Within the tech bubble, firms are placing more emphasis on growth than ever before. This makes sense when you consider the sheer scale of the modern tech space, though. Growth enables firms to support more end-users in our increasingly digital, remote, and virtual world, and the priority that firms are lending to growth efforts has led to the tech sector becoming one of the fastest-growing according to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor.
For firms that are chasing growth, decision-makers are presented with a huge challenge: How can they best leverage the people, tools, systems, and processes that they already have in place to access further growth?
To help firms support their growth, here are three current trends that should be influencing the org structures of any firm that’s looking to scale in 2022.
1. More of a focus on autonomy
Growing firms should be doing everything that they can to help teams work autonomously. We can look to media streaming giant Netflix for an idea of how well autonomy can work in practice. At Netflix, they refer to the concept of autonomy as “highly aligned, loosely coupled”—in other words, employees can work independent of any external influence, but they’ve got access to anything they need to remain aligned with the company’s best practices.
Netflix has taken this approach because tightly connected dependencies can lead to delays in work. Employees are given the freedom to work autonomously while following guidelines around policies in areas such as legal, compliance, regulatory, and branding. When employees are allowed to act autonomously, they become self-motivated, inspired to achieve, and more likely to remain engaged with their work. Inevitably, this leads to a boost in productivity and efficiency. In addition, employees that are self-aware and have the freedom to think are more likely to be motivated to pursue professional development, something which benefits everyone.
2. Knowledge sharing
When a firm is small, it’s easy for smaller, closer teams to share knowledge. As expertise builds up over time and teams become more siloed, however, they can easily begin to hoard knowledge and fail to document key processes and other important information.
This sort of situation isn’t a problem until it is: as firms scale, roles change, and new employees join—and a lack of available knowledge, or a lack of a way for employees to easily access it, can pose a huge challenge for new hires and make it harder for them to settle in.
It’s not just a problem for new hires, though. All employees need a central source of information, a single source of truth, that they can rely on to answer questions across teams and departments. Understanding best practices at a growing company is a challenge for old and new employees alike, so building repositories of up-to-date information, procedures, and policies becomes critical, as does ensuring that your organizational chart is an accurate representation of employees’ current roles and reporting relationships.
3. Org structures that designate ownership
Another trend to keep in mind is the increase in org structures that designate individuals as directly and solely responsible for decision-making in defined areas or projects. Tech giant Apple has this approach for project management. It has “directly responsible individuals” (DRIs) assigned per project who are responsible for decision-making building a consensus within their teams.
As is the case at Apple, DRIs need to be documented and visible so that other teams and departments know who to approach with questions about a project. This, we’re sure, is something that we can all relate to: being needlessly passed around from person to person when you have a question, all because there’s no way for you to find out who’s calling the shots. With clear visibility into DRIs, ownership is clear, and you can go straight to the person who’s able to answer your question.
When organizations assign direct ownership over every department, application, product, service, and project, teams can see who makes key decisions. In growing organizations, this also helps with key tasks such as growth planning, onboarding, and reorgs.
Map Your Org Structure with Organimi
The importance of a clear, functional, and up-to-date org chart cannot be understated, especially for a growing organization. A clear org chart helps to keep all your employees on the main page, meet business objectives, and strategically plan your growth and any potential reorgs that might be required as a result.
With a powerful org chart tool like Organimi, you can benefit from seamless integration with your existing HR tools such as Office 365 or Microsoft Azure Active Directory and use your existing data as a basis for building a functional org chart in a matter of minutes and use our powerful org chart building interface to customize it to your liking.