Project Management Central

Please login or join to subscribe to this thread

Topics: Career Development, Consulting, Leadership
Project Teams and Authority
Network:33



Have you noticed a shift in how companies are organized?
The matrix organisation seems to be quite popular.

Per PMBOK, it reduces the authority of the PM.
But, let's discuss the practice.

How often do you work with a dedicated Project Team which has minimal off-project work to handle (operations)?
Any particular challenges worth sharing?
Sort By:
Network:2244



Bogdan,

for project success it is best to have a dedicated 100% available team.
Multitasking is bad. It is true for agile and non-agile projects.

In this case, the project manager's authority is normally greatest.
If an organisation does all their major projects like that, PMBoK calls it projectized.

I worked mostly with dedicated teams, maybe some specialist were only part-time involved, and this created scheduling issues.
Network:571



Hi Bogdan,
I prefer for projectized organisations for big and complex project. It provides project manager great authority to manoeuvre project to success.
Network:213



Project based teams tend to be a rarity. Although there are a lot of benefits to such a team structure particularly with on-time performance, there are drawbacks as well, such as the potential for extra cost.

If people are dedicated full time to a project, they will charge full time even if they have nothing to do, which can happen as the work ebbs and flows on some types of projects like if they are waiting for input from another person before they can proceed with their own work. If you cut them loose to go do other things while they're idle, you're likely to lose them permanently.
Network:485



The problem with the matrix organization is that getting consensus with everyone is always difficult and hence the decision making takes lot of time
...
1 reply by Thomas Walenta
Apr 21, 2019 6:33 AM
Thomas Walenta
...
@Prasad, agree Matrix adds conflicts of interest.
This may be detrimental if you try to solve all of these.
I found working for 4 bosses in a matrix giving me more authority and autonomy, because everyone understood there is no merit in trying to compromise across 4 dimensions (and it would require deeper involvement of all 4 of them).
In the end, the customer needs trumped them all.
Network:11984



So far I have mostly worked in matrix organizations, where the project team members report to their line manager. As long as there is a good alignment with the line manager and the team members, the outcome is in general positive. On the minus side, sometimes priorities of team members might need to be shifted, which eventually leads to escalation and reassignment of priorities.
Network:1794



Authority is not a matter of structure, while I can agree that it helps. The "art" component in project management is you have to gain authority on people that never reports you and most of the time are too far to your position inside the organizational pyramid, from top to bottom.
Network:2244



Apr 19, 2019 1:23 PM
Replying to PRASAD Mani
...
The problem with the matrix organization is that getting consensus with everyone is always difficult and hence the decision making takes lot of time
@Prasad, agree Matrix adds conflicts of interest.
This may be detrimental if you try to solve all of these.
I found working for 4 bosses in a matrix giving me more authority and autonomy, because everyone understood there is no merit in trying to compromise across 4 dimensions (and it would require deeper involvement of all 4 of them).
In the end, the customer needs trumped them all.
Network:558



Really good question. I was not very clear about the principle of organisations types but,this question clarified my doubt.

In my current role leading a project, the teams are formed from different functions. They are dedicated to the project. however, their involvements in project are more than their routine role.

Sometimes, I don't feel like I am leading the project. Works/ tasks happen without my knowledge/ involvement. This is good at some cases. But, this dual role team will hamper the project progress interms of time and quality
Network:89



From my experience I have seen that, in IT at least, project managers generally are not given by the sponsors the full control of the resources to use them as best as possible to achieve the goal of the project.

The decision power in a project usually is not given to the PM but to the sponsor, users of the products or the services being delivered (customers) and functional leads.

PMs usually are not expected to act like bosses and exercise authority over the project team they are expected to act more like facilitators for all the project stakeholders. PMs may have the limited authority to approve work but they are doing so after someone else has made a decisions, for instance the sponsor.

If as a PM you expect to have authority and be treated like a boos you may end up having a big disillusion.

Even in large complex projects and programs that would resemble a projectized organization the PMs are not given authority as in these cases a program or project director is employed to take decisions on behalf on the sponsor and the PMs are still facilitators.
...
1 reply by Thomas Walenta
Apr 22, 2019 7:22 AM
Thomas Walenta
...
Adrian,

agree. Have the same experience in IT, but there are other behaviors in other sectors, like construction or event management.

After Olympics in your country 2000, I read a comparison of (widely successful) construction projects and (often challenged) IT projects for the games. A major difference in project management I remember was the empowerment of project managers, including full P&L and direct CEO access in the case of constructions.

IT project management is often seen as a technical discipline and engineers need oversight and cannot be trusted with business.
Network:2244



Apr 22, 2019 6:24 AM
Replying to Adrian Carlogea
...
From my experience I have seen that, in IT at least, project managers generally are not given by the sponsors the full control of the resources to use them as best as possible to achieve the goal of the project.

The decision power in a project usually is not given to the PM but to the sponsor, users of the products or the services being delivered (customers) and functional leads.

PMs usually are not expected to act like bosses and exercise authority over the project team they are expected to act more like facilitators for all the project stakeholders. PMs may have the limited authority to approve work but they are doing so after someone else has made a decisions, for instance the sponsor.

If as a PM you expect to have authority and be treated like a boos you may end up having a big disillusion.

Even in large complex projects and programs that would resemble a projectized organization the PMs are not given authority as in these cases a program or project director is employed to take decisions on behalf on the sponsor and the PMs are still facilitators.
Adrian,

agree. Have the same experience in IT, but there are other behaviors in other sectors, like construction or event management.

After Olympics in your country 2000, I read a comparison of (widely successful) construction projects and (often challenged) IT projects for the games. A major difference in project management I remember was the empowerment of project managers, including full P&L and direct CEO access in the case of constructions.

IT project management is often seen as a technical discipline and engineers need oversight and cannot be trusted with business.

Please login or join to reply

Content ID:
ADVERTISEMENTS

"Very deep. You should send that into Reader's Digest, they've got a page for people like you."

- Douglas Adams

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors