An organizational chart is a visual representation of the organizational hierarchy. An org chart can be the key to effectively communicating within the organization. While there are a number of tools that can be used to create org charts, the easiest way is to make a simple org chart in Excel. 

In this blog, we explore what is an org chart, why it’s important, how to create one in Excel, and additional tips. 

What is an Org Chart? 

An org chart (short for organizational chart) is a diagram that illustrates the hierarchical structure of an organization. It shows the relationships between different roles, departments, and levels of management within the organization. Org charts can be used to show reporting lines, roles and responsibilities, and the overall structure of an organization.

Typically, org charts use boxes to represent different positions within the organization and lines to show how those positions are connected. The boxes are labeled with job titles or department names, and the lines show how different positions are linked together. For example, a line might show that a manager reports to a director, who in turn reports to the CEO.

Why is an Org Chart Needed? 

  • Clarity of Roles and Responsibilities: Org charts provide clarity about who reports to whom and what the roles and responsibilities of each position are. This helps employees understand their place in the organization and what is expected of them.
  • Communication: Org charts are a visual representation of the organization’s structure, making it easier to communicate information about the company to employees, customers, and stakeholders.
  • Decision-Making: Org charts can aid decision-making by showing who has authority and who is responsible for various areas of the organization. This helps managers and employees know who to consult or escalate issues to.
  • Resource Allocation: Org charts can help organizations allocate resources more effectively by identifying areas of overlap or gaps in the structure.
  • Succession Planning: Org charts can aid in succession planning by identifying key positions and potential successors. This can help organizations prepare for transitions in leadership and ensure continuity.
  • Growth and Expansion: As organizations grow and expand, their structure may need to change. Org charts can help organizations visualize the impact of growth and plan for structural changes.

How to Make an Org Chart in Excel? 

Get Started 

Start by opening a new Excel workbook and selecting a blank worksheet. 

Data Entry

Enter the names of the individuals or departments in the organization in Column A, starting from cell A2.

In the next column (B2), enter the name of the individual or department that reports to the person or department listed in Column A. If there is no reportee, leave the cell blank. Continue this process down the list, creating a hierarchy of individuals and departments.

Using SmartArt to Format the Data

Once you have entered all the data, select the entire table and click on the “Insert” tab in the ribbon. Click on the “SmartArt” button, located in the “Illustrations” section.

In the “Choose a SmartArt Graphic” dialog box, select “Hierarchy” from the list of options on the left. Choose the style of org chart that you prefer, and then click “OK.”

Customize your Org Chart

The org chart will now be inserted into your worksheet, and you can customize it further by clicking on the individual shapes to add more information or change the formatting.

Once you are satisfied with your org chart, save your Excel workbook.


Tips for Making an Org Chart in Excel

Use the SmartArt Feature

Excel’s SmartArt feature makes it easy to create professional-looking org charts quickly. You can choose from a variety of layouts and customize the chart to fit your needs. In addition, you can also customize colors, shapes, and fonts to align with your company’s style guide. 

Plan the Structure Beforehand

Before you start creating your org chart, make sure you have a clear idea of the organization’s structure. Decide on the positions you want to include and their hierarchy.

Use Consistent Formatting

With a highly visual chart, it gets easy to get carried away with design choices. While it may be fun to use different shapes and colors to represent different designations it can start looking busy really fast. Try to use consistent formatting for all boxes in the chart, including font size, color, and style. This will make the chart look more professional and also be easier to read.

Keep the Chart Updated

As the organization changes, make sure to update the org chart to reflect any structural changes.

Share the Chart

Once the org chart is complete, consider printing it out or sharing it with others electronically. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page about the organization’s structure. In addition, it can also be included in the induction of new hires so that they’re clear about the organizational hierarchy. 

Use Color Coding

Color coding can be a useful tool to quickly identify different departments or roles within the organization. Make sure to use colors that are easily distinguishable and do make sure that you don’t overload the chart with too many colors.

Keep it Simple

While it can be tempting to include lots of details in an org chart, it’s important to keep it simple and easy to understand. Avoid cluttering the chart with too much information or details that aren’t essential.