As we have stated, the project manager measures his success by how well he can negotiate with both upper-level and functional management for the resources necessary to achieve the project objective. Moreover, the project manager may have a great deal of delegated authority but very little power. Hence, the managerial skills he requires for successful performance may be drastically different from those of his functional management counterparts.
The difficult aspect of the project management environment is that individuals at the project-functional interface must report to two bosses. Functional managers and project managers, by virtue of their different authority levels and responsibilities, treat their people in different fashions depending on their "management school" philosophies. There are generally five management schools, as described below:
• The classical/traditional school: Management is the process of getting things done (i.e., possibly achieving objectives) by working both with and through people operating in organized groups. Emphasis is placed on the end-item or objective, with little regard for the people involved.
• The empirical school: Managerial capabilities can be developed by studying the experiences of other managers, whether or not the situations are similar.
• The behavioral school: Two classrooms are considered within this school. First, we have the human relations classroom in which we emphasize the interpersonal relationship between individuals and their work. The second classroom includes the social system of the individual. Management is considered to be a system of cultural relationships involving social change.
• The decision theory school: Management is a rational approach to decision making using a system of mathematical models and processes, such as operations research and management science.
• The management systems school: Management is the development of a systems model, characterized by input, processing, and output, and directly identifies the flow of resources (money, equipment, facilities, personnel, information, and material) necessary to obtain some objective by either maximizing or minimizing some objective function. The management systems school also includes contingency theory, which stresses that each situation is unique and must be optimized separately within the constraints of the system.
In a project environment, functional managers are generally practitioners of the first three schools of management, whereas project managers utilize the last two. This imposes hardships on both the project managers and functional representatives. The project manager must motivate functional representatives toward project dedication on the horizontal line using management systems theory and quantitative tools, often with little regard for the employee. After all, the employee might be assigned for a very short-term effort, whereas the end-item is the most important objective. The functional manager, however, expresses more concern for the individual needs of the employee using the traditional or behavioral schools of management.
Modern practitioners still tend to identify management responsibilities and skills in terms of the principles and functions developed in the early management schools, namely:
Although these management functions have generally been applied to traditional management structures, they have recently been redefined for temporary management positions. Their fundamental meanings remain the same, but the applications are different.
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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.