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How to be effective Project manager in weak organisation matrix?
Currently i am working in weak organisation matrix, resource doesn't report to project manager, they report to functional manager.
Project doesn't have any authority to change any thing. how can i be effective project manager in weak organisation matrix?

Thank you,
Latika
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Even in such situation, you should plan and work with project completion in mind with this resource. Make sure, what % this resource is going to work on your project via email with functional manager and project sponsor. The resource can send status reports to both his/her functional manager and you. That way you can communicate and work on project.
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1 reply by Latika Rani
Mar 16, 2018 2:23 AM
Latika Rani
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Hello Shivanjali,
Thank you response.

what can be done in critical situation like related to project priority or issue related to resource,
for example, resource is not working as per project need,He/she is not listening to project manager ,and also functional manager supports him/her, Being a project manager , you dont have any power , but lots of responsibility.
What should a PM do in this situation?
You need to set the project objectives clearly and get the buy-in of the various functional managers. They can be considered as stakeholders since they control their resources (and must be considered as risks, as well).

Additionally, there must be SLAs on the involvement of the team members, on notification duration in case of availability changes (from both sides). Any deviations from SLAs must be tracked as issues and presented to stakeholders.

And, this is not formal, but a WIIFM statement must be drawn up for project team members and their functional managers. They should receive something from the time and resources committed, respectively, to the project.
Mar 16, 2018 2:16 AM
Replying to Shivanjali Bhutkar
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Even in such situation, you should plan and work with project completion in mind with this resource. Make sure, what % this resource is going to work on your project via email with functional manager and project sponsor. The resource can send status reports to both his/her functional manager and you. That way you can communicate and work on project.
Hello Shivanjali,
Thank you response.

what can be done in critical situation like related to project priority or issue related to resource,
for example, resource is not working as per project need,He/she is not listening to project manager ,and also functional manager supports him/her, Being a project manager , you dont have any power , but lots of responsibility.
What should a PM do in this situation?
Yes you need to build some kind of rapport or at least working relationship with the functional managers. In weak matrix, functional or even balanced matrix environments, you should build into your assumptions and risks regarding decision making (or lack thereof) and resource availability.
In a weak matrix structure, Communication plays a important role. Proactive approach and Consistent communications with functional managers on resource requirements and priorities with respect to project timeliness can be done.
In weak matrix organization by definition PM cannot be effective because we need to understand the definition of effective.In my understanding, the effectiveness comes from authority, ownership of project, decision taking , stakeholders confidence of PM authority in a way they will feel your effectiveness.

Now verbal effectiveness attempt can be done through frequent involvement in communication, involvement with key stakeholders, continually pushing stakeholders for milestones deadline, identifying key risks that are missing in planning and so on .........
After more than 30 years in the field working with practice and research inside projects with organizations of any type, any domain, any size, belonging to the whole world let me say: the type of organization (matrix, etc) has no sense regarding the level of authority of the project manager (except those that are projectized).Project manager is a person with not formal authority regarding the stakeholders they have to engage. In my case, lot of times those people are very top level management. So, is up to you.
Latika -

Formal authority isn't all it's cracked up to be - in fact, having it can sometimes introduce bias which wouldn't have been there otherwise.

Focus on influence, persuasion and servant-leadership to inspire team members and other stakeholders.

Kiron
Latika,

does this matrix weakness extend across the whole organisation? If not, you have authority by proxy, Risks and Issues should be reported to stakeholders, sponsors and up to the program/portfolio. You can use these reporting lines to gain leverage through the management chain.

A word of warning, this can be a politically delicate move that needs a careful approach to avoid damaging relationships further. It is however, a useful tool in some cases.

Paul

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