Microsoft offers some of the most formidable business software programs to handle your business needs. One of the best features of the suite of software is the similar look and feel between the different programs. But it’s far more than being able to copy material, or insert the material between the MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Project, Publisher, Access, and Visio and others. There is one feature that requires the combination of Excel and Microsoft Visio. It’s used to make an organization chart or process flow.
You simply follow a basic setup of the header row with the label “ID” in the first column, then “Reports to” in the next column, and the rest is easy.
You’ll create an org chart that can represent any data you would like to display. I found this tool valuable to create charts for different people and purposes from the same data source. Since the core information is contained in Excel, the data is easy to manipulate, modify and revise. I was able to create a 6,000 person org chart for a prior large development. The org chart was enormous, so I printed it using a plotter – the output was a full-size architectural layout, the size of 3 movie posters. The visual was 3ft tall by 6ft wide and represented the entire company with it’s 11 division of team members. Colleagues would come into my office and find there position – they like to show off their specific location among the sea of people on the chart. It was a helpful illustration to understand the organization and to create “what if” scenarios by moving 70 departments around to create the best system to achieve the operational goals.
Visio is a remarkable program for planning since it can also help with office layout planning. It can receive PDF drawings from AutoCAD at scale. This enables the software to manage department layouts with accuracy. AutoCAD is complex software that requires considerable training and used primarily by architects and professional designers. Visio is much easier to learn and use and can be quickly learned since it is a Microsoft product with familiar tools and icon ribbon. It doesn’t always come with the base office Microsoft suite, however you may have the program and don’t know it! If you don’t you may be able to use an online version or buy it separately if you work with org charts and office layouts often. This is the same scenario for the software Microsoft Project, it may or may not be available in the MS office suite package you own.
Here is a quick org chart created in the video. Pictures and phone extensions can be added to make the chart more interesting and informative.
It’s the combination of using Excel and Visio that makes creating org charts easy, fast, and effective in displaying important information. One of the best use of this approach is for each department and overall division to have an electronic copy of their organization available on Microsoft SharePoint (it’s the web building platform of Microsoft). Understanding how your department, division and company work together and structure is paramount to know to effectively communicate with each other.