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Organizations and Project Management

organizacion people capmThis topic in the Project Lifecycle and Organization chapter is important. Organizations use governance to establish strategic direction and performance parameters.

The strategic direction provides the purpose, expectations, goals, and actions necessary to guide business pursuit and is aligned with business objectives.

 

There will be questions on the kinds of organization structures and their influence on the project. For instance, one of the questions could be

“In what structure would a project manager’s authority be high to almost total?”

The answer to that would be projectized structure. Picturing the below image in the mind would be very helpful!

organizacion for CAPM Main

There are 5 structures starting from functional, where the project manager’s authority is little or nothing to projectized organization where there project manager’s authority is high to almost total (as you can see in the image above).

In a functional organization, an employee has a superior and are grouped by specialty like production, marketing, engineering, and accounting. They are further divided into functional organizations such as mechanical or electrical engineering. 

organizacion for CAPM Functional 

Matrix organization is a blend of functional and projectized characteristics. There are three kinds of matrix organizations: weak matrix, balanced matrix, and strong matrix.

In a weak matrix, the project manager’s role is more of a coordinator; in balanced the need for project manager is recognized but he or she doesn’t have full authority over the project. In a strong matrix, there are full-time project managers with considerable authority. 

organizacion for CAPM matrix 

Lastly, in a projectized organization, most of the organization’s resources are involved in project work and project managers have full authority. The org units are called departments, where the groups report to the project manager. 

organizacion for CAPM projectized

Differentiating Functional, Matrix, and Projectized Organizational Structures

In my exam I had at least 4 questions regarding the different structures. I found in many of the exams that we have in our site that the questions were really tricky but during the exam I did not have any issues with this topic.

Tip: In my exam I found the words expediter and coordinater. They use this two words to reefeer to a weak matrix and a functional structure. You do not need to know what is and expediter or a coordinater but remember that: Expediter belongs to a Functional Structure and Coordinater belongs to a Weak Matrix. Find more info at the bottom of the article.

 

The Project Expediter

Monitors and reports on the status of the project to senior management. This role has no authority.
Acts as a communication coordinator only and cannot enforce any decisions.
So it typically falls under Functional
 
Project Coordinator
The Project Coordinator role is similar to expediter, but has some limited, referential authority. The project coordinator may report to someone higher on the management food chain than the expediter. Has some authority to make decisions.
So if you have to differentiate Project coordinator can be classified under weak matrix
 
In the table below find in bold the most important things you should know.
 
 

Functional

Weak Matrix

Balanced Matrix

Strong Matrix

Projectized

Description

Traditional organization with a direct supervisor.

The PM and FM share responsibility, with the FM having more authority.

The PM and FM share responsibility, with each having equal authority.

The PM and FM share responsibility, with the PM having more authority.

Projects do not exist under functional departments. The PM has sole management authority.

Authority of project manager

Very low.

Low.

Low to medium.

Medium to high.

High.

Resource availability

Very low.

Low.

Low to medium.

Medium to high.

High.

Project manager involvement

Part-time.

Part-time.

Full-time.

Full-time.

Full-time.

Staff involvement

Part-time.

Part-time.

Part-time.

Full-time.

Full-time.

Advantages

The FM holds accountability for the project.

The PM gets some authority to manage the project.

The PM and FM share the responsibility of the project.

The PM gets more authority to assign resources and manage the project.

The PM has full authority to staff and manage the project.

Disadvantages

The PM holds little or no authority.

The FM can see the PM as a threat and cause conflict.

The PM and FM can be confused about who manages what.

The FM may feel out of the loop.

The PM holds accountability for the project.

 

 

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