Creating a Matrix Organisation Chart with OrgChart

“How can I chart our matrix organization?” is a question we are asked frequently.

Matrix organigrams differ from traditional org charts and require a unique solution.

Conventional Organisational Structures

Below is a basic org chart familiar to many.  This is a standard organisational structure with a formal or payroll hierarchy.  It answers who reports to whom, with some basic data such as name and title.  If we want to know who approves a person’s timesheet or is responsible for an employee review then this is a helpful view.

conventional org chartConventional Top-Down Organisational Chart

Taking this view a step further, we can show dotted line relationships, indicating where employees report to another manager (i.e. a project manager) for a temporary assignment. This example shows orange colored boxes where a person is assigned to a specific project. This view gives both the formal structure of the organisation and a perspective on who is working for an auxiliary manager such as a project manager, designated by a dotted line. This helps visualize the people involved in Project X in the context of everyone else in the company.

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Dotted Line Org Chart

Conventional Top-Down Organigram Chart Project – Highlighting

The Matrix Organisation Chart

The value of creating a matrix organisation chart is that it allows a focused view of the people and functions pertaining to a project.

If we filter all of the people on Project X, they can be plotted according to functional area and also management level. In the matrix org chart we are not as concerned about who reports to whom, but rather the results of what the human resources are assigned to. Below is a two-dimensional matrix org chart that emphasizes function over hierarchy. Management can use this view to make sure they have the right people of the right number in the right placement throughout the organisation.

Here is a common but somewhat old-fashioned matrix org chart:

Poor Example of a Matrix Org Chart

A Common but Insufficient Solution for Matrix Org Charts

The above chart isolates people by function and deliverables but is limited as a management tool because it lacks so much information and context. Also, it does not scale well for larger project teams. As a simple matrix of responsibilities it may be helpful but is clearly not a robust matrix style organizational charting solution.

Using OrgChart Now To Make A Matrix Style Chart

OrgChart Now software has an elegant solution to the problem of representing a matrix organisation visually. Dotted lines can be used to represent a secondary reporting relationship, but in org charts containing subcharts it can be difficult to follow.

Dotted Line To Signify Shared Reporting

OrgChart Now solves this problem by duplicating the box in each subchart, and including a link to allow users to jump back and forth. That way it’s possible to see exactly where an employee reporting to two managers sits in both groups of the organization. The employees secondary title can also be added if applicable.

Clickable Boxes To Show Matrix Structure In SubCharts

These charts can be created with OrgChart using a simple, standardised data set, easily extracted from software such as Excel or many popular HRIS, and formatted automatically. The boxes of the chart can also be enriched with other employee data (e.g. salary, performance rating, tenure) to properly analyze the effectiveness of the organisational structure.

These charts are visually informative at a glance and easily shareable as an interactive PDF or on the company intranet. All of this can be generated in minutes and refreshed automatically as the organisation evolves and people change. By adding key data metrics and generating “what-if” scenarios, future organisational states can also be trialled making the charts a powerful workforce planning tool.

OfficeWork Software produces enterprise-strength organisation charting and workforce planning solutions for both the cloud and desktop. If you want to know more about how best to represent your matrixed organisation in an org chart, schedule a demo with one of our experts today.

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