Understanding Organizations

In 210 B.C., Petronius Arbiter wrote, "We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up in teams, we would be reorganized. I was later to learn in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and what a wonderful method it can be" (Roman author, The Satyricon, 210 B.C.). Many projects are instigated from the top down. Just look at how Toyota has turned its organization around and created product lines using efficient project methodologies and processes to become a virtual powerhouse. Toyota produces one of the best-selling cars in America. Every other auto manufacturer has tried to replicate this turn around.

Harley Davidson's organizational chart has three overlapping circles a Create Demand circle responsible for marketing and sales, a Produce Products circle for engineering and production, and a Support circle for all other functions. However, where these three circles intersect is a Leadership and Strategy Council that oversees general management functions such as planning and budgeting. This overlapping of the circles emphasizes the interdependency between areas that encourage participation and growth.

Executives and project managers who need to understand how projects are going to be managed in the organization should first understand the company structure. Figure 1.7 shows three main types of organizational structures you might encounter when managing projects. First is a matrix structure, which is extremely difficult to work in, where project coordination and follow-up is mandatory. Second is the functional structure, which relies on the functional managers to manage their projects. Third is the projectized structure, or the project approach, which has the ability to rapidly formulate the project team and move forward.

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Figure 1.7: Various organizational structures to manage projects.^

The following lessons learned are crucial in understanding project management methodologies: 1.

Sometimes, it is not feasible to adopt another methodology and reintroduce it into your current environment. A thorough assessment and gap analysis needs to be performed before implementing such a methodology.

Don't try to sell a Rolls Royce to an organization that requires only a Jeep. Sometimes they really don't need all the flash.

Gaining executive support for moving ahead with a project management methodology is paramount to the success of any organization. Without executive support, it becomes increasingly complex and time consuming to sell the idea of project methodology.

Determine your business strategy first, and then focus on the tactics you wish to employ.

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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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