Today’s blog focuses on the topic of use cases and acceptable usage of Organimi.

Use cases are widely used in the software industry and by IT organizations internally at organizations to describe the way people (typically) interact with technology (typically devices and software) to achieve business and personal goals. Core use cases reflect common repeated patterns; use cases “at the edges” explore the boundaries and exceptions that bend and twist and extend the core capabilities of the system. Acceptable use describes the set of rules applicable to access and use of a system, website or service.

Our basic message is “go nuts”, use Organimi everywhere you feel it is appropriate, and bend and break it everywhere you can so we can see how much further we can push the product to help achieve that vision of connecting people at work in meaningful and useful ways.

But First, Some Words From Our Sponsors….You

We’re getting a lot of feedback and questions from the Organimi Community these days.

Thanks to everyone for your input.

We’ve on-boarded new members this week in government and politics, in education, in sports, in faith groups, and many more in businesses – large and small.

Today’s blog explores user feedback and thought leadership commentary in a number of areas of org chart design, for example, including family businesses, supply chains, and business ecosystems.

With the group growing to 1,500 organizations and 40,000+ members over the past few weeks, there is no shortage of ideas, suggestions, comments and questions. Keep them coming!

Customer feedback and community engagement is at the core of making our product better.  We think communication is best when everyone joins in.

Your feedback is helping us achieve our mission of creating the world’s easiest and most robust organizational design solution to help our users connect, communicate and collaborate, wherever they work.

You may have noticed we’ve added a field on our trial registration form for people to explain what challenges they were trying to solve with org charts.

We know trial registration forms are a pain, but we do appreciate the data – so thanks for providing it.

It has been encouraging to see so many people describing their challenges around getting to know and connect with others in their organizations as a key issue they hope Organimi will help them address. At the end of the day, Organimi is about people, and creating more effective and collaborative work places.

Organizing Your Value Chain

We responded this week to the following user request:

“I work for a small consulting firm with 16 employees; our roster probably doesn’t change often enough to justify using this product just for ourselves. However, we work on large construction projects where there are many different organizations (owners, parent corporations, property management, real estate firms, multiple architecture firms, consultants, MEPs, GCs, subcontractors… )  working together and in a variety of ways; it’s vitally important to know what that food chain looks like (as we discover it!) to make sure there’s clear communication with the right people. That’s what we’re considering using this product for.”

This user was wondering if this was an “acceptable use” of Organimi.

Our answer is an emphatic “yes!”.  This is exactly what Organimi was designed to enable.

In previous blogs we have discussed organizational transparency and the benefits of using Organimi to make your own organization more transparent for your members and for others wanting to interact with you.

As this user notes, this principle also applies to what we like to think of as your “extended value chain” – the supplier, customer and partner relationships that connect your employees with others within the economic ecosystem your organization operates in.

Organizational boundaries are becoming more fluid, and there are many good reasons why innovative organizations of all kinds are looking to engage not only their own staff but others they connect and work with in their communities to help them achieve their organizational goals.  As we describe in our white paper, we want to help make that happen, so by all means use us.

Creating and sharing this kind of an organizational view can help strengthen the connections between people across this ecosystem, enabling faster, more efficient decision-making by more productive and engaged teams of decision makers, wherever they are located.

Organizing Your Family Empire

We also responded this week to a user request wanting to combine family (genealogy or family tree) principles with organizational design ones.

Family_TreeThe use case was an extended family, through multiple generations, actively involved in various of its family branches in a number of different businesses across multiple industries.  The idea is to enable enhanced transparency, collaboration and understanding of family relationships across a very large family extending through several generations.  Ironically, in this day and age of global connectivity, family members can have trouble keeping track of each other.

This hybrid use case or “mash up” of family trees and organizational ones, adds a new dimension to design.

For now, using the “non-person” entities we support in Organimi for departments, and for shared roles, we can make this design happen, but it is a bit – to use a scientific word – of a kluge so we will need to do some extensions to the product to support this use case, but this is exactly the kind of “bend it and break it” feedback we thrive on.

Organizing For Tomorrow: From Learning to Plan to Planning to Learn

Lastly, we spent some time this week with Ayelet Baron, a futurist who is becoming a thought leader on retooling organizations for the 21st century business environment.  You can follow Ayelet’s thinking, which is evolving in real time, through her Slideshare posts.  The key messages resonate with us and provide some insight into where we see Organimi going in future releases.

Ayelet’s focus on rethinking organizational design also resonates with us, and provides some hints at the future direction organizations will take, and where we hope Organimi will follow.

Her over-arching theme compares 20th century and 21st century business architectures – a movement she describes as being from “scarcity” to “abundance”.  Among its many other attributes, 21st century business moves from “command and control” to “trusted relationships”; from “taking market share” to “creating new markets”, from “processed innovation” to “experimentation, failure, disruption and innovation” and from “top down organization” to “connected and networked organization”.

The below illustration from Twitter, leveraging and visualizing its data to construct influence diagrams, is an example of what tomorrow’s “connected networks” may look like, as organizations become more virtual.

As Ayelet notes this transition signals a profound shift away from hierarchical organizing principles and organizational designs, to those focused on people centric talent management processes, project-oriented work-processes, and tapping into extended internal and external knowledge networks.

Future releases of Organimi will tap into and document these trends, providing users with many additional visualization tools to represent their organizational relationships and connections.

From “Done Is Better Than Perfect” to “Shipping Love”

I spoke this week to a Facebook contact.

Done_Is_Better_Than_PerfectThey described the cultural shift under way in that organization.  As Faceboook transitions to a more established and mature business, their organizational mantra has shifted from the inward facing hacker culture mindset of “Done Is Better Than Perfect” to a customer and partner focused mission to “Ship Love“. This mirrors similar efforts reported at Google, the other dominant platform of 21st century technology, to focus more consistently on end user experience, design and branding.

It was interesting to see culture in action as we discussed Organimi and opportunities to improve it. His perceptions and comments were insightful and helpful as we look to focus our efforts and energies on new features and product enhancements.

Organimi is a “crawl, walk, run” platform story.  We’re crawling.  The immediate and evident need of most of our customers is to map out the current connections among their members within the organization they work with.  Organimi excels at this.

But we hope to be more, so we’re glad our user community is challenging us and taking us in new directions.

We’ll be working in coming weeks, months and years on introducing new connectivity tools and options that help users create, display, share and leverage their organizational relationships, and including these extended network connections, more effectively and collaboratively to achieve more in their work by contributing more to the networks they operate in.

Your insights are invaluable to this process.

We thank all of our users for their patience, encouragement and support.  We hope you are enjoying Organimi and that we are always bringing new, interesting and innovative ways for you to think about and leverage your organizational networks and relationships.

If you are liking Organimi please spread the word by encouraging friends and colleagues to sign up and check it out.

The Organimi Team