Use Visio to create project team org charts

Whether your group style is collaborative or competitive, it's a good idea to track who's where in your organizational structure. When you know where to go for information or action—whether it's up, down, or sideways—chances are you'll get better answers more quickly.

An organization chart can help. Let's say you've got a new project starting and you've built your team using resources from other groups. With Microsoft Office Visio® Professional 2003, you can clearly show everyone on your project team who they'll be working with.

Organization chart sample

Create an org chart and team list

On an ordinary list of organizational data, it can be tough to tell who reports to whom, and who's on your project team — especially if you are assembling a virtual project team from a larger group. But in Visio, you can create an org chart that uses a specific data table of only the people working on your project. This information will then exist as a Microsoft Office Excel file that you can use for other purposes, such as a project contact list.

ShowCreate an Excel (.xls) data file to generate an organization chart in Visio

  1. Open Visio.
  2. In the Choose Drawing Type window, under Category, click Organization Chart.

 Note   If the Choose Drawing Type window isn't open, point to New on the File menu, and then click Choose Drawing Type.

  1. Under Template, click Organization Chart Wizard (Metric) or Organization Chart Wizard (US units) to launch the Visio Organization Chart Wizard.
  2. On the first wizard page, click Information that I enter using the wizard, and then click Next.
  3. On the next wizard page, click Excel, and then click Browse to locate the folder in which you want to save the Excel file.
  4. In the File name box, type a name for the new file, click Save, and then click Next.
  5. In the message box that opens, click OK to open a Microsoft Office Excel workbook with column headings in place, and then type over the sample text to create your data file. You can rest the pointer on the column headings to see tips about entering data.
  6. On the Excel File menu, click Save, and then close Excel.
  7. Follow the steps in the remaining wizard pages to create an organization chart from your new Excel data file.

Generate an org chart from existing data

You might already have HR data stored in a database or a spreadsheet. In that case, you can use the Visio Organization Chart Wizard to quickly create an org chart without retyping a single thing.

You may need to make a few formatting changes for the wizard to accurately interpret the data. But importing the information from the HR database ensures that your drawing has correct spellings and titles, in addition to the most current reporting relationships.

You can use the complete set of information in your database to create your org chart, or you can delete everyone except your project team.

ShowMake a Visio organization chart from HR files

ShowFile formats that the Organization Chart Wizard can read

  • Microsoft Office Excel (.xls)
  • Microsoft Exchange Server Directory (the data in the Microsoft Exchange e-mail Address Book)
  • Tab-delimited or comma-delimited text (.txt)
  • Org Plus (.txt)
  • The file format for a database created in an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)-compliant database application, such as Microsoft Office Access

ShowRequired data

The Organization Chart Wizard must be able to identify:

  • Each employee uniquely.
  • Each employee's name. (The way names appear in your data file is the way they'll appear on the organization chart position shapes.)
  • Who each employee reports to.

Example:

Sample personnel data

Callout 1 The Employee ID field in this data file contains numbers that uniquely identify each employee. If no employees have the same name, the Name field can serve as the unique identifier.
Callout 2 The Reports to field must contain managers' unique identifiers. Leave the Reports to field blank for the person at the top of the chart.

 Note   If you choose to create an organization chart from the Microsoft Exchange Server Directory, the Organization Chart Wizard automatically locates and reads the appropriate file. Remember that the resulting org chart will only be as accurate as the data in the Directory file.

ShowOptional data

Your data file is likely to include a number of fields in addition to Unique Identifier, Name, and Reports to. For example, you might have fields for position title, phone number, department, and more. The Organization Chart Wizard lets you decide what you want to do with this data.

You can choose to:

  • Display the employee name and one additional piece of data on the position shapes in the organization chart.
  • Store some or all of the data in property fields associated with the shapes so others have access to the data through the right-click menu.
  • Leave the data in the data file but ignore it for purposes of the organization chart.

ShowRunning the Organization Chart Wizard

After you have structured your data file so the wizard can use the information it contains, you're ready to make an organization chart.

  1. Open Visio.
  2. In the Choose Drawing Type window, under Category, click Organization Chart.

 Note   If the Choose Drawing Type window isn't open, point to New on the File menu, and then click Choose Drawing Type.

  1. Under Template, click Organization Chart Wizard (Metric) or Organization Chart Wizard (US units) to launch the Visio Organization Chart Wizard.
  2. On the first wizard page, click Information that's already stored in a file or database, and then click Next.
  3. Follow the steps in the remaining wizard pages. Click the question mark for help on a particular page.

ShowTips on using the Organization Chart Wizard with imported data

Issue Tip
You want to avoid stopping the wizard because of errors in your data file.

Check for these typical data file errors before you run the wizard:

  • Duplicate employee names or ID numbers
  • Invalid reports-to information
  • Failure to leave the Reports to field blank for the person at the top of the chart
You want to display some of the information from your data file on each organization chart shape. The information you display on each shape can come from any of the fields in your data file. You still have access to the information that isn't displayed. Select a shape, and then on the View menu, click Custom Properties Window.
Your organization chart is too large for one letter-size printed page. Choose the wizard option that enables you to specify how much of your organization to display on each page of a multi-page organization chart. You can choose the number of pages, which employee is at the top of each page, and more.
You want to view the data associated with the chart shapes in your new chart. On the View menu, click Custom Properties Window, and then select any shape.

Identify teams

After you've created your org chart, it's a snap to rearrange the information to reflect your virtual team relationships. Move shapes to form a new group, add dotted-line connectors to show a secondary reporting structure, or use the Team Frame shape to highlight a virtual team. Or, if the project team is large, you can create synchronized shapes and copies that show your project team on a separate page.

You can maintain the existing reporting structure and still clearly show your virtual teammates who they're working with.

Organization Chart with Team Frame and dotted-line relationship

Use your org chart to enhance presentations and reports

Now that you've got the org chart set up, use it.

  • Save it as an HTML file and post it to the project team Web site.
  • For your project kickoff, paste the org chart into a Microsoft Office PowerPoint® presentation.
  • Link to each resource's status reports directly from Visio.
  • Track organizational changes and compare versions of your team throughout the project cycle.

Visio makes it easy to compile and share this information with all the stakeholders in your project.

 
 
Applies to:
Visio 2003