Tools & Technologies

Visualizing the Organization: Jeff Stamps Unlocks the Hidden Networks of Organizations

For the past 25 years, Jeff Stamps and Jessica Lipnack have been researching, writing and speaking about the change from small groups, to hierarchies, to bureaucracies, and now to the network, which is the defining characteristic of organizations in the information age. With the emergence and refinement of network science, Jeff and Jessica have been investigating whether the organizational hierarchy is the network. In conjunction with a large global organization, they have been looking at how to model the organization in this way, starting with the formal hierarchy.

To support their work, they have created a software tool called “OrgScope”, which takes information from the corporate HR system (or an LDAP directory), and as long as it includes the name of each person’s manager, can graphically model the organization using techology licensed from Inxight Software (recently acquired by Business Objects). See NetAge for a Web-based version of this.

Information that can be seen easily and graphically includes:

  • How many people are reporting to each role? There are various ways of quickly highlighting which managers have very large numbers of direct reports.
  • What does the organization look like as a network of groups? Of locations? Of people? It’s very easy to switch between the different views.
  • … and many more.

Jeff has some clear ideas about how he would like to expand the utility of this model through additional data sets … all I can say is “watch this space”.

I greatly encourage you to check out Jeff’s work … this is a must for any HR organization in large enterprises.

Categories: Tools & Technologies