Organizational Unit Structure

An organizational unit is a functional area of the business. They may be defined by geography, product, or other methods. Organizational units are the sections and sub-sections that the business is broken down into. They occur from the highest level of the business, as divisions, to the lowest level of the business, as teams. When describing organizational units, it is important to define their mandate and capabilities, and any improvements that can be made to them.

The mandate is the reason that the organizational unit was created. It should include the organizational unit's purpose and function at the time of creation, and any changes that have occurred since then. It is important to describe the mandate to create consensus on what the organizational unit should do, and to keep track of changes to the business that will change the mandate.

The capabilities of the organizational unit are the things that it can do. It should include the number of people, computers, and other resources that are part of the organizational unit, and the functions that the organizational unit performs. This section should also explain what the organizational unit is authorized to do, who authorized that, and who must authorize it to do more. This section is important because it considers the capabilities and limitations of the organizational unit, and how they can be changed.

Improvements to the organizational unit would include changes to the capability or the mandate, and functional changes that must be made in response. For example, allowing an organizational unit to hold meetings through teleconferencing would require them to have that software. This change might require installation of an existing program, or testing of a new program. The improvements to the organizational unit are important because they reflect changes to the structure of the organizational unit, and to how the organizational unit operates.

Keeping track of organizational units is important to the business because it allows the business to make changes as necessary. Organizational units function to add value to the business, so changes to them will affect the value they provide to the business. Recording how they change, and why the changes occur, allows the business to ensure that changes are properly authorized and implemented. Tracking your current capabilities prevents a new organizational unit from being created when an existing one can be adapted or expanded.