Course Unit

The Impact of Organisational Structure on Projects

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Organisations can be structured in various ways, from classic functional hierarchies to project-based organisations, each influencing how projects are managed and the power project managers have.

Key topics covered include:

  1. Functional Hierarchy: In this classic structure, individuals report to only one boss, typically a functional manager. Projects are less prioritised, making it challenging for project managers to succeed due to limited authority and difficulty securing resources.
  2. Matrix Organisations: These combine elements of functional hierarchies and project-based structures. Depending on the emphasis on projects, matrices can be weak, balanced, or strong: Weak Matrix: Project managers have limited decision-making power, sharing authority with functional managers.
    Balanced Matrix: Project managers and functional managers share authority equally.
    Strong Matrix: Project managers and staff work full-time on projects, with significant decision-making power.
  3. Project-Based Organisations: These structures prioritise projects, giving project managers extensive authority over budgets, resources, and staffing. Project managers and their teams work full-time on projects, facilitating smoother project execution.

By understanding these organisational structures, you can better assess your organisation's setup and its impact on project management. This knowledge helps in navigating and leveraging your organisation's structure to enhance project success.

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