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Essay Paper on Organizational Structure

by George Grant

Organizational structure is one of the breaking factors that may foster or hinder the organization success rate. Project organizational structure was one issue of project management that grabbed attention in the fifties and sixties. Lately among the last two decades various organizational structures have emerged on the picture but still need efficiency and quality. Eventually, project managers look for better organizational techniques to smoothen the progress of execution. They look forward to enhance teamwork tasks, increase flexibility in dealing with resources and how to get the best of them. Managers also look forward to add efficiency and quality to all project aspects to meet their goals. We here will examine three of the major organizational structures for project management. Those structures are mainly named functional, project and matrix organization.  Among each organizational structure the role and power of the project manager varies accordingly (Russell, 2011).

Functional structures are accepted by lots of the conventional manufacturing and industrialized companies. They are somehow hierarchical in arrangement through which each employee is managed by one known boss. (Figure1).

 “Functional Organization structure” is one of the oldest processes yet one of the most successful. This structure achieves in a better way when applied for schedules and regular everyday tasks and meant to keep up quality and work principles and standards. The “Functional Organization structures” allocate plans in 2 unlike ways. One way looks after the project being given to a particular functional manager; coordination takes place to involve all other departments for their contribution. Then again, projects can be trundled around to several divisions where each division manager guarantees that their duties and tasks have been finished. This way is not so efficient when applied to make complex or multifaceted projects easier. One of the most important disadvantages of this organizational structure is the need of integrated employee recognition plus evaluation and compensation for project performance. Similarly employee accountability is very low for all allocated duties carried out through the project (Russell, 2011). Accepted projects by functional organizations are usually of a low profile. And projects more often than not are carried out inside one functional unit e.g. a design project for a signage company is taken on by the engineering division. This project does not require cross-functional collaboration or integration. Also the team working on the project is not allocated on a full-time starting point concept. As well the power and authority of the project manager within this structure is low or almost none existing.

Projectised structures are very exceptional (Figure 2). They are accepted by companies such as architectural organizations, usually the bulk of the staff is occupied in the project tasks. Regularly project is dedicated for an external customer. Project structures are controlled just by project teams where each team is self-sufficient and independent in administration and support meanings. In this kind of structure the Project Manager has more power and authority than the functional style and also has more independence in achieving the tasks. This project structure is practicable and reasonable for very small companies; the overhead of extra staff and support is unaffordable. The staff members working together within a team report to one specific boss and finally this boss reports to the project manager where the project manager is holds the highest power in the configuration.

In this projectised structure, everybody is allocated to a project. After finishing the project, resources are allocated to another project. The Project Organization structure is purposely considered for implementing projects. It is specially adapted to fit for the needs and requirements of complex projects by separating exclusive work and preserving a strapping focus on finishing the project. Once the project is finished, this structure breaks up. It is effectual in sustaining fanatical resources throughout the existence of the project. The main disadvantage of the projectised structure is that it is ineffective in reassigning resources and technology. Also, by the time the staff in point of fact starts performing as a unified team, when the project is ended it’s hard as the organization breaks up. As this project has fanatical resources throughout its time, ineffectiveness and disorganization may result as there could be underutilized employees at some stages of the project (Russell, 2011).

Matrix Organization (Figure 3) is a structure for project management that came up from the acknowledgment of intrinsic faults and errors in both the “Functional Organization” and “Project Organization” structures. It shared the best mechanisms of the two structures. It operates greatly when several projects are synchronized at the same time. The functional managers supervise and monitor staff, training, job duties and assessment of the project’s employees. The functional individuals are allocated one or more projects and ensure that projects are meeting their goals through high levels of performance. The “matrix organizational structure” (Figure 3) is in the middle of functional and projectised. The team working for the project is consisted of staff employees selected from several functional divisions that could be marketing, sales or other divisions. The team staff in this structure should report to both the functional manager and the project manager. A lot of global organizations approve the matrix form with tasks jointed between either the product or th services departments and geographical division. The “global matrix organization” was created to maintain equilibrium by merging global effectiveness including infrastructure, and strategies with local receptiveness and awareness. Project Managers play a significant role in running the clashes and strains between different departments and state executives, for better interaction between global effectiveness and local receptiveness. Among this strong matrix structures, Project managers are powerful and hold up decisions for the whole project. There are different forms of matrix organizations; strong, weak and balanced. For the strong matrix, power is seized to the Project Manager and is more close to the Projectised structure. Among the weak matrix, Power is seized to the Functional Manager and is more close to Functional structure. Concerning the balanced matrix model, the power is communal and it’s a mix of the Functional and the Projectised. The Project Manager and the Functional Manager manage the resources and later after the project is finished the resources are returned back to the functional division. Nowadays projects are often taken on under the matrix structure. Accordingly, organizations are more and more altering their shapes into “strong matrix organizations”. The huge bulk of bulky projects are performed within “matrix structures” today. Approximately all global services organizations approve this structure. The work could be carried out transversely among several geographies, yet the client may exist in other geography.  In spite of avoiding the flaws existing in other structures, Matrix Organization still enclose some troubles. One of which is that employees report and refer to at least two managers, which may over and over lead to vagueness and divergence. These troubles could be avoided with advanced communication and firm leadership for better understanding and control (Russell, 2011).

This clarification on the whole presented a general idea of some “project management organizational structures”.  The three styles “Functional Organization, Project Organization and Matrix Organization” are considered to be the most conventional project management structures that are commonly used because of their efficiency and usefulness. Moreover, there are a lot of other techniques accessible that may better fit in different situations. However, the sort of organizational structure that is supposed to be preferred by any corporation depends on the nature of the project and goals to be accomplished.

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