Friday, April 2, 2010
Functional Structure/Matrix Structure
Each major functional area is represented as a unit in the organization with a line manager and reporting staff.
The unit’s scope of responsibility is limited to the functional area in which they work.
Work is transmitted to the unit. They do their work and pass it along to the next functional unit.
Team work exists within the unit but not across units.
In the functional structure, projects frequently have no identity of their own. When the first functional manager finishes working on an activity in the project, the deliverable is thrown to the next functional manager, and so the process continues. There is no project manager. Thus, the risk of failure is high.
The greatest advantage is skill development. Because the project work undertaken within a functional unit is typically repetitive and must be completed within the functional unit, the manager has to develop the required skills among his staff.
Everybody understands his task. Jobs tend to be more repetitive.
It is probably the most common organizational form found in today’s organizations.
In the matrix structure, there are two things to consider:
The functional home of the individual
The project home of the individual
The functional home deals with development and deployment of individuals to projects. This is where the line manager of the individual is found.
The project home is where the individual actually engages in work.
Matrix structure is flexible and can adapt to changing environments. As projects start, end, or are cancelled staff can be easily reassigned.
It has few communication problems. The project manager can focus on managing the work; the functional manager can focus on managing the staff. The individual understands the role of the two managers and is able to work more effectively.
Project objectives are clear and visible. Team members are fully informed on the project objectives, deliverables, schedules, and so forth.
The individual is assigned to a project and understands not only the project but his or her role and responsibility in it.
Matrix structure has a few disadvantages:
Success depends on manager interactions.
Project management is difficult. The project manager does not have line authority over his team members. The line authority belongs with the functional managers. This means that the leadership skills of the project manager will be called into action.
Each project has two bosses. This can place the team member in a difficult position. Whose wishes do the team members respond to?
There are conflicting goals (project versus function).