During the past ten years, large companies have restructured into strategic business units (SBUs). An SBU is a grouping of functional units that have the responsibility for profit (or loss) of part of the organization's core businesses. Figure 3-17 shows how one of the automotive suppliers restructured into three SBUs; one each for Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. Each strategic business unit is large enough to maintain its own project and program managers. The executive in charge of the strategic business unit may act as the sponsor for all of the program and project managers within the SBU. The major benefit of these types of project management SBUs is that it allows the SBU to work more closely with the customer. It is a customer-focused organizational structure.
It is possible for some resources to be shared across several SBUs. Manufacturing plants can end up supporting more than one SBU. Also, corporate may provide the resources for cost accounting, human resource management, and training.
A more recent organizational structure, and a more complex one, is shown in Figure 3-18. In this structure, each SBU may end up using the same platform (i.e., powertrain, chassis, and other underneath components). The platform managers are responsible for the design and enhancements of each platform, whereas the SBU program managers must
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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.