authority of the project manager was minimized. Most projects were handled by functional managers and stayed in one or two functional lines, and formal communications were either unnecessary or handled informally because of the good working relationships between line managers. Many organizations today, such as low-technology manufacturing, have line managers who have been working side by side for ten or more years. In such situations, informal project management may be effective on capital equipment or facility development projects.

By 1970 and again during the early 1980s, more companies departed from informal project management and restructured to formalize the project management process, mainly because the size and complexity of their activities had grown to a point where they were unmanageable within the current structure. Figure 2-2 shows what happened to one such construction company. The following five questions help determine whether formal project management is necessary:

• Are there dynamic environmental considerations?

• Are the constraints tight?

• Are there several activities to be integrated?

• Are there several functional boundaries to be crossed?

If any of these questions are answered yes, then some form of formalized project management may be necessary. It is possible for formalized project management to exist in only one functional department or division, such as for R&D or perhaps just for certain types of projects. Some companies have successfully implemented both formal and informal project management concurrently, but these companies are few and far between. Today we realize that the last two questions may be the most important.

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.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment