Implementing dotted (multiple) reporting lines..

Organisations are messy and matrix or dotted line reporting is common. Luckily OrgVue has a couple of ways of visualising your org charts even when there’s more than one manager per employee. All you need for both methods to work is to have a second parent ID field in your data (e.g. line_manager_id and clinical_manager_id).


Option 1: Team View

Team View is a dashboard that shows how dotted line reports relate to the “main” reporting structure. It has the advantage of showing both hierarchies at the same time. Simply click “Team View” from the list of dashboards, and where it says Matrix Links in the sidebar, select the property to use as a secondary parent_id.



Option 2: Switching between parent IDs

You can use the “Parent By” drop down in the toolbar to change which property is used to build the hierarchy. If you have a second parent_id property, you can switch between that and your existing parent_id and OrgVue will switch between hierarchies. This is useful when you want to retain all the functionality of Tree View and view only one hierarchy at a time.



If your data doesn’t already contain a second parent_id, you can create one easily. Make a property to hold the dotted line manager id, and then “Parent By” that property. Your hierarchy will disappear and all your nodes will be orphans. However, when you drag and drop nodes in tree view to start building your matrix[1] reporting structure, the correct values for parent_id will be generated in the newly created property.


If your organisation is too big for this to be feasible, we've developed a custom online form that you can instantly email to your employees and prompt them to fill in the email address of their manager(s). This can be used to automatically generate a hierarchy by crowd sourcing. Get in touch with one of our consultants for more information.


[1] To make this process easier, you might want to filter to only the top few levels of the org chart before you switch parent ID fields.


Best Practice Option: Linking people to positions

Sometimes neither of the above options is sufficient because either reporting relationships aren't clear, or change regularly. This is especially true in professional services and healthcare, where having 3+ managers, employees reporting outside of their own company, skip level reporting and shift managers are common.


A good way of capturing this is to have a standard org chart of roles that remains fairly static, and a flat list of people that changes regularly. You can then link people to their current role(s) and capture some of these complex many-to-many relationships.


This article was authored by Ben Marshall from the OrgVue Consulting Team

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