Project Management Chapter 3

Define Balanced Matrix
The project manager is responsible for defining *what* needs to be accomplished

The functional managers are concned with *how* it will be accomplished

Define Dedicated Project Team
Teams that operate as separate units from the rest of the parent organization
Define Matrix Management
It is a hybrid organizational form in which a horizontal project management structure is “overlaid” on the normal functional hierarchy

– normally two chains in command; one along the functional lines & one along project lines

– there may be three projects underway in an organization,

Define Projectized Organization
The main focus for the functioning departments is to assist and support project teams
What is a project office
Can be described in terms of
1) A Weather Station
– track and monitor performance
2) A control tower
– improve project exectution; work as assistants and trainers
3) Resource Pool
– helps upgrade skills of a firm’s project professionals, and helps with the structure of project management within an organization
What is a strong matrix and a weak matrix?
– functional managers are responsible for managing their segment
– project manager has indirect authority & acts as an assistant

– Attempts to create the feel of a team
– Project manager controls most aspects of the project
– Functional manager has control over her people and is discussed within a need basis

What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of the functional, matrix, and dedicated team approaches to managing projects?
Advantages of using existing functional organization to complete projects
1) No Change
– no alteration of the organization since completed in the basic functional structure of the organization
2) Flexibility
– people can be switched between projects with relative ease
3) In depth expertise
– if the scope is narrow then the proper functional unit will be assigned primary responsibility
4) Easy post project transition
– career paths are maintained; specialists can make significant contributions to projects
Disadvantages of using the existing functional organization to complete projects
1) Lack of focus
– sometimes project responsibilities get pushed aside and forgotten
2) Poor integration
– some specialists may only be focused on their task and not the overall project
3) Slow
– lack of communication among functional groups can create lag
4) Lack of ownership
– people assigned to the project may not be motivated and see it as a burden
What is a dedicated project team?
Dedicated project teams: operate as separate units from the rest of the parent organization
Advantages of Dedicated project teams
1) Simple
– functional organization remains intact with the project team that is operating separately
2) Fast
– no distracted from other operations or duties
3) Cohesive
– high level of motivation emerges within the team; they all share a common goals and personal responsibility to the project & team
4) Cross functional integration
– they form different areas to work closely together; they become committed to optimizinig the project as a whole and not just their areas of expertise
Disadvantages of dedicated project teams
1) Expensive
2) Interal Strife
– sometimes they become an entity of their own which creates conflict with the parent organization
3) Limited technological expertise
– limited to their talents and experience to the project; even though they can contact the functional division the “we-they” syndome comes into play
4) Difficult post project transition
– assigning full time personnel can create dilemma after the project has been completed making it difficult for them to transition back to their role that they have been absent from
Define Matrix Structure
– It is designed to utilize resources by having individuals work on multiple projects as well as being capable of performing functional duties
– it attempts to achieve greater integration by creating and legitimizing the authority of a project manager
What distinguishes a weak matrix from a strong matrix?
Weak Matrix = Project managers are limited to coordinating project activities; functional managers are responsible for managing their segment of the project; Project manager has little authority

Strong Matrix = Project manager has the most control; Functional manager has control over his/her people and is consulted on a need basis; sometimes a functional manager’s department will serve as a “subcontractor”

Charactertistics of a balanced matrix
– Project manager is responsible for what needs to be accomplished
– functional manager is concerned with how it will be accomplished
Advantages & Disadvantages of a matrix organization
– Efficient; resources can be shared
– Strong Project focus
– Easier post project transition; specialists maintain ties w functional groups
– Flexible; flexible utilization of resources and expertise within firm

– Dysfunctional conflict; tension w functional and project managers
– Infighting; conflict and competition for scarce resources when being shared
– Stressful; project participants have at least 2 bosses
– Slow; in theory project managers should help speed up the process, but often project manager gets bogged down


Under what conditions would it be advisable to use a strong matrix instead of a dedicated project team?
– When the organization cannot afford to have people work full time on the project
– When the culture of the organization supports dual authority structure

Dedicated project teams would be recommended when…. you view it solely from the standpoint of what is best for completing the project; would be recommended when the culture of the organization does not support collaboration or innovation

How can project management offices (POs) support effective project management?
– track project process
– track performance (time, cost, quality etc)
– provide project management training & consulting services to support managers and their teams
-integrating latest advances in project management
Why is it important to assess the culture of an organization before deciding what project management structure should be used to complete a project?
The culture of the organization can impact the effectiveness of different project management structures

organizational cultures that do not encourage teamwork, collaboration, and crossfunctional integration need a stronger project management structure such as a project team or project matrix.

Other than culture, what other organizational factors should be used to determine which project management structure should be used?
Two main considerations:
– The percentage of core work that involves projects
– Resource Availability

Organizations that evolve around projects should consider a projectized form of structure

Organizations that have mainstream operations and projects should use a matrix structure

When resource availability is limited then a matrix structure should be used that would allow sharing personnel across projects & operations

What do you believe is more important for successfully completing a project – the formal project management structure or the culture of the parent organization?
I believe that both can be argued.

Culture impacts behaviour of employees more so than the structure. Having a strong culture in a work environment can help compensate for weaknesses of the structure.

Even though there is a formal layout for the project management structure, if employee culture is poor the project may not be completely well or at all.

Cultural Dimensions of an organization
1) member identity
2) team emphisis
3) people focus
4) unit integration
5) control
6) risk tolerance
7) reward criteria
8) conflict tolerance
9) means-ends orientaiton
10) open system focus
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