One Position, Four Support Functions
The four great support systems of most large organizations intersect and overlap in the concept of a singular position: one job, one person, one user, one place.
  • Finance views a position as an authorized job, a “head” with a cost to be attributed to a budget held by a logically distinct sub-organization.
  • HR sees the people, positions filled by individuals who are employees that compile personnel records.
  • IT treats people-in-positions as users with permission profiles based on multiple roles and group memberships, but, hopefully, a single sign-on.
  • Facilities, often part of Finance, matches a position with a place, traditionally a fixed station or a desk, which is often related to job-required capabilities or assets, an association that is getting more complicated in the age of the network.

The four basic support functions of the modern organization offer four potential sources of data for complex organization network maps.

  • Finance and HR hold the source data regarding positions and people, as well as the authorizing manager of the position. This data is sufficient to automatically generate the hierarchy network.
  • IT and Facilities piggy-backs on the Finance/HR authorization of a person-in position for access to facilities, virtual and physical.
  • IT may hold hierarchy reporting relationships in LDAP, but it also has a wealth of information about teams, membership lists, authorizing organization (department charged), and, increasingly, virtual locations ranging from shared drives to team rooms.

Contractor data, the "dark matter of organizations," is scattered through the functions: HR may do some contractor hiring, Facilities might have authorized non-employee lists, Finance may have headcounts and contracts, while IT may have the most complete list of contractors important enough to have logins to the internal technology network.