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The Project Management Process Definition

“PM is a business process of the project-oriented company. The PM process starts with the project assignment and ends with the project approval. It consists of the sub-processes project start, project coordination, project controlling, project discontinuity management and project close-down.” (Glossary of terms for the project oriented society: Project Management, (n.d), p.5).

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“PMI (project management institute) says that a project is a temporary effort undertaken to produce an exclusive product, service or result. It means that it is for one time, if it’s not it’s not a project.” (Lewis, 2006, p.2).

It involves many steps, for example, starting a new business is taken as a project so for achieving that project first it needs a pre plan. Planning of a project consists of its goals, what are the objectives, what are the tasks adopted for achieving the desired goal, for achieving the goal that all wealth are needed. It should also consider what fund should be allocated, when it needs to be completed and how the plan should be implemented. These are all the major steps involved in project management. In technical terms we can classify the steps as viability study, proper planning of project, implementation of project, assessment of project. Project management has two major features:

  • Defining the work and coordinating the work
  • Lead the people who are in the project. (Heerkens, 2001, p.6).

Organizational structure

“Organizational structures are formed for the smooth functioning of organizations. Different organizations are adopting or organizing their structures based on their convenience and their respective field.” (A-Z glossary: Organizational structure, 2009).

Organizational structures are composed of many types of social bonds between employees and management. For the effective functioning of the organization there should be a well organized organizational structure. A smooth interrelationship between positions is needed for the well functioning of any organization. Organizational structure is considered one of the key elements of an organization. In organizational structure itself social groups are differentiated based on individual task field, where the importance of division of labor comes which can improve productivity.

Different organizational structures

Functional organizational structures

In functional organizational structures business activities are grouped based on the function. In this kind of organizational structures the tasks are assigned to a specific individual he/she is well versed. So each and every member who is taking care of the specific task will complete the task on time. Thus, the organization can achieve its mission. The structure is based on the specialist tasks to be carried out and is centralized. This structure can be easily controlled by a chief executive or board, who can also maintain a strategic awareness. “A Functional structure is actually an organizational structure that groups together employees from the same function of specific jobs within an organization. Employees that specialize in a single function are grouped together to form a department.” (Can you explain what a functional organizational structure is, (n.d)). The different business activities involved can be categorized into administration function, production function, marketing function, purchasing function, finance function etc. Functional structures are the primary structures being built by any organizations; rest all are built later. Functional organization works on the basis of different departments. Different tasks are achieved by different departments. There the division of labor comes. In this functional organization the process consists of the following steps:

  1. First an organization needs to design its objectives.
  2. Once the objectives are designed the organization needs to concentrate on most important activities to be carried out to achieve the specified objectives.
  3. The selected business activities are allocated to different departments.
  4. Assign a person to control each departmental activity.
  5. Evaluate each proceeding departmental tasks.

Matrix organizational structure

Matrix organizational structure is formed by both functional and product organizational structures because it contains both the tasks associated with functional and product organizational structures. In this structure, project organization is not established apart from that the task is assigned to a person who is responsible for the realization of the product. “Information sharing is mandatory in such an organization, and several people may be required for the same piece of work. However, in general, the project manager has the total responsibility and accountability for the success of the project.” (Matrix organization and project management, 2009).

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In this matrix structure the project manager just acts as a coordinator. He looks after the functional departments as to whether they are completing the work on time. Reporting can be done in two ways – one to functional heads and other to project managers. The advantages of matrix structure are team coordination is there, tasks are well synchronized, project teams are taken from people at functional levels. Disagreements can be solved in teams for matrix structure as compared to other organizational structures. Some of the disadvantages are controversy happening frequently, it needs a large communication channel, matrix structure is competent only when teamwork is used.

Pure project

“Apart from the other structures, in pure project a specific group or a team is assigned for achieving the project goal of the organization. Project manager acts as the guide in this form of organizational structures; project groups need to report to the project manager.” (Baker, Baker & Campbell, 2003, p.240).

Project managers give the guidelines about the rules to be obeyed when working as a team. Project team members need to give their attention to the following:

  1. First realize they are working as a team; so they need to communicate to all members who are involved in that project.
  2. Overall team spirit should be there. Need coordinated work in solving the problems and support with the common decision in front of the public.
  3. Need to care that if one in the team commits a mistake the whole group needs to suffer. Also it affects the project/organizational goals. So, as part of a team project members need to be very conscious.
  4. When one or two members involved in a project leave the organization it will affect the project badly. Team members need to realize that fact. Good coordination is needed to adjust in such situations.

Where the three models of organizational structures come

The significance of matrix organizational structure comes when more than one task/project needs to be completed. In matrix organizational structure functional organizational structure is also involved; it can share the resources of the functional department. “This form is identically suited for companies, such as construction, that are “project-driven”. The figure below shows a typical Matrix organization.” (Matrix organization and project management, 2009).

So matrix structure is used in such organizations where simultaneous tasks need to be performed. As compared to other two forms of organizational structures it is more perfect.

The practical importance of functional organizational structure is where the organization uses the division of labor method; in it each task is assigned to specific individuals working under respective departments. This structure is well suited where specialization of work is needed. The organizations that need to complete more complex works and key resource obligations are following pure project organizational structures for managing their project team.

References

A-Z glossary: Organizational structure. (2009). Business 2000. Web.

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Baker, Sunny,. Baker, G, Kim., & Campbell, Michael. (2003). The complete idiot’s guide to project management. Alpha Books. 240. Web.

Can you explain what a functional organizational structure is. (n.d.). Blurtit: Business and Finance. 2009. Web.

Glossary of terms for the project oriented society: Project Management. (n.d.). Projekt management Group. 5. 2009. Web.

Heerkens, Gary. (2001). Project management. McGraw Hill Professional. 6. Web.

Lewis, James, P. (2006). Fundamentals of project management. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. 2. Web.

Matrix organization and project management. (2009). Visitask: Project Management Training an Resources. Web.

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