The ability to conduct projects effectively varies by the type of organizational structure. At one end of the spectrum are “projectized organizations.” Projectized organizations are organized to allow projects to be effectively and efficiently managed. Projectized organizations are usually organized around major programs or projects. Project managers are dedicated to projects and if, they are not at the executive level, usually report directly to the executives of the organization. Project managers in a projectized organization are given full authority over project resources. Project resources in a projectized organization are normally dedicated full time to project activities. Project teams (and project managers) in a projectized organization are usually also provided full time administrative support.
At the other end of the spectrum are “functional organizations.” Functional organizations are organized around functions which help produce a product or service. An example of a functional organization is a factory. In a functional organization, projects are given very little priority. Project management or project coordination is not a full time job. Project coordinators or project expeditors have very little authority and usually have to borrow part-time resources from various departments to assist with project efforts. The difference between a project expeditor and a project coordinator is usually that the expeditor has little or no authority over project resources while a project coordinator may have some limited authority over resources.
In between these two extreme types of organizations, are “matrix organizations” which combine elements of both functional and projectized organizations. “Weak matrix” organizations look a lot like functional organizations and “strong matrix” organizations look a lot like projectized organizations. “Balanced matrix” organizations sit between the two extremes. Project managers in a balanced organization share authority with functional managers.
These are the five types of organizations:
- Strong Matrix
- Balanced Matrix
- Weak Matrix
- Functional Matrix
Additionally, some organizations contain elements of some or all of these different organizational types. Those organizations are called composite organizations.
Tips for the exam:
- Memorize the 5 different types of organizations.
- Know that the Composite organization is a hybrid of the others.
- Understand how the organization type affects the project manager’s authority and effectiveness of project management.
- Know the difference between a Project Manager, a Project Coordinator and a Project Expeditor.