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FIGURE 5-5. Personal skills matrix.

between individuals and organizations take place. As described by Karger and Murdick, the LRC has merit6:

Obviously the chart has weaknesses, of which one of the larger ones is that it is a mechanical aid. Just because it says that something is a fact does not make it true. It is very difficult to discover, except generally, exactly what occurs in a company—and with whom. The chart tries to express in specific terms relationships that cannot always be delineated so clearly; moreover, the degree to which it can be done depends on the specific situation. This is the difference between the formal and informal organizations mentioned. Despite this, the Linear Responsibility Chart is one of the best devices for organization analysis known to the authors.

Linear responsibility charts can result from customer-imposed requirements above and beyond normal operations. For example, the customer may require as part of its quality control that a specific engineer supervise and approve all testing of a certain item or that another individual approve all data released to the customer over and above program office approval. Such customer requirements necessitate LRCs and can cause disruptions and conflicts within an organization.

Several key factors affect the delegation of authority and responsibility, both from upper-level management to project management and from project management to functional management. These key factors include:

• The maturity of the project management function

• The size, nature, and business base of the company

• The size and nature of the project

• The life cycle of the project

• The capabilities of management at all levels

Once agreement has been reached as to the project manager's authority and responsibility, the results must be documented to clearly delineate his role in regard to:

• His focal position

• Conflict between the project manager and functional managers

• Influence to cut across functional and organizational lines

• Participation in major management and technical decisions

• Collaboration in staffing the project

• Control over allocation and expenditure of funds

• Selection of subcontractors

• Rights in resolving conflicts

• Voice in maintaining integrity of the project team

• Establishment of project plans

• Providing a cost-effective information system for control

• Providing leadership in preparing operational requirements

6. D. W. Karger and R. G. Murdick, Managing Engineering and Research (New York: Industrial Press, 1963), p. 89.

• Maintaining prime customer liaison and contact

• Promoting technological and managerial improvements

• Establishment of project organization for the duration

• Cutting red tape

Documenting the project manager's authority is necessary because:

• All interfacing must be kept as simple as possible.

• The project manager must have the authority to "force" functional managers to depart from existing standards and possibly incur risk.

• The project manager must gain authority over those elements of a program that are not under his control. This is normally achieved by earning the respect of the individuals concerned.

• The project manager should not attempt to fully describe the exact authority and responsibilities of his project office personnel or team members. Instead, he should encourage problem-solving rather than role definition.

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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