Some organisations are obsessed with their internal pecking order. It’s presumably a reflection of our tribal origins that we like to know that Beryl in accounts reports to Mr Bainbridge, acting Deputy regional vice undermanager -even if he’s incompetent and she really runs the outfit.
It’s often true that the status organogram of a big organisation, despite being so carefully drafted, doesn’t really reflect who talks to whom.
Today’s invention is a software tool which automatically detects and updates the de facto reporting structure within an organisation.
Every time an email is created, this program records a list of the people to whom it is sent, cc’d and bcc’d. Over time, sufficient data are gathered to allow a map of the actual interconnectivities between people to be shown. This would represent direction, frequency, bandwidth and priority of exactly who talks to whom.
In this way, those individuals who are most critical to the communications process can be easily identified. My suspicion is that these crucial individuals will not be those at the top of the notional pyramid.
Analysis of Subject lines might also allow identification of eg any large scale wastages of bandwidth, such as that person in purchasing who’s always sharing their weekly footbal results, wedding photos or ‘amusing anecdotes’ by spamming half their colleagues.