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first pass, looking for feedback.
my boss asked me to redesign the org chart for our group, removing reporting hierarchy as the organizing principle. we're a team of teams across locations, we pool resources on projects and leaders of teams collaborate to keep the whole thing aligned. this is an abstracted view, roles are more nuanced and varied in real life. I think the zoomed out view would have this as a node in a network with other similarly structured nodes

@briromer I have no intelligent comments about the design, but my colourblind eyes can't tell the difference between the UX and data science dots

@christianp thanks for pointing this out, I definitely know better and will revise to colorblind-friendly

@briromer I like how the team leads appear to be circling all the teams, like sheep dogs. :) What about multiple views, like one showing reporting structure (tree diagram, presumably) but in other views using contours to enclose groups of related team members?

@scott hmmmm I do love contour line plots...my design team has this crazy octopus shape

@briromer please share if you can. I am way more interested in org charts than is healthy and have attempted similar efforts in my current job

@briromer nice graphic. The leaders kinda look like they're sheepdogs running in back and forth in circles to keep the blues and purples concentrated in this area - which might be an apt metaphor.

@zatnosk ha, I know - the "fence" was originally angular so I rounded it to make it feel nicer. But then thought, maybe dashed lines to show we're not fencing people in? Anyway going for an inversion of the leader-centric portrayal

@briromer I love org charts - great info design challenge. I have a board for inspiration: pinterest.ca/chezvoila/organiz

Some random ideas:

a) The team leaders could be areas under the teams and they would meet in the middle, like a Venn diagram (leaders = meeting points of teams)
b) People as slices (2 colors) of a pie (😱 ) that form a project? Or various shapes that fit together?
c) No, that's it...

@francis thanks for sharing! Pinterest is currently not letting me log in so I'll have to come back and monkey with it later. I like the leaders under the teams but a 7+way venn diagram is going to be distracting. Would be good to show an illustration of a project and how that's resourced cross-clusters

update: colorblind friendly (though not necessary final color palette) and dashed lines to make the "fence" permeable

@briromer Seems like the hierarchy is dynamic? Either you're trying to create a static image out of something dynamic, or they're asking you to diagram a non-existent hierarchy.

Org charts only exist to reinforce existing hierarchies. That's not a flaw, that's its function! People have to know who to report to and ask questions to. If there is no hierarchy, don't make an org chart. But if you need to make an org chart for a dynamic hierarchy, make it dynamic/interactive, or it will be useless.

@matth totally agree, this was a 30 min static sketch exercise. once you start thinking it through you realize you want to see different linkages and configurations - by location / project team / reporting structure, so the real / complete version would be interactive. mostly this is a communications exercise for old school leadership in a big company to start thinking differently about people, teams, how we relate and how we get work done

@briromer introducing old school leadership to interactive dynamic networks! Keep us updated on how much in awe they will be in the future when you make it!

@matth
also as uncomfortable as I am with the classic reporting heirarchy/taxonomy I do know that once you're > 2 pizzas you need some structure and accountability in the roles

@briromer Btw best network viz library is WebCoLa. Has great examples for interactive/static network graphs

@matth wow that looks like just about the best js library for graphing I've seen
ialab.it.monash.edu/webcola/
I remember trying to use a CoLa plugin for CytoScape but it didn't work as well as I'd hoped. For fine-tuning graph layout Gephi has been my best option. from there you can export x,y, and meta from nodes and edges to use in d3/other

@briromer all these new tools need better integrations with each other! that has been the bane of network vis for a while

@briromer Interesting! I like the color choice. what's the relationship between a team lead and a data science/UX cluster? Why all the lines between the leads? To me, connecting team leads doesn't communicate much. If your audience is internal to your company, perhaps my last point is irrelevant.

@madeleine so yes this is an internal audience thing, and to your point is barely explained by the graphic. DS/UX clusters are locations of people who work in the same office, each of which has a team lead. originally we had the team leads networked in the middle with teams on the outside, but then flipped it so teams are closer with swappable talent. attached is a dark AND colorblind safe version

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