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An organizational structure is a model of the way a business is managed and work is distributed. The typical organizational structure of a software company depends largely on its size. Smaller companies with one or two locations and limited volumes of transactions might not require complex structures. A president or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) may instead distribute tasks among several people. The structure of a company that sells a variety of products and which may have business interests in different parts of the world, however, normally requires a CEO to oversee more complex substructures.
A CEO normally answers to a board of directors that approves decisions regarding a company's organizational changes. It is common in larger organizations for a CEO to work with a Chief Operating Officer (COO). In most cases, these executives oversee three different facets of a software company: software development, finance, and marketing. An executive normally oversees each of these functions.
The organizational structure might differ when a software company has multiple geographic locations. Instead of dividing an organization into its primary functions, a plan might delegate to each location responsibility for its own finance, production, and marketing. In these cases, coordinators or COOs usually ensure that each location upholds corporate standards and works to meet corporate goals.
Software development functions are vital to a software company. Development often requires its own complex organizational structure. For example, a development group should have project managers that are designated by a Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Testers, programmers, and engineers all play important roles in software development.
The organizational structure of a software company should also include information regarding workflow and communication. A marketing department needs to communicate with software development to ensure that projects are meeting the expectations of clients. Computer networks have become an important part of any organizational structure.
As a company grows, its organizational structure should change. For this reason, a structure is often thought to be in a state of continual improvement. It is common for an executive to analyze processes in real time and change how work is distributed to improve processes. Software companies tend to be client driven, so it also is common for executives to change marketing to meet the needs of new products or interests.
When mergers and acquisitions occur, organizational structure also should adapt. Expansion also can cause work and responsibility to be delegated in different ways. It is common for the structure to include steps that should be taken in the case of unforeseen events, such as environmental hazards.