The Team Approach

The team or task force approachis highly recommended for larger projects. In this case, key members of each department are physically located in the same area. Information flows directly within the project team as indicated in the organization chart, Figure 2-2. The departmental managers act as a resource to the project team. The main advantage to this organizational structure is that it improves communication and coordination among members of the task force. Primary allegiance is to the project and not to the department. When the project is completed, the task force is dissolved and members return to the department. The primary disadvantage is that expertise among members of the department is not shared as much because other members of the department are not physically available. Also on smaller projects there may be more wasted time. The individual assigned is only working on one project at a time and when there is a delay in an activity the individual may not have any productive work.

There are many variations in the above organizational structure that can improve efficiency. If there are several smaller projects of a similar nature a task force can be formed to simultaneously work on these smaller projects. The "small projects" task force will gain experience on working efficiently on more than one project and yet be part of a team. The team members will get to know and understand how other members work and become more effective in communication and coordination. Another organizational structure is a hybrid between the department and team approach.

Part-time specialists are physically located with their department while members of the task force are physically located with the project team. Specialists can be brought in and out of projects only as required by the associated project engineer.

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