How to Make an Org Chart
Making an org chart is easy as long as you have the right tools and a basic understanding of what an organizational chart is. Follow this simple guide to get started.
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SELECT A MEDIUM
First, choose your medium. Some prefer to create an org chart with pen and paper, poster materials, or software designed to make your org chart creation quick and easy. There is a vast array of software that can help you create your org chart. Using digital software to make diagrams, rather than drawing them by hand, can result in simpler sharing, downloading, and editing of your organizational chart.
For the purposes of this guide, we’ll proceed as though you’re using Lucidchart. You can get started with Lucidchart's free editor. When your org chart is complete, try exporting it as an image file or sharing it online.
ORGANIZE YOUR CONTENT
After choosing your medium, you need to compile the necessary content for your organizational chart. You might want to organize the information into a spreadsheet or list to make it easy to read while you’re building your org chart. For example, you might make a list of the roles in your company and the supervisors who manage certain groups.
The toughest part of learning how to make an org chart can be figuring out where to start. The type of organizational chart that you decide to make will give you a good jumping-off point. A hierarchical org chart means it’s best to start from the top. A matrix org chart usually compels the creator to begin from the top or one of the sides, then move down and out. With a flat organizational chart, you can start from any section, since there are so few levels of reporting.
For example, with a hierarchical org chart, add a box for the CEO to the top of your page. You can add the desired details to the box. You can even emphasize the main topic—either the employee’s name or the title—by bolding it.
DRAW AND CONNECT SHAPES
You’ll need three elements to make up your org chart:
- Shapes - Org charts are commonly comprised of standard box shapes, but you can change this to be whatever shape you desire.
- Lines - You will need a simple elbow line without any arrowheads at the endpoints.
- Content - You will need to know who is in which position, who reports to who, and any other details that you would like to include on your org chart. You can include location, phone number, email, title, and other details (see below).
You can add all kinds of information to your org chart boxes. Potential content might include:
- Employee name
- Employee title
- Phone number, i.e., office number, secretary number, or mobile number
- Email address
- Postal address
- Online profile or resume
Once you’ve created a top-level position, make your way down the ranks. Someone who reports directly to the CEO, like an executive assistant, may be added next.
Add boxes and lines to represent supervisory relationships until you have covered all positions in your company.
Our software gives you the option to import data from a spreadsheet, which easily generates an organizational chart with little effort on your end. You can also choose from different org chart formats to make it easier to read and view. Another option is to choose the amount of information you would like to display in each box.
Creating a polished organizational chart
Org charts can become unnecessarily complicated when they are disorganized. Lines and boxes floating around without any consistent order is confusing to look at. Lucidchart has an automatic clean-up feature that can align your org chart boxes and levels.
Read on for some additional tips on keeping your charts well-organized.
Keep the different elements of your org chart properly aligned. If you’re using a hierarchical org chart, that means that every role on the same level should be flush. This alignment represents equality between positions. You should also be sure to create standard alignment with the managers and their subordinates. Boxes representing subordinates should all be on the same level, connected to their manager’s role. Subordinate roles should be evenly spaced, so they don’t overflow into another manager’s area.
Choose a legible font for the org chart. One font for the entire chart will make the chart look professional and easy to read.
In Lucidchart, you can quickly add a theme to your document to give a polished look without any effort. In another application, you might want to choose separate colors for different parts of the organization, either by levels or departments. These colors can represent the importance of a particular manager or sector of the organization.
After you’ve created and polished your organizational chart, show it to someone else who can review it for errors and make suggestions on text and formatting. Listening to their opinions on your chart can help you spot errors and create a great-looking diagram.
With Lucidchart, you can easily create professional-looking flowcharts, org charts, and other specialized diagrams, right in a web browser. Start a free trial and see for yourself.