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Project Management Essay Example

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This essay seeks to analyze the three main structures in project management, their strengths and weakness and which structure an organization should select based on its’ organizational structure. The paper will review various resources so as to elaborate on the subject.

The Functional Organization Structure

Functional management systems are used for businesses that manufacture and distribute standard goods. A functional organisation framework can occur in a corporation that produces and sells video recorders and players, for example. Groups are a standard feature of an organization’s organizational framework. Individuals shape associations that serve similar tasks or possess similar expertise or skills. Each party concentrates on its own tasks. This is achieved in order to shore up the business judgment. The company’s goods are judged on their cost, technological performance, and productivity. The groups also look into how each of the practical groups relates to the company’s goods (Gido and James, 2012). Companies who use organizational framework shape project teams on a regular basis. Both groups collaborate on a company’s internal programs. New goods are being produced, office layouts are being revamped, production systems are being enhanced, a new information system is being introduced, and corporate policies and procedures are being revised. Any of the projects mentioned result in the creation of numerous project teams. Members of the teams are chosen by the company’s managers from various divisions (Gido and James, 2012). Members of the team may be allocated to the project on a part-time or full-time basis for a component of the project or for the remainder of the project. Individuals manage to fulfill their daily business roles while devoting most of their time to the project. The team members, technical administrators, or vice president choose the project leader or boss. In a functioning organisation, the project manager would not have full control of the project team. This is due to the fact that team representatives have managerial and technical control over the functional administrators who assign them to the team (Gido and James, 2012).

Project Management Essay Example

The Strengths of the Functional Organization Structure

To begin with, it specifically outlines each person’s duties and positions within the project. This is due to the fact that programs are not part of the organization’s daily operations. The project manager often has time to consult and thank the other practical supervisors in the organization on the company’s success. This is in regards to the project’s ongoing assistance from the people they’ve delegated to it. It may also be seen while team members are assigned work on a project that is restricted to a single operating entity. In certain situations, a practical boss has complete control over the project. This makes it easier to deal with disagreement when it arises inside a multifunctional project team (Gido and James, 2012).

The Weakness of the Functional Organization Structure

The first drawback in this system is that settling disagreements among team members takes a long time. This is due to the fact that multiple hierarchies must be involved. Another flaw is that when the company’s chief executive grants the project manager power to make decisions in the event of a team member dispute, the decisions may represent the project manager’s organizational roles rather than the project’s general interest. Finally, the project manager depends on his ability to direct and persuade others. These abilities aid in the resolution of tensions, the formation of consensus, and the unification of team members. This is needed in order to achieve the project’s target. Project managers encounter difficulties owing to a lack of total control for project decisions (Gido and James, 2012).

Pure Project Organization Structure

The project manager is in total control of other departments in the pure organization structure. This structure acts like a small company or an independent department of a main company. The project manager has the full control of the team members and the resources assigned to the project (Nagarajan, 2005).

This organization structure is suitable when a company has a complex project with large resource requirement. This structure is used for organizations with few projects that have a long duration. The functional managers do not report to the General Manager, but report to the project manager. The company manager selects all the functional departments needed for the project and assigns them responsibilities. The project manager controls the functional departments. Every project is treated as a separate entity (Nagarajan, 2005).

Strengths of Pure Project Organization Structure

The first strength is that the structure offers flexibility in determining cost, schedule and performance trade-offs. This is because all the needed resources are at the discretion of the project manager. Secondly, it can ensure good work performance. The functional heads and other personnel involved the projects should be qualified and committed towards achieving a good performance. This makes them dedicate themselves to the projects without having to share the services with other projects within the organization. Lastly, the response time to problems is quick since there is no ambiguity of relationships within the authority (Nagarajan, 2005).

Weakness of the Pure Project Organization Structure

The main problem is that it is costly for the company. This is because separate resources have to be assigned and maintained for separate projects. The resources also remain unutilized as the projects commence before their execution. The human power also remains idle after completion of the project not until they are deployed to other projects (Nagarajan, 2005).

The Matrix Organization Structure

This is a dual organisation system. It is a blend between a practical and a pure project management framework. It concentrates on the project process and the clients of a company’s goods. The functional experts are often held inside their respective functional frameworks. The matrix organization structure’s functional and project elements have a common obligation to lead to the company’s and project’s progress. The practical administrators are in charge of coordinating project tools in order to produce outcomes. The project manager, on the other side, is in charge of seeing the project forward to completion (Nagarajan, 2005).

The matrix structure is required when the company needs to utilize its resources effectively such as construction companies. The functional component of the company and the technical staff give the expertise required to support the ongoing projects. The project managers are appointed from existing organization project team members. The vice president of a project assigns a project manager to a new project when a company comes up with a new project. A project manager may be assigned a small project when he is already managing other several small projects. A large project is assigned to a full time manager (Nagarajan, 2005).

The project manager arranges for meetings with the appropriate functional managers after being appointed. The project manager negotiates with the functional managers the assignment of the project team members from the functional roles to the project responsibilities. The individuals within a project team are assigned duties for the period they are required. This can be either full-time or on part-time and depends on when their expertise is required. In a matrix structure, it is common for an individual from a functional component to be assigned part-time responsibilities to several concurrent projects (Nagarajan, 2005).

The sharing of an individual’s time among several projects in the matrix structure results into the proper utilization of resources. This also minimizes the overall cost for the company and on each project. As assignments and projects are being completed, the available individuals are being assigned to new projects. The aim is to optimize the number of functional hours and persons needed to work on projects and reduce the unutilized time. This is in contrast to the pure organization structure where individuals remain idle (Gido and James, 2009).

The Strengths of the Matrix Organization Structure

The first advantage is that it provides an environment for check and balances. The potential problems are identified by both the project manager and the functional structure. This helps to solve the problems before they jeopardize the success of the project. The matrix structure also facilitates immediate response when problems are identified. This is because the structure has both horizontal and a functional path for the flow of information (Gido and James, 2009).

In matrix structures, the conflicts between two or more projects within an organization can be resolved based on priority. This is made possible by the project manager reporting directly to the vice president of the projects. The last strength is that the vice president, through his administrative function, can devise procedures that are consistent with each other for the management of projects. This includes planning and budgeting, using information system, data gathering and project reporting (Gido and James, 2009)

The Weakness of the Matrix Organization Structure

The weakness of this structure is that it is not appropriate for the organization that produce few products and that are operating in a stable market. Secondly, its structure is bureaucratic and clumpy. Many meeting s may be required which reduce the progress of the projects. Finally, the two hierarchies that make the structure may lead to conflict and power struggle among the various individuals involved in the project (Aswathappa, 2006).


In conclusion, every organization needs to evaluate its appropriate organization structure as this will determine success of the projects. This can be done by comparing the three aforementioned organization structures and selecting the one that meets the company needs and wants. This is because choosing the wrong organization structure ends up in failure of a project. The matrix structure is for projects requiring efficient utilization of resources. It is a combination of both pure and functional structures. The project team is headed by the project manager and the functional manager. The functional organization structure is the most adopted project organization structure. It is suited for organizations that manufacture and sell standardized products. Lastly, the pure project structure is for organization pursuing fewer numbers of projects that have a long duration. Thus, after a company compares the organization structures and select the appropriate method to manage its project and project team, then success will be inevitable.

  • Aswathappa, A. (2006). International Business. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill.
  • Gido, J. and James, P. C. (2012). Successful Project Management. London: Cengage Learning.
  • Gido, J. and James, P. C. (2009). Successful Project Management. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • Nagarajan, K. (2005). Elements of Project Management. New Delhi: New Age International (P) Ltd.

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