Create an Organization Chart in Visio 2010

In a previous tutorial we covered how to create an organization chart manually in Visio 2010. Although Visio 2010 has a number of advanced alignment features that make it easier than ever to create great looking diagrams, my preferred method of creating an organization chart is to let Visio 2010 do the donkey work by using the Organization Chart wizard.

Visio 2010 organization chart

Using the Organization Chart Wizard in Visio 2010

This is particularly useful when you already have the data you will use stored elsewhere in another format. Most organizations will have staff records saved in some form of electronic format, perhaps as a table in Word, or as in our case, as an Excel spreadsheet.

 TIP: Visio 2010 isn’t fussy as to what type of data you use as it will support many of the common data types that can include database files, spreadsheet files and text files.

[br]As long as the data is in a format that can be read by Visio –  and this is basically the same for Access, SQL server, Excel or Word – it will be possible to import it and base a new diagram on the contents. Using the organization chart wizard saves a lot of time and frustration as it eliminates the replication of data and will create a superb, functional organization chart in a very short time provided it has the data it needs.

Use the organisation chart wizard to:

  • Create an organisation chart quickly
  • Automate the process
  • Use existing data or type your own
  • Compatible with most standard data types

Even if your organisation’s data is not in a format that Visio can understand, the organisation chart wizard can create a spreadsheet that is ready for you to type your data into. On the first page of the organisation chart wizard Simply tick the box that says “information that I enter using the wizard” and select Excel as the file type before selecting a folder to save it in. A blank Excel workbook will open with Sample data ready for you to over type; comments on the workbook give instructions as to how the data should be formatted. When you’ve finished close Excel and the wizard will return you to Visio and continue where you left off.

Visio 2010 allows multiple fields in organization chart shapes

As the tutorial progresses we see that the number of fields that can be included is only limited by the shape’s size, but of course, being able to read it is also quite important, so in my example I just stay with the default fields of  “Name” and “Reports to.” However, if more space is available and you want to include more personal information within each shape it is easy to do by selecting the appropriate options in the Organization Chart wizard in Visio 2010.

Visio 2010 Organization Chart Wizard