Project Management Organizational Structures

Essay by btterfly18University, Bachelor'sA, August 2007

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

A series of related jobs that are focused toward a major solution is a project. Projects take time, money, people, and other resources to perform successfully. Project management usually control these resources as well as planning the project and allocating resources where needed. Before a project is started, management decides which organizational structure will be used to run the project. There are three organizational structures that can be chosen: Functional, Matrix, and Pure Project. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages in structuring a project. Choosing which organizational structure to use largely depended on the size of the company, what they are trying to accomplish and what resources are available.

In the functional project management organizational structure, departments are assigned to one project. Functional structured organizations have clear lines of command and specified tasks and responsibilities. The advantages of this structure are that it achieves efficiency through specialization, develops functional expertise, and differentiates and delegates day-to-day responsibilities (Univ.

of Oklahoma.2005). The disadvantage to this structure includes the limitation of general manager's development, creates difficulties in coordination and decision making for the project, and promotes rivalry and conflict within the project teams.

Under the functional structure there is a pyramid type structure with upper management at the top and lower management at the bottom of the pyramid. "Functional organizations are organized according to technological disciplines and the organization is usually broken down into different functional units, such as engineering, research, accounting, and administration" (Visitask.2004). Each member of the project is then divided into specialized teams who report only to the functional manager. The senior managers are responsible for allocating the available resources. The responsibility of the complete project is allocated to multiple managers, not just one individual person.

In the pharmaceutical industry, the functional structure is most often used. Each department...