Saturday, September 22, 2007

From organisation chart to process chart

When business analysts come into a new business, they need to quickly understand the structure, people, products and processes in the company.

One of the key things I usually ask for is the organizational chart (aka organigram, organogram).
As a side note: it's amazing how often I either get incomplete or outdated diagrams. I wonder in that case how the heck people in their own organization understand the structure, and can place themselves + link themselves to the goals of the organization. So much for knowledge management, in such a simple form!

In these process-orientation days, I have found organization charts more and more disfunctional. What do you get?

- Powerstructure/reportingstructure
- Functional area's and departments (but often functional departments support multiple processes, and only parts of it)
- Names of people

The thing is - the basic question: "What does this company do" is not easy to answer. For a process-oriented person (like me :-)), that is often difficult - I want to see the chain of actions that lead to results for customers, and their interrelation + the people responsible for the different elements in the chain. Stuff that not easily can extracted from the organization chart.

So - can we come up with a new standard? The processchart, procesogram? Some high-level, I understand this in 1 minute, easy to draw and maintain diagram?

That quickly answers:
- External stakeholders
- Key transactions
- Chains of actions/process areas that support and fullfill transactions
- Key people responsible for parts in the chain, chain accountability

I challenge the reader - do you know something like this??

Some of my thoughts:
- The dutch "Demo" method ( offers a very concise diagram (organisation construction diagram) - however, this misses the accountability structure.
- In the method of Cordys - there is a business model

Curious if other people have a better diagram technique!


Anonymous said...

Hi Roeland

Nice to meet your weblog.

My name is Lachin. I am from iran and currently working in a consulting company in Tehran.Yesterday, I was searching in the internet about “the transforming from functional structure to process oriented structure in organizations” which I found your weblog.
I will be glad to communicate with you about the issue. I am a beginner in the field but too eager to learn.

Bye for now

Roeland Loggen said...

Thank you! Nice to see that in Iran BPM is an interest area as well. Questions welcome.

stegmann said...

Roeland, great article, as always! With respect to your question about "what is this company doing" I normally use the "Supersystem" to start off with. It takes the discussion in the analysis phase from the org chart to the value chain. Google for "supersystem" AND "value chain". Or check here:,%20Part%201.pdf

Best regards, keep up the good work,

David Stegmann,
The House of Marketing
Brussles, Belgium

Jacob Vos said...

Hello Roeland,

It's maybe a little bit late that I react, but the issue is still hot...

I was triggered because you mention the DEMO-method, which is one of my favorites. I understood that you are looking for a way to have a quick insight into an organization. You write as wish among others: "Key people responsible for parts in the chain, chain accountability". Then you indicate that in DEMO you miss "the accountability structure".

My question is: you mean that besides an overview which people are responsible for parts in the chain, you want to know who is 'the boss of whom'?

Indeed, this is not present in DEMO. So besides the DEMO schemes, one would need to have a separate organization chart. There is no overlap between the two. Maybe a 'link' is wanted, namely to relate actor roles to organizational units.

Kind regards,
Jacob Vos
Certified DEMO Professional
Xprise Business Solutions