Matrix management

Both models recognise that projects are usually neither owned by, nor contained within, a single department. They are shared endeavours that draw on the skills, knowledge and experience of a variety of stakeholders whose expectations differ. Projects cut across the departmental divides, creating a matrix. Managing resources through both line and project structures is called matrix management. When used effectively, it allows organisations to deliver better business as usual and projects simultaneously. Without it, projects often suffer because business as usual takes priority.

In both the free and regulated models there is also a head of project management who plays a key role in a matrix management environment.

Head of project management

The head of project management is principally a resource pool manager responsible for managing a team of project managers to satisfy the demands of project steering groups as they seek candidates for emerging projects. This person will manage the longer-term needs of the department by recruiting, developing and retaining the best project managers required to maintain a healthy pool of personnel.

The head of project management should be an experienced person who can contribute to the continued development and application of the organisation's approach to project management. Even so, if the resource pool is small, this may not be a full-time role and could be performed by a project manager in addition to existing duties.

The head of project management should not become involved in business-as-usual or project matters other than those for which he already has specific responsibilities. Matters arising within individual projects should be managed by those involved in them. The head of project management is, however, expected to prevent or manage anything related to the efficiency, supply or quality of project management personnel.

The person given this role may also sit on a project steering group, or possibly serve as a member of the portfolio management team.

To ensure consistency, impartiality, balance and integration of services with other stakeholders, the provision of project support and assurance to project managers (such as health checks, quality reviews, administrative support, and so on) is best provided from outside this resource pool.

The head of project management's specific responsibilities are to:

e supply project managers to project steering groups when given a demand forecast;

e manage the pool of resources effectively within the agreed headcount;

e make sure the project managers in the pool apply the company's approach to project management; e prevent and resolve issues regarding the efficacy, supply or quality of project managers; e recruit, retain/release, develop and reward the pool of project managers according to their performance; e provide personal mentoring and support to project managers; e provide training and education for the company's approach to project management.

The head of project management should be authorised to:

e recruit and release project managers to satisfy current and forecast demand effectively; e conduct annual appraisals and to recommend rewards/penalties.

At the end of a year, the head of project management's performance should be assessed by:

e the extent to which demand for project managers has been met; e how regularly the resource plan for project managers has been maintained;

e the extent to which project managers have achieved their targets.

This demanding role requires appropriate managerial ability and experience in project management.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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