Investing in ChartHop

Conway’s Law states “organizations which design systems… are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.” The common example of Conway’s Law is that an engineering team split into three groups working on the same project will ultimately break the project into three components along the team lines.

How you structure and grow your organization has a tremendous amount of influence on how your company operates. This sounds so obvious, and yet most organizations don’t act thoughtfully when it comes to organizational planning and design.

And this isn’t just an HR issue. Nor is it just a CEO issue. Organizational management impacts everyone.

What if we had software that could turn the organization itself into code, so we could visualize and model changes and get better answers to important questions? Click To Tweet

Front line managers often have the ground truth of how their team is performing, and what changes they need to make for the future. But converting that information into effective organizational design is often a painful process, typically involving a lot of people, a lot of data, and a lot of spreadsheets. Because this is so painful and time-consuming, this work is usually only sorted out once a year in a finance-led annual budgeting process with spreadsheets being passed around between finance, HR, and managers.

In addition to sucking the soul out of people, these processes and spreadsheets aren’t able to answer the most basic questions managers and executives are asking in today’s dynamic hiring and company environments. How and where is the organization growing? Are we opening recs in the right places? How many open headcount will we have throughout the year? What’s the financial impact? This makes it harder to answer the even more thoughtful and less tactical questions – Are we doing raises in a fair and equitable way? How do the raises being given this cycle compare to the performance reviews we did three months ago? Is our workforce becoming more diverse and is our pay equal across demographics? How do we get a better view of our growing remote workforce?

Instead of annual spreadsheet updates, what if we had software that could turn the organization itself into code, so we could visualize and model changes and get better answers to these important questions?

This is ChartHop, and it uses many of the paradigms that make developers work effectively. It has a revision control that provides an endless timeline of how an organization has evolved over time. And a multiplayer mode that allows ChartHop users to “fork” (to use a developer term) a copy of their part of the org chart, modify it, submit it to their boss and/or finance for approval, and once approved, have it merged back into the master org chart.

ChartHop also has integrations to key systems, including BambooHR, ADP, Greenhouse, Carta, and more, so it can create and update an org automatically. These integrations also feed actions back out to various systems – updating the HRIS (Human Resource Information System), submitting raises to your payroll system, opening talent requisitions in your application tracking system, etc.

And because ChartHop ties together so many disparate systems of record and aggregates historical data, it can produce incredible visualizations that answer the deeper organizational questions I posed above – Are raises being done equitably? Do they map to performance reviews? Are we growing our talent fairly?

ChartHop is the kind of HR software a deeply technical engineering leader would build if they were sick of dealing with spreadsheets to manage hundreds of engineers. Click To Tweet

ChartHop is the kind of HR software a deeply technical engineering leader would build if they were sick of dealing with spreadsheets to manage hundreds of engineers. And, in fact, founder Ian White previously co-founded and led engineering at Sailthru, and has been a well-known technical leader in the New York tech scene for years. He wrote the early code for ChartHop himself, and has now assembled a fantastic team to bring ChartHop to leaders at every company.

We’ve shown ChartHop to dozens of CEOs and General Managers. Not a single one hasn’t immediately wanted it deployed in their own organization. It’s incredibly rare to see a startup so rapidly pulled into a market the way we are seeing with ChartHop. Ian and the ChartHop team are taking the covers off their wonderful creation today, and now it’s available to everyone. We’re thrilled to be leading their Seed round and supporting Ian and team in building ChartHop.

The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.

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