Using Org Chart for Budgeting and Planning

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Organizational charts started out as static graphical diagrams - useful for depicting structure and hierarchy, but with obvious limitations.

Today, thanks to the advanced capabilities of the latest org chart software, organizational charts have become dynamic tools for speeding and streamlining all kinds of business processes, activities, and decision-making.

Think of the power of an electronic spreadsheet for calculating, searching, selecting, and slicing and dicing data. Now combine this with the ease, clarity, and persuasiveness of boardroom-quality visual presentation, and you can start to see what modern organizational charts can do.

With today's org charts, the underlying information is automatically linked to your company's HR data sources. This transforms charts into dynamic "HR engines" you can use to easily and efficiently plan department and project budgets, and respond quickly to fiscal or personnel changes. You can also perform what-if analysis and scenario planning to see how a proposed budget will affect your operations and teams.

Here are some key areas where organizational charts can add value to your planning, budgeting, and forecasting processes:

  • High-earner assessments. Generate focused org-chart "views" of various employee categories such as highly compensated managers, top sales producers, key executives, and contractors
  • Workforce change analysis. Display and evaluate the effects of planned workforce changes, reductions, and reorganizations, such as new, transferred, or eliminated positions
  • Budget comparisons. Perform side-by-side comparisons of historical, current, and projected budgets to spot trends and flag potential risks for monitoring
  • Project management. Control project budgets, and visualize staffing alternatives to learn how they impact overall costs
  • Improved teamwork. Distribute, co-edit, and publish relevant org charts and analyses to budget stakeholders to foster buy-in and close collaboration

Organizational charts can also help you manage multiple budgets concurrently. You can pre-set your charts to instantly highlight activities that are consuming dollars at a higher-than-planned rate, or are otherwise at risk. With drag-and-drop chart functionality, you can easily make modifications to key items-such as salaries, work hours, and assignments-and immediately see what effects they will have, where and when.

Keep in mind, though, that you can't do all this with static organizational charts created inside a spreadsheet or similar data-oriented program. Similarly, visual but manual presentation tools such as Microsoft Visio or PowerPoint won't do the job. Org charts built with such software will quickly become out-of-date, especially in large organizations where staff changes happen frequently.

What you need is org charting software with sophisticated capabilities for creating, modifying, updating, and publishing dynamic org charts, using rich data automatically imported from your HR system. Real org charting software also includes the flexibility to easily tailor chart-based reports to your needs, and publish charts to external formats such as Adobe PDF and HTML.

The good news is that this kind of org charting software is readily available, easy to deploy and use, and doesn't cost a lot. Small and mid-sized businesses can purchase a version with all the bells and whistles for under $300.

Companies with 1,000-plus employees also have affordable options. Enterprise-class org charting "software-as-a-service" is available for as little as $9 per employee per month. This preferred solution is Web-based for secure, role-based access and collaboration anytime, anywhere.

See also

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