Best Organizational Chart Software Review of 2016

Every month, people search for “organizational chart” in Google over 40,000 times. There is a huge demand for better ways to make and share org charts online. Despite that demand, there are only a handful of helpful reviews that explain what to look for in the best org chart software.

So, if you’re looking for the best organizational chart software, here is a break-down of one of the best org chart reviews of 2016.

Over at Fit Small Business, Jeremy Marsan wrote a review called “Best Org Chart Software: Organimi vs OrgPlus vs LucidChart

Org chart software that should have been included

The review covers only three org chart softwares. It would have been helpful to compare Organimi, OrgPlus, and LucidChart to some other options. For instance;

Org chart software purpose: Org charts vs. Flow charts

Jeremy makes a key distinction between org chart softwares early on in his review. Some are made solely for making organizational charts, while others are flow chart softwares that can be used to draw many types of things. Since Organimi and OrgPlus are specifically created to make org charts, they have an edge over LucidChart in his review.


Org chart software price: Monthly vs. Yearly billing

In the review, Jeremy writes, “One key downside is that (like OrgPlus) you have to buy an annual subscription. You can’t pay month-to-month.” It’s understandable why org chart vendors would prefer to charge on a yearly basis to capture revenue up-front. As long as there is a discount for paying yearly, it also makes sense for customers. However, it’s in customers’ best interest to have the choice to pay monthly if that fits better into how they prefer to buy, try, and cancel their org chart software subscription.


Importing, exporting, and editing org charts: 6 key considerations

Based on Jeremy’s review, it seems that none of the 3 online org charts he included meet all of his needs for a quality org chart experience.

Here’s what is needed, according to Jeremy:

  1. “The org chart is automatically generated when you import a spreadsheet – you don’t have to spend time building the chart or adding employees to it”
  2. “Edit the chart on-the-fly”
  3. “Import a list of employees from a .CSV spreadsheet, or enter them manually”
  4. “Add employee photos to your org chart”
  5. “Export your organization chart as a PDF, PowerPoint, Excel or HTML file”
  6. “Generate a link to share your chart online”

Problems with Organimi

  1. No ability to automatically generate org charts from an Excel sheet
  2. No month-to-month subscription available
  3. Limited org chart design options

Problems with LucidChart

  1. No import from Excel
  2. Time-consuming to manually create each box, line, and text by hand

Problems with OrgPlus

  1. Can’t edit the org chart directly (must re-upload edits from Excel)
  2. No month-to-month subscription available

The Bottom Line

As Jeremy says in his review, “When it comes to org chart software, most businesses want something that’s simple, flexible, well-organized and easy to share.”

We agree whole-heartedly with that assessment of what people are looking for in an org chart builder. With our OrgWeaver org chart software, we’ve avoided the problems of Organimi, LucidChart, and OrgPlus, while developing an online org chart maker that is simple, flexible, well-organized, and easy to share.

Thanks to Jeremy Marsan for writing one of the best organizational chart reviews of 2016. It’s a big help to the business community to understand their options when making smart org charts. We hope to see more reviews that dig deeper into some of the other org chart softwares on the market.


Make Beautiful Org Charts with OrgWeaver





How to create an org chart from Excel

Excel to PowerPoint org charts with OrgWeaverDo you have data in Excel that you want to visualize as an org chart? Before you waste days trying to figure out exactly what you need to do, let us help you out. These are the key things you need to know to prepare your Excel data to be imported into most online org chart creators.

Be Unique

  • Some of your data has to be unique so that org chart software can make sense of it. But which data? Stick to the basics. Every single “people ID” and “position ID” needs to be unique. If you repeat any of those IDs, your org chart won’t work.
  • Don’t have IDs? You can just make them up! If you don’t have a “person ID” for every single employee, just create new IDs. In the “people ID” column, just start with the number 1 and continue down the rows of people until everyone has a “people ID”.

Be Thorough

  • Every row of data should include data about one single person that holds one single job. If there are any blanks in your data, try to fill it in as best as you can. If you have too many blanks, consider asking for more data from your colleague that keeps track of HR data.

Know The Boss

  • Org charts are made by connecting every single position to a manager. For instance, a VP reports to an Executive VP. And an Executive VP reports to the CEO. Make sure you have one column in your data that shows the “position ID” that each person reports to.
  • If you don’t have the “reports to position ID” column in your Excel sheet, it is necessary to add it. Start at the top. Find the “position ID” of the CEO (let’s say that “position ID” is 1). Then find every person that reports to the CEO and put the number 1 in their “reports to position ID” column. Do that for each leader until all of the rows are filled.
  • The top boss doesn’t report to anyone, though. So make sure that the “reports to position ID” of the person at the top of your org chart is left blank!

Start Simply

  • Download this example Excel sheet that shows all of the columns that are necessary to create an org chart from Excel.
  • The Excel sheet was made to work with OrgWeaver, but it should also help get your data prepared for an Excel import to Organimi, OrgPlus, OrgChart4U, OrgVue, and other online org chart creators.

Reorganization Case Study: Focus on what really matters with OrgWeaver

A clear example of what to avoid during a reorganization.

A clear example of what to avoid during a reorganization.

At the end of a recent reorganization process, an HR Director with years of experience said, “OrgWeaver allowed me to focus on what really mattered during our reorganization.”

What really matters? Taking care of the people involved in a fair way.

What typically distracts HR teams from what really matters? Spending endless frustrating hours on spreadsheets and post-it notes.

This particular case study was for an organization with approximately 100 people. They first used OrgWeaver to find out that their current org structure was like a tangled rope that no one could straighten out. Once they saw how they could improve the organization structure, they used OrgWeaver to implement a new org, communicate the details to employees, gather feedback from employees about their preferences, and make final staffing decisions in a fair and transparent manner.

Anytime that an HR Director has success with OrgWeaver, we appreciate the chance to share their stories with the HR community. Here are some more quotes and key points about the value of OrgWeaver from this case study:

“My executive team was happy to have a system that remembered complex decisions so we didn’t have to keep the puzzle in our heads.”

  • OrgWeaver keeps track of what roles are needed, who is being considered for each, and what happens to each person who doesn’t get a particular role.

“Employees didn’t need any training in order to be truly involved in the process through a simple website.”

  • OrgWeaver is easy for people to pick up and use, which allows them to focus on collaborating in a transparent process.

“I was able to deliver on time without the stress and wasted hours of keeping track of spreadsheets and post-it notes.”

  • OrgWeaver greatly speeds up the process of making optimal reorganization decisions.

“Throughout the process, any challenge I had was solved directly and quickly by the support team behind OrgWeaver.”

  • OrgWeaver is a true solution backed by leading experts, not just another software that sits on the shelf. Deploy it quickly, and only use it when it can add true value.

What really matters to you during a reorganization? Is it taking care of people in a fair way, meeting deadlines, keeping track of the staffing puzzle, and/or collaborating with colleagues? If you want to discuss what really matters to you, reach out to Nick to have a meaningful discussion about reorganization processes.

HR Teams: Take Your Place as Workplace Heroes

I recently had an enlightening conversation with William Tincup, a uniquely powerful voice within the HR community.

To paraphrase one of his points; HR Tech can enable HR professionals to be workplace heroes. Not just firefighters running from crisis to crisis.

This really struck a chord with me.

TWorkplace Heroeshe HR professionals we’ve worked with are heroes, not just firefighters. They see themselves at the center of the most important strategic, financial, and technological changes that their companies face. Instead of deferring to strategy consultants, finance teams, and IT leaders, they are taking their place at the table. When Executive Committees ask “Are we on track with our strategy?” or “Will we complete this critical project on time?”, HR Teams who embrace the power of the latest software innovations are the ones who have the most complete answers at their fingertips. That’s what makes them workplace heroes; being the ones that people turn to for the most critical questions.

Here are some examples of what we’ve seen from innovative HR teams:

  • Instead of letting strategy get stuck in report binders and post-it notes on a wall, HR teams are leveraging simple software to have a two-way exchange with employees about how the strategy personally effects their careers and ambitions.
  • Instead of allowing finance to take control of projects that involve FTE costs, HR teams are adding value by gathering and managing the most up-to-date information about what employees really do, who they work with, and how employees can be better organized to save costs and increase productivity.
  • Instead of being frustrated with IT decisions made years ago that don’t fit today’s needs, HR teams are harnessing the power of targeted HR software packages that can be bought as a solution with a clear immediate return on investment.

We’re proud to know these workplace heroes in HR. We’re dedicated to providing them with the tools they need to make an impact in days, not months or years.

Thanks, William Tincup, for the inspiration.

The Biggest Challenge to Implementing a Successful Organizational Change

Have you ever heard an executive say: “Our people are our most important asset.”?

It’s such a common phrase to hear, and yet it is hard to know what it really means. Ask an executive and she might say things like:

  • We recruit the best people, pay them well, train them, and promote them from within based on merit.
  • We create a positive working environment, focus on diversity, run healthy living initiatives, and actively foster a unique culture.
Reorganization cartoon

An outcome to avoid

In order to do all of these things well, teams spend years streamlining processes, hiring people to fill specialized roles within HR, working with global software vendors to manage the data, and  bench-marking “employee engagement” surveys to publish in annual reports.

This all works well until a company needs to perform an organizational change. Organizational change is as certain as death and taxes, and yet companies are failing to prepare for it. Without preparation for the next merger, reorg, or downsizing, this is what typically happens:

  • Employees are viewed predominantly through the lens of “cost”
  • Decisions are allowed to be driven by those who are “loudest” or “best connected”
  • Commitments to diversity, health, merit, and a positive culture are down prioritized
  • Investments in HR technology are squandered because they can’t handle the flexibility of an organizational change.

So what is the biggest challenge to implementing a successful organizational change? Preparation.

Executives can prepare for organizational change by:

  • Asking HR teams to take a strategic role in organizational change
  • Pre-evaluating the tools, methods, and vendors that specialize in organizational change
  • Communicate the principles that will be followed during future organizational changes

I’ve personally worked with great executives that are on the leading edge of organizational change and have seen first hand the positive results of implementing well-prepared changes. More can be done to prepare for organizational changes and it is a task worth doing to truly treat people as your most important corporate asset. Will you?




3 Simple Keys for HR to Manage a Successful Org Change

As an HR professional, you are bound to get a request to manage an org change. Your business will need to scale up or down in some areas, change people’s roles, or build a new structure from scratch. These are strategic changes and this is your chance to establish HR as a strategic partner.

Before you get that request, prepare to manage a successful org change by remembering these 3 simple key concepts that we’ve learned from supporting merger integrations, reorganizations, and downsizing processes:

  1. Get your data in one place
    • If you have to open several systems and documents to understand your organization, you will drown in administrative tasks before you even start to make strategic decisions. Before an org change starts, discuss with your team how you can get all of the data you need into one place. Perhaps you already have a system that lets you work with different scenarios in the safety of a secure sandbox. If not, assess if an online tool that is quick to set up could meet your needs (for example, try a free account on our OrgWeaver software platform)
  2. Know who needs to be involved
    • Make a list of every stakeholder who will need to provide information or receive reports during the org change (Executives, Managers, HR, Recruiters, Employees, Unions, Shareholders, etc.). Org changes require a lot of communication, so it is important to identify ahead of time who will be in charge of gathering & sharing different types of information for different people on a regular schedule.
  3. Keep track of decisions
    • No matter how good an HR team’s intentions are during an org change, you will be required to answer difficult questions about how decisions were made. From the very beginning of an org change, keep consistent notes on who made decisions, at what time, and for what reasons. If you don’t have the capacity to track these decisions on your own, a software tool like OrgWeaver can automatically keep track of how decisions were made.

We’re taking our own advice here at BrightArch to “keep things simple”. We’ve simplified the name of our software to OrgWeaver (which everyone agrees is much easier to say than OrganizationWeaver). And we’re simplifying the way customers can pick up and use OrgWeaver to solve complex org change challenges. More to come in the coming months.