Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Organisational Charts Problematic?

In some companies, ask a manager what their department does and instead of a capability model or a process model out pops the org. chart out on to to the desk. It represents to them a statement of their power and influence and the political pecking order.

The organisational chart is what a lot of people think organisational design is about. It is thought by some to be a key artifact in enterprise and business architecture. I think it has its place but probably as the last thing you do prior to implementation of transformation; certainly not the first.

Why do I feel so strongly about organisational charts?

  • They often perpetuates the "AS IS" by not disconnecting today and today's politics by inhibiting the lifting of thinking up into conceptual models.
  • Thinking devoid of current players and organisational structures helps to identify root definitions, prior to evaluating the needs of tomorrow and then designing the new physical model with its new organisation fit for new strategies/ goals supporting by the redefined capabilities  and business services to satisfy the new customer experience.
  • If you focus on the org chart in designing the future accountability and control will be divided out based on current personalities and their influence, not on what should logically be wrapped in a functional container. 

Many organisational designs seem illogical until you realise they represented the growth in a personalities power and the "land grab" in the past as they climbed up the corporate ladder.

Leave a "TO BE" organisational chart as late as possible in my view, as it constrains thinking.