Project Organization Task Force

From a project manager's point of view this is the ideal type of project organization, since with such a set up he has complete control over every aspect of the project. The project team will usually be located in one area which can be a room for a small project or a complete building for a very large one.

Lines of communication are short and the interaction of the disciplines reduces the risk of errors and misunderstandings. Not only are the planning and technical functions part of the team but also the project cost control and project accounting staff. This places an enormous burden and responsibility on the project manager, who will have to delegate much of the day-to-day management to special project coordinators whose prime function is to ensure a good communication flow and timely receipt of reports and feedback information from external sources.

On large projects with budgets often greater than £0.5 billion, the project manager's responsibilities are akin to those of a managing director of a medium-size company. Not only is he concerned with the technical and commercial aspects of the project, but has also to deal with the staff, financial and political issues, which are often more difficult to delegate.

There is no doubt that for large projects a task force type of project organization is essential, but as with so many areas of business, the key to success lies with the personality of the project manager and his ability to inspire the project team to regard themselves as personal stakeholders in the project.

One of the main differences between the two true project organizations (matrix and task force) and the functional organization is the method of financial accounting. For the project manager

Managing director

Functional heads

Functional

Managing director

Programme manager

Project 1

Project 2

Project 3

Managing director

Programme manager

Director

Project 1

Resources

1

a

so

n

Project 2

Resourcss

1

n

e io

ti

Project 3

Project

Figure 9.1 Types of organization

Matrix to retain proper cost control during the life of the project, it is vital that a system of project accounting is instituted, whereby all incomes and expenditures, including a previously agreed overhead allocation and profit margin, are booked to the project as if it were a separate self-standing organization. The only possible exceptions are certain corporate financial transactions such as interest payments on loans taken out by the host organization and interest receipts on deposits from a positive cash flow.

Figure 9.1 shows a diagrammatic representation of the three basic project management organizations, functional, project (or task force) and matrix.

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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