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How to use secondary reporting lines

Secondary or dotted line reporting is essential for structures such as matrix and cross-functional ones. Learn how to visualize and utilize this feature.



  1. Viewing secondary reporting
  2. Adding and removing secondary reporting lines



1. Viewing secondary reporting

Being able to interpret secondary reporting structures is crucial to understanding the capacity who does what where. Below are some of the aspects of the feature which make it easier to view and understand.


In this section:


Identify a secondary reporting structure

Whether it's referred to as secondary or dotted line reporting within your organization the indicator on an org chart is the same. Anywhere you see a dotted line leading to a person's role it's indicative that the person managing them is not their primary manager when operating in this structure.




Identify who a person's secondary manager is

Anywhere you see a clipboard on someone's position this denotes a role that has been assigned to them. Where the role has a gray diamond around it this indicates that the role is a part of a secondary reporting structure somewhere on the chart.



To see where this role is positioned in its secondary reporting structure you can hover over the clipboard and a line will appear directing you to that role.





Identify where someone's primary reporting line is

Aside from a dotted line, you can also identify a secondary reporting position as it will have a clipboard as an avatar rather than an image or initials.



To quickly locate the person's primary reporting position you can click the ellipse next to the role in the secondary reporting structure and select "go to position". This will center your lens on the person's primary position within the organization.





2. Adding and removing secondary reporting


In this section:


Create a secondary reporting line

You can add someone as a secondary, or dotted line report, by dragging and dropping any of their roles below the person that you want them to report to.





Create multiple secondary reporting lines

There is a one-to-one relationship between roles and secondary reporting lines. This means that if you want to show someone with more than one secondary manager, then you need to add a role for each reporting line.




Create one secondary role reporting to another

When people work in a cross-functional team that has a specific deliverable e.g. they're delivering a banking app, it's likely that the team will be together for a finite amount of time, disbanding once the project is delivered.

Their role in the cross-functional team is likely to be secondary to their role in their functional teams, this includes the person leading the delivery process meaning that the other members of the team will be reporting to the lead's secondary role.

To visualize a team of people reporting to a leader's secondary role, simply drag and drop the lead's role from their position to below the person with ultimate accountability and then drag and drop each team member's role below the lead's.



Move a secondary reporting role

To move any existing secondary role, simply drag and drop it below a position or role anywhere on the org chart.


Remove a secondary structure

To remove an entire secondary reporting line that contains multiple roles, remove the leader of that group by clicking the ellipse next to their role and selecting "Remove from here". Alternatively, if you want to remove that structure and the role from its owner, select "Remove from position".



You can also drag their secondary role to the bottom left where "Drop here to remove" will appear once you start dragging the role.



Remove a secondary reporting role

To remove any secondary reporting role from a dotted line structure, click the ellipse next to the role title and select "Remove from here". Alternatively, you can drag and drop it to the bottom left where "Drop here to remove" will appear once you start dragging the role.



Rotate a secondary reporting line

If you would like to narrow the org chart by rotating your secondary reporting structure to show vertically rather than horizontally then, as with primary reporting lines, you can use the internode menu that sits below the lead.



Color a secondary reporting role

Each secondary role's color comes from the parent position to which it belongs. By hovering over the secondary role you can locate the parent position or by clicking the ellipse next to the person's name and selecting "Go to position" then click the ellipse in the top right of the parent.



Have you got feedback about this feature?

We'd love to hear from you via our support page or email to support@functionly.com