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Project Management Context (cont'd)

Organizational Structure

General Management Skills

Socioeconomic Influences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organizational Structure

Organizational Structure Influences on Projects

Organization Type --> Functional

Matrix

Projectized
Project Characteristics  

Weak

Balanced

Strong

 
Project Manager's Authority

Little or None

Limited

Low to Moderate

Moderate to High

High to Almost Total

Percent of Performing Organization's Personnel Assigned Full-Time to Project Work

Virtually None

0-25%

15-60%

50-95%

85-100%

Project Manager's Role

Part-time

Part-time

Full-time

Full-time

Full-time

Common Titles for Project Manager's Role

Project Coordinator/

Project Leader

Project Coordinator/

Project Leader

Project Manager/

Project Officer

Project Manager/

Program Manager

Project Manager/

Program Manager

Project Management Administrative Staff

Part-time

Part-time

Part-time

Full-time

Full-time

Projectized form

In the projectized form, the project manager has people from the various functional departments assigned directly to his or her project.

- advantages

- disadvantages

 

Matrix form

The individuals from different functional areas are not directly assigned to the project on a full-time basis. Instead the project manager must task the functional organization for their services.

- advantages

- disadvantages

Contracting organization - Centralized v. Decentralized

Within every project organizational structure there is some type of internal contracting organization. While discussing centralization versus decentralization , the distinguishing factor depends upon where the contracting authority lies ie who has the authority to sign contracts.

Centralized contracting

Advantages Disadvantages
  • more economical in terms of efficency and effectiveness
  • Management control is facilitated by having a single department.
  • Fewer orders are processes, reducing duplication of effort.
  • Higher degree of specialization.
  • Coordination is achieved through face-to-face communcation.
  • Sellers have fewer people to call on.
  • Requisitions may be received sporadically creating a bottleneck effect.
  • Requisitions may be processed without considering the special needs of the project manager.

Decentralized contracting

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Contracting people are familiar with project needs.
  • The contract is tailored to the project.
  • The contracting person appointed to the project is available and under the project manager's direct control.
  • The contracting person is more responsive to the project.
  • Location of contracting people with the project manage minimizes communication problems.
  • Duplication of effort in contracting, receiving, inspection and accounts payable.
  • Contracting procedures vary between project managers.

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General Management Skills

The following general management are highly likely to affect most projects:

 

Leading

Kotter distinguishes between leading and managing while emphasizing the need for both: one without the other is likely to produce poor results. Managing is primarily concerned with consistently producing key results expected by stakeholders while leading involves:

  1. Establishing direction - developing both a vision of the future and strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision.
  2. Aligning people - communicating the vision by words and deeds to all those whose co-operation may be needed to achieve that vision.
  3. Motivating and inspiring - helping people energize themselves to overcome political, bureaucratic and resouce barriers to change.

Leadership must be demonstrated on a project at all levels: project leadership, team leadership and technical leadership.

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Communicating

Communicating involves the exchange of information. The sender is responsible for making the information clear, unambiguous and complete so that the receiver can receive it correctly. The receiver is reponsible for making sure that the information is received in its entirety and understood correctly. Communication is a broader subject and involves a substantial body of knowledge that is not unique to the project context, for example:

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Negotiating

Negotiating involves conferring with others in order to come to terms or to reach an agreement. Agreements may be negotiated directly or with assistance; mediation and arbitration are two types of assisted negotiation.

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Problem Solving

Problem solving involves a combination of problem definition and decision making. It is concerned with problems that have already occurred.

Problem definition requires distinguishing between causes and symptoms. Problems may be internal or external. They may be technical, managerial or interpersonal.

Decision making includes analyzing the problem to identify viable solutions, and then making a choice from among them.

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Influencing the Organization

Influencing the organization involves the ability to get things done.

Pfeffer defines power as:

The potential ability to influence behaviour, to change the course of events, to overcome resistance, and to get people to do things they would not otherwise do.

Eccles defines politics as:

Politics is about getting collective action from a group of people who may have quite different interests. It is about being willing to use conflict and disorder creatively.

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Socioeconomic Influences

Standards and Regulations

According to the ISO,

A standard is a document approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use rules, guidelines, or characteristics for products, processes or services with which compliance is not mandatory.

A regulation is a document which lays down product, process or service characteristics, including the applicable administrative provisions, with which compliance is mandatory.

For many projects, standards and regulations are well known and project plans can reflect their effects. In other cases, the influence is unknown or uncertain and must be considered under Project Risk Management.

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Internationalization

In addition to the traditional concerns of scope, cost, time and quality, the project management team must consider the effect of time zone differences, national and regional holidays, travel requirements for face-to-face meetings, the logistics of teleconferencing and other volatile political differences.

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Cultural Influences

Culture is the totality of socially transmitted behaviours, patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.

Every project must operate within a context of one or more cultural norms. This area of influence includes political, economic, demographic, educational, ethical, ethnic, religious, and other areas of practice, belief, and attitudes that affect the way people and organizations interact.

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