Back
Announcing the 2nd Annual People Pioneers: Honoring the leaders of the people-first revolution

How Plaid Improved Org Planning and Collaboration During Massive Scale with ChartHop

Array

Customer

Founded

2013

Industry

Fintech

Type

Private

Number of Employees

1,200+

Distribution

Remote-first

ChartHop has helped Plaid

Make better-informed headcount decisions with a single source of truth tied to employee data
Remain agile with continuous planning and save hundreds of hours over a year

Plaid is a financial services company that powers the fintech tools millions of people rely on to live a healthier financial life. They build beautiful consumer experiences, developer-friendly infrastructure, and intelligent tools that give everyone the ability to create amazing products that solve big problems.

Plaid’s Head of Strategic Planning, Dan Beksha, is responsible for overseeing operations to identify strategic initiatives that will drive long-term growth and development. With the number of colleagues growing while effective collaboration dwindled, Dan knew it was time to move their org planning process out of spreadsheets and into a secure, intuitive, and visual platform.

Growth and comfort do not co-exist

When headcount at Plaid exploded by 41% in just 12 months, it was an exciting time but not without challenges. The overall headcount plan wasn’t available to anyone at any given moment and the Operations team realized that their old org planning process would no longer do. 

Previously, HR and Recruiting weren’t privy to proposed individual team changes, which were created in silos. Everyone was operating out of different systems, which made reconciliation difficult and thoughtful planning all but impossible. It meant hiring managers needed a requisition ID from the ATS just to verify they had approved headcount budget.  

Dan sums up the problem as, “We were doing everything in spreadsheets and it just wasn’t sustainable as the company scaled. Every team had their own version of the headcount plan in a separate spreadsheet and there was no single source of truth tied to employee data.”  

Eyeing a solution that would provide a reliable way to keep track of headcount budget and reconcile plans, they turned to ChartHop. Relieved to be able to streamline the process, Dan says, “Moving our workforce planning into ChartHop has definitely changed the way we collaborate across teams. Now the Recruiting team and hiring managers are clearly aligned on approved roles, saving time on false starts.”

Elaborating further, Dan shares, “Org planning in ChartHop has brought us out of the dark. Because we’re in a shared environment, Finance and Operations can constantly see what’s going on and what scenarios managers are working on. This visibility precipitated a cultural shift from annual planning to continuous collaboration that allows us to constantly shift the actual headcount plan based on real circumstances.” 

Being able to remain agile when it comes to team structure is critical for such a high-growth org and has helped teams across Plaid save hundreds of hours over the last year. 

 

Everything they liked about spreadsheets and nothing they didn’t

Throughout the process of evaluating FP&A software and other solutions, Dan and the Operations team had their list of must-haves at the ready: easy-to-use platform that could handle the entire end-to-end process, foster collaboration and visibility across teams, and enable security controls to secure personal data. 

Dan laments, “A lot of other tools we tried, it was harder to work in the system than it was to work out of it.” 

Check, check, and check, ChartHop could do it all. Before signing on the dotted line, Dan knew it was important to prioritize getting buy-in from other stakeholders sooner rather than later to ensure all users would benefit from implementing a new platform. 

Everyone from Finance and Recruiting to the senior executive team was happy to have a single source of truth for headcount planning and gladly adopted ChartHop. Plaid successfully accomplished the goal of finding a system people don’t want to leave, and now hundreds of employees use the people data in ChartHop to make better org planning decisions.

Now Plaid can

Save time and prevent false starts with stronger alignment across the Recruiting team and hiring managers
Streamline the headcount planning process from 40 different spreadsheets to a single, collaborative solution
Continue to scale sustainably with a streamlined HR tech stack

Our Engineers love to use ChartHop to do all of their forecasting. It’s easier to use than our HCM and they’re turning to ChartHop for more things outside of headcount planning.
DAN BEKSHA

DAN BEKSHA

HEAD OF STRATEGIC PLANNING, PLAID

For example, with ChartHop Scenarios, a sandbox environment for testing and visualizing workforce planning and impact, each team can safely explore changes with the org chart and collaborate with managers across the company to build the right team structure. This ability to manipulate only the part of the org under a manager’s domain was not unlike when Plaid had separate spreadsheets for each team to propose headcount changes. But unlike with spreadsheets, users in ChartHop have different levels of access depending on their role, keeping sensitive employee data like compensation only visible to the people who need it. And once changes are approved, they get ‘committed’ and rolled up into a single plan that’s visible to all stakeholders. No more wondering “Who has the most accurate version of the org plan?”  

Managing growth and going into the matrix  

Plaid’s first order of business for workforce planning in ChartHop’s people analytics platform was a reorg. As Plaid was scaling rapidly, it became increasingly important to have a clear understanding of organizational structure and hierarchy. Luckily, they were now freed from the 40 different headcount budgets in spreadsheets they had been working out of and could see everything they needed in a single view within ChartHop. 

The organization was going from a functional organization structure to a matrixed view that combined a functional designation with goals-based teams, which created a need for more nuanced permissions. They accomplished this easily in ChartHop. With just a few clicks to create custom fields, Dan was able to set permissions for an Engineering Manager that works with three different teams to see and manage each team in the platform. 

Reflecting on the alternative, Dan says: “Without ChartHop, we wouldn’t have been able to do the operational design we wanted. We would’ve been stuck in a room with pieces of paper.”

A place for everything and everything in its place

Scaling a company is no easy feat. It can be tempting to default to the status quo for certain processes and systems in favor of larger initiatives. But the team at Plaid found that having the right systems in place meant that they could move quicker and streamline efforts.

Dan concludes: “When it comes to our HR tech stack, the more things we can put in one platform, the better. Especially at scale, we learned that having a single source of truth was important to being able to see exactly what was going on within the organization when it came to attrition and internal mobility.” 

RELATED RESOURCES

Explore our latest blogs, eBooks, videos and more

4 Headcount Planning Strategies for Fast-Growing Teams

Effective headcount planning strategies allow organizations to grow intentionally by bringing the right skills into the business at the right time. These 4 strategies provide a blueprint for getting started.

Designing Transparent Hiring Strategies in a Remote-First World

Headcount planning in the "new normal" is completely different than anything we've done in the past. Hear from people leaders from ChartHop, Guru, and Remote as they discuss best practices for growing your organization intentionally in a remote-first world.

How ChartHop Helps a High Growth Startup Thoughtfully Navigate Post-Series A Growth

Discover how ChartHop helped a post-Series A startup clearly communicate their vision for growth, be transparent with employees, and identify new opportunities to grow the business.

Subscribe to our newsletter
and stay updated!

Top insights from our experts to your inbox.

By submitting your info, you agree to opt-in to emails from ChartHop.

Make one good decision
that leads to a lot of others

Sign up for a free demo today.