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Structuring Projects

3 main form of projects- Pure Project, Functional Project, andMatrix Project

Pure Project
A Pure project is where a self-contained team works full time on the project.


 The project manager has full authority over the project.

 Team members report to one boss.
 Lines of communication are shortened. Decisions are made quickly.
 Team pride, motivation, and commitment are high


 Duplication of resources.
 Organizational goals and policies are ignored.
 Lack of new technology transfer due to weakened functional divisions
 Team members have no functional area home.
Functional Project
The end of the project organization spectrum is the Functional Project. Its theme is housing the
project within a functional division.


 A team member can work on several projects.

 Technical expertise is maintained within the functional area even if individuals
leave the project or organization.
 Functional area is a home after the project is completed.
 A critical mass of specialized functional-area experts creates synergistic
solutions to a project’s technical problems


 Motivation of team members is often weak.

 Needs of the client are secondary and are responded to slowly.
 Aspects of the project that are not directly related to the functional are get
Matrix Project
The matrix project attempts to blend properties of functional and pure project structure. If the
matrix form is chosen, different projects (rows of matrix) borrow resources from functional areas
Senior management must then decide whether a weak, balanced, or strong form of a matrix is to
be used.


 Communication between functional divisions is enhanced.

 A project manager is held responsible for successful completion of the project.
 Duplication of resources is minimized.
 Team members have a functional “home” after project completion, so they are
less worried about life-after-project than if they were a pure project
 Policies of the parent organization are followed.


 There are two bosses. Hence, who can promote you or give you a rise?
 It is doomed to failure unless the PM has strong negotiating skills.
 Suboptimization is a danger, as PMs hoard resources for their own project, thus
harming other projects.
Matrix Organizational Structure

There are three types of matrix organizations:

Weak Matrix Organization

Balance Matrix Organization

Strong Matrix Organization

The power of the project manager differs in these three matrix organizations.

This type of organization is about to minimize the difference between the strength and weakness of
Projectized and functional organization.

Weak Matrix Organization

Power enjoyed by the functional manager completely.

Project manager works like a project coordinator or project expeditor.

Project coordinator can take Low bit decision on the allocation of the resources

Project expeditor works only like communicator point between the customer and team.

Project manager reports to functional manager.

Balance Matrix Organization

A balanced matrix structure has many of the same attributes as a weak matrix, but the project
manager has more time and power regarding the project. A balanced matrix still has time
accountability issues for all the project team members since their functional managers will want
reports on their time within the project.In this type of organization

 Reasonable authority to project manager.

 Power enjoyed by the functional as well as project manager in the same manner.
 Resources working on the project face a complex communication.
 It is not clear – whom to report and who is the real boss.
Strong Matrix Organization
Strong matrix equates to a strong project manager. In a strong matrix organization, many of the same
attributes for the project team exits, but project manager gains power and time when it comes to
project work. The project team may also have more time available for the project even though they
may come from multiple departments within the organization.

 Power is enjoyed by the project manager Low bit more than the functional manager.
 PM can take decision on the allocation of the resources
 PM can utilize his or her project management skill on the projects.
Advantages of the Matrix Organizational Structure

The main benefit of matrix organization is that highly skilled and capable resources can be shared
between the functional units and important strategic projects.

Communication is smooth across the boundaries.

It is a good environment for professionals to develop their career.

Project team can get the highly skilled personnel they require.

People can be selected based on skills and suitability.

Employees have job security.

Typically the efficiency of matrix organizations is higher.

Disadvantages of the Matrix Organizational Structure

Employees may have to report to two bosses, which can add confusion, and conflicts may arise,
particularly in the balanced matrix environment where both bosses have equal authority and power.

Conflicts may arise between the bosses regarding the power and authority.

Employees may become confused regarding their roles and responsibilities, especially when they are
assigned to a task which is somewhat different than what they were doing.

Sometimes unclear priorities may also confuse the employees.

Generally matrix organizations have more managers, which make overhead cost very high.

Many times in matrix organizations, workload is high. Employees have to do their regular work, along
with the additional project related tasks.