Shape of the Org Chart LO5760

John Zavacki (
Wed, 21 Feb 1996 05:08:44 -0500

Replying to LO5742 --

There's been a lot of good dialogue here. The notions of form and
content, function and connection seem to be one and the same to me. In an
information model, there are two levels of information flow: physical and
logical. Physical flow deals with function, logical deals with form. In
a wheel and spoke model (or pentagram and web)the nodes (circles or boxes)
are the function (which may be individuals or teams) and the lines are the
information flow.

One of the problems is the departmental notion of physical flow. In Jan's
well-thought out scenario, there was a Finance/Accounting node,
Administration/Information, etc. These are model (macro) level functions.
Each breaks down to multiple physical nodes in a work-flow map.

No one can understand an organization from a hierarchical org chart. The
connections are more important at the operational level than he boxes they
connect. The way we draw an organizational chart should mirror the way we
simulate a process: it should show all relationships with an eye towards
optimizing the overall functionality of the process, IF we intend to
improve the process. A functional organization chart once showed me that
customer service took orders and did order entry. A process model showed
that the information flowed through four other departments after customer
contact on the way to order entry and then went through three more before
becoming an order. We need to define the reason for a chart before we
redesign the way we draw it. For a learning organization, perhaps
knowledge representations and relationships to functional responsibilities
may be of value.

John Zavacki
The Wolff Group
900 James Avenue
Scranton, PA 18510
Phone: 717-346-1218	Fax: 717-346-1388

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