Creating an Organization Chart

Visio Organization ChartIn the first tutorial of the organization chart series we explore how to manually create an Organization Chart in Visio 2007.  Organization charts are widely used in business to describe management structure, the chain of command, hierarchical departmental structures and any situation where the “pecking order” has to be identified. [br][br]In Visio, as in most other software that generates organization charts, each shape represents a person or a role within the organization; the hierarchy is shown by the position of the shapes in relation to each other, the type of border the shape has and the way the connector lines join the shapes together.

Creating an organization chart manually in Visio 2007

Microsoft Visio has a number of options for creating an organization chart quickly which we will look at in other tutorials. In this case we look at constructing an organization chart from data which could be saved as a text file, a Microsoft Word document, a database file or even a hard copy on a sheet of paper. Organization charts are generally easier to read if the amount of data included in each of the shape is limited to the essentials. In many cases, particularly in HR departments, too much information is crammed into each shape which makes it difficult to read and limits its usefulness.

TIP: All that is required for Visio to generate an organization chart is the person’s name, who they report to and generally some method of contact — this could be a telephone extension or an e-mail address.


Adding shapes to the organization chart

The hierarchy for the hypothetical company used in this organization chart tutorial is saved in an Excel spreadsheet, and we use this to create our organization chart.  Techniques covered include:

  •  inserting Shapes to represent different roles within the company
  • maintaining the hierarchical relationship between management levels
  • adding several shapes at once
  • changing the alignment of shapes.

Read more about organization chart history and construction here.

Creating an organization chart in Visio

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