conflicts, misunderstandings, or misalignments that could have arisen from a lack of clarity.

Then there's the enhancement in cross-functional collaboration. With an easily navigable org chart tool, team members can better understand their colleagues' roles, expertise, and responsibilities. This clarity can lead to more effective collaboration, faster project execution, and fewer errors – all of which translate to cost savings and potential revenue growth.

While it might be challenging to affix precise numbers to these benefits, it's evident that an investment in a sophisticated org chart tool brings multifaceted value to an organization. Over time, as the org chart tool becomes ingrained in an organization's operations, the cumulative benefits could very well translate into quantifiable financial gains.

If you invest in org chart software aligned with the majority of requirements mentioned in this guide, you're bound to witness considerable advantages. The most prominent benefit is enhanced collaboration among employees, a vital aspect especially in a hybrid or fully remote working environment. Now, let's delve into how an org chart software can influence each department's efficiency and productivity:

People & Culture
Offer employees easy ways to connect with others and to understand the org which results in a more sustainable and effective organizational development.
People Experience
Increased employee satisfaction by offering employees options to learn about each other and foster a culture of collaboration and natural interactions.
A clear picture of skills gaps and areas of strengths makes the recruiting teams more data-driven and efficient in their internal promotion and external hiring strategies.
Product & Engineering
Enhanced skills overview results in faster team staffing and task allocation which makes the entire organization more agile and drives innovation.
Sales & Marketing
Opportunities can be moved and closed faster as people can connect quickly with the right people in the organization to talk to and connecting dots during the sales and marketing processes.
The management has a clearer picture of the entire organization and focus on developing strategies with a Birds Eye view on the people-centric org structure.

Register now for a free test account and get started with agyleOS