Network Measures of an Organization Chart

During five years of research and development, NetAge has applied “the new science of networks" to organizations and invented tools for analyzing it. OrgScope displays the entire organization chart--whether 500 or 2000 or 10,000 or more positions--as one coherent map. Then, we interpret the results. We compare “position metrics”--how one position’s characteristics stack up against another--and answer questions like these:

  • Which jobs bear the greatest management burden?

  • Which have the largest organizations beneath them?

  • Which have their people in the greatest number of locations?


Onto the base organization chart, we layer service organizations, project teams, initiatives, leadership teams, and other professional specialty groups--and analyze those in the same way. We can model the business itself, pinpoint its hotspots, and make recommendations.
Distribution of Manager Span
Distribution of positions by level
  • In 2003, Eleum launched a new 5000-position regional business unit within 100,000-position global company
  • Complex company in complex, dangerous industry
  • New organizational design benefited from highly experienced and thoughtful senior executives
  • Fed data from enterprise HR system into OrgScope to create org network model
  • Each position reports to another position and is marked by its level, which indicates its “degree of separation” from CEO
  • Each position is associated with a specific organization
  • Most positions are associated with named people (though some are vacant)
  • Each position is identified with a physical location
  • OrgScope creates a complete, very large org chart, whose results can be analyzed, compared, and layered with additional data

Summary of Results

  • Business studied in pilot phase is a diamond shape, not a traditional pyramid, 8 levels deep
  • Some very large organizations (100+) are buried quite deep in hierarchy (at levels 4-6)
  • Communication by cascade cannot reach whole organization quickly, but a “sideways” strategy can
  • Some key organizations are up to four times as large as they appear on organization chart when matrix reports and contractors are added
  • Most managers supervise small groups; a few manage very large staffs of 30 or more
  • Some positions—about 20%—are inherently more complex than others
  • These “organizational ‘hotspots” benefit from more management attention, greater HR and IT support
  • In formal leadership groups, some functions are over-represented, others underrepresented

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