Last updated on March 26th, 2019 at 04:09 pm
An organizational chart (or simply Org chart) is a diagram used to display the internal structure of a company or organization.
Naturally, this includes your employees (as well as each position) — all of which are represented by boxes or any other shapes.
Your org chart can also include contact information, icons, email and page links, photos and more.
What you have, in essence, is a vivid depiction of the ranks of people, jobs and departments that keep your business going on a day to day basis.
All of that taken into account, it isn’t hard to see why an org chart can be useful for small business owners.
That’s why we went ahead and reviewed the top three organizational charts for small businesses. Below you will find a detailed review and comparison of Organimi, OrgPlus and LucidChart.
Best Org Chart Software Available: Organimi
Organimi dominates as an organizational chart that embodies ease of use, and boasts an affordable price, especially in comparison to its competitors.
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Know Your Chart
To be clear, all org charts fall under the flowchart umbrella. But not ALL flowcharts are org charts.
That said, there are programs available that may be more suited to creating all kinds of flowcharts, and others that focus solely on organizational charts.
Programs like Organimi are designed exclusively for creating org charts. You should not, however, believe that a program with a more general purpose (a drawing program like LucidChart for instance) can’t be an asset to your company.
Programs like LucidChart might be a bit tougher to navigate than typical org chart software, but there are advantages to consider.
While we believe Organimi is your best bet for great (and affordable) org chart software, there are variables to take into consideration. More on this later.
Why Organimi Receives the Highest Recommendation
But the latter is not specifically designed for the creation of org charts.
Unlike LucidChart, Organimi doesn’t require much manual work, and LucidChart’s tools don’t stack up in comparison to Organimi. In other words, Organimi is more equipped for visualizing data.
Seeing as Organimi was conceptualized for the creation of org charts from the jump, the interface is much easier to get into. Employee rosters can be uploaded from a spreadsheet, after which you need only drag and drop to build your chart.
Looking to share your org chart? You have many options: HTML code to post your chart to your company website, public links to share online, or you can simply save your org chart as a PDF.
Organimi is easily one of your best options when it comes to creating organizational charts, but this isn’t to say there aren’t downsides.
Some small business owners may not be fond of the annual subscription, as there is no option to pay month-month.
With that in mind, Organimi is by no means your only option for well-rounded org chart software. Let’s take a look at some alternatives that don’t exactly compromise on quality.
Insperity OrgPlus: Is it Right For You?
There are qualities present in OrgPlus that can make it an asset to your small business.
For one, it’s overall look is more professional. Whenever you export a chart, you can choose from a number of themes — 8 to be exact.
Even better, whenever you import a spreadsheet, the org chart is automatically generated. In other words, it saves you the trouble of having to build the chart or add employees.
To be fair, the last advantage of using OrgPlus does have a potential downside. If you don’t already have a spreadsheet, the process of generating a chart may not be quite as seamless.
This is because you’d have to create said spreadsheet, which should list all employees, their roles as well as direct supervisors.
Also, should you ever need to edit your chart, like add a new employee or change an old employee’s title, this will involve downloading the master spreadsheet.
You would then need to open the file in a spreadsheet editing program and make whatever changes you need before re-uploading it to OrgPlus.
The Bottom Line
OrgPlus is a great option for those in need of simplicity; creating a chart can be as straightforward as uploading.
Your spreadsheet to the program. What users won’t like is that editing your chart won’t be nearly as clear cut.
So OrgPlus CAN make simple for you, but it doesn’t hold the flexibility some users may prefer.
LucidChart: Is it Right For You?
Mostly because it is essentially a drawing program as opposed to a program designed for organizational charts.
LucidChart specializes in creating all sorts of flowcharts such as:
- Family trees
- Circuit diagrams
- Floor plans
- And of course, org charts
One of major selling points of LucidChart is its flexibility. It allows you to draw different shapes to represent different roles.
Need to create multiple connections for an employee? Well, LucidChart allows you to do that and more. For example, you won’t be limited to one supervisor for any employee.
The fairytale ends when you consider that this program takes more manual work. After all, you have to create each box and arrow on your chart.
Consider also that LucidChart’s interface is a bit more complicated as there are more options available when it comes to formatting charts, and creating objects.
While the extra options are fantastic, not everyone will be a fan of the less intuitive experience.
The Bottom Line
LucidChart only provides phone support for an Enterprise plan, but it does make up for that (and other setbacks) with a slew of positives that shouldn’t be ignored.
Among those positives is its iPad app that allows you to edit and view files.
The extra options available to users when it comes to creating objects and formatting charts, and the ability to create multiple connections for employees.
Best Org Chart Software for Your Small Business: How It Works
You can get things started by manually entering (or uploading) a list of employees.
The process of building your chart is also pretty straightforward, as you simply define the various roles in your business.
You can also outline the levels of specific employees, stating who they should report to. After which, it basically comes down to dragging employees to respective positions.
Organimi (as expected of org chart software), provides additional tools for your graph. By adjusting your view.
You can choose to see only the main departments within your business, or create custom views, which basically display data fields — whether email addresses, or employee phone numbers.
Especially if you aren’t particularly fond of manually drawing a chart, as OrgPlus will build a chart for you so long as you upload your master spreadsheet file.
Keep in mind that while this is ‘easier’, it does come at the cost of flexibility. What I am saying is you can’t edit your chart quite as seamlessly.
This means if you ever need to make changes, you will have to download and re-upload your spreadsheet every single time.
Another downside here is with regards to certain complexities. For instance, what if an employee has more than one supervisor? The way OrgPlus is set up makes it hard to account for such situations.
When it comes to tools, OrgPlus isn’t far behind Organimi. You are given tons of great tools for bringing your org chart to life.
OrgPlus offers flexibility in that you can change the layout to suit your needs; whether the chains of command, number of columns or what have you.
However, this does come with its own advantages, namely in terms of flexibility.
The other programs consist of clear-cut hierarchy levels and such, while LucidChart is presented more like a whiteboard.
This basically means you are free to drag and drop boxes wherever you might like. To further my point, earlier we discussed complexities that programs like OrgPlus make it difficult to account for.
Well, with LucidChart you can account for such complexities (like employees with multiple supervisors) far more easily. On the downside, things can get disorganized much easier than with a program like OrgPlus.
This program allows collaboration even on free accounts. You can invite members to collaborate, and decide whether or not they can edit, comment or only view. Just keep in mind, the limitations of a free account apply here as well.
Team and Enterprise accounts offer you control over sharing permissions. This is useful, for example, if you wish for collaborators to share your chart only with people within the organization.
It is highly possible that most users may find LucidChart’s interface to be a bit more complex than the other programs discussed on this list.
If it’s a case where you absolutely require a program that is easy to make your way around, chances are this is not the software for you.
Handling Data: Import and Export Options
There are the typical data fields: email address, phone number, position etc, not to mention the option to save two custom fields if needed.
What about adding employee photos to your org chart? Simple. You can easily browse photos off your computer and upload them, or utilize Organimi’s search tool to access photos from Google.
After creating your chart, you can then export it as a PNG or PDF image file. This program also allows you to generate a link in order to share your chart online.
Another option is to generate HTML code and embed the chart on your company website.
- Or TXT
What’s missing here is the option to enter employees manually. This can only be done by importing a spreadsheet. Custom fields can’t be added either.
Unlike Organimi, OrgPlus doesn’t allow you to share charts online. You can, however, export your org chart as a Powerpoint, PDF, HTML, or Excel file.
This program is similar to Organimi in that you can add different custom fields to your organizational chart. LucidChart also provides a neat image search tool so you can scrape employee photos from Dropbox, Flickr, or Facebook.
When you need to export your chart, it can be saved as PNG, PDF, Visio or JPEG. Ready to share your org chart online?
LucidChart (similar to Organimi) allows you to generate a link in order to share your chart on social networks, or generate HTML code to share it on your website.
Best Org Chart Software: Our Final Review
When making a decision, consider what program can best meet your needs in terms of flexibility, organization and ease-of-use.
Organimi we believe offers the most as an org chart program that is easy to use, and affordable while offering a solid set of tools.
OrgPlus is another great org chart software that boasts tools that give Organimi a run for its money. However, it is held back by the inconvenience of not allowing you to edit charts as you might like.
LucidChart, while not designed specifically for org chart creation, works wonders in terms of versatility. But keep in mind this program does require more manual work on your part.