Functional Hierarchy

formance required, which, from the assumption of Chapter 11, will be the task level. Costing information is rolled up to the project level and then one step further to the total program level.

Under ideal conditions, the work required (i.e., man-hours) to complete a given task can be based on historical standards. Unfortunately, for many industries, projects and programs are so diversified that realistic comparison between previous activities may not be possible. The costing information obtained from each pricing unit, whether or not it is based on historical standards, should be regarded only as an estimate. How can a company predict the salary structure three years from now? What will be the cost of raw materials two years from now? Will the business base (and therefore overhead rates) change over the duration of the program? The final response to these questions shows that costing data are explicitly related to an environment that cannot be predicted with any high degree of certainty. The systems approach to management, however, provides for a more rapid response to the environment than less structured approaches permit.

Once the cost data are assembled, they must be analyzed for their potential impact on the company resources of people, money, equipment, and facilities. It is only through a total program cost analysis that resource allocations can be analyzed. The resource allocation analysis is performed at all levels of management, ranging from the section supervisor to the vice president and general manager. For most programs, the chief executive must approve final cost data and the allocation of resources.

Proper analysis of the total program costs can provide management (both program and corporate) with a strategic planning model for integration of the current program with other programs in order to obtain a total corporate strategy. Meaningful planning and pricing models include analyses for monthly manloading schedules per department, monthly costs per department, monthly and yearly total program costs, monthly material expenditures, and total program cash-flow and man-hour requirements per month.

Previously we identified several of the problems that occur at the nodes where the horizontal hierarchy of program management interfaces with the vertical hierarchy of functional management. The pricing-out of the work breakdown structure provides the basis for effective and open communication between functional and program management where both parties have one common goal. This is shown in Figure 14-1. After the pricing effort is completed, and the program is initiated, the work breakdown structure still forms the basis of a communications tool by documenting the performance agreed on in the pricing effort, as well as establishing the criteria against which performance costs will be measured.

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