Pure Project Organization

At the other end of the organizational spectrum is pure project organization. The project is separated from the rest of the parent system. It becomes a self-contained unit with its own technical staff, its own administration, tied to the parent firm by the tenuous strands of periodic progress reports and oversight. Some parent organizations prescribe administrative, financial, personnel, and control procedures in detail. Others allow the project almost total freedom within the limits of final accountability. There are examples of almost every possible intermediate position. Figure 4-2 illustrates this pure project organization.

Figure 4-2: Pure project organization.

As with the functional organization, the pure project has its unique advantages and disadvantages. The former are:

1. The project manager has full line authority over the project. Though the PM must report to a senior executive in the parent organization, there is a complete work force devoted to the project. The PM is like the CEO of a firm that is dedicated to carrying out the project.

2. All members of the project work force are directly responsible to the PM. There are no functional division heads whose permission must be sought or whose advice must be heeded before making technological decisions. The PM is truly the project director.

3. When the project is removed from the functional division, the lines of communication are shortened. The entire functional structure is bypassed, and the PM communicates directly with senior corporate management. The shortened communication lines result in faster communications with fewer failures.

4. When there are several successive projects of a similar kind, the pure project organization can maintain a more or less permanent cadre of experts who develop considerable skill in specific technologies. Indeed, the existence of such skill pools can attract customers to the parent firm. Lockheed's famous "Skonk Works" was such a team of experts who took great pride in their ability to solve difficult engineering problems. The group's name, taken from the Li'l Afw comic strip, reflects the group's pride, irreverent attitude, and strong sense of identity.

5. The project team that has a strong and separate identity of its own tends to develop a high level of commitment from its members. Motivation is high and acts to foster the task orientation discussed in Chapter 3.

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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