1 September, 2022

How to Create a Project Organization from the Wider Organizational Structure | Video

In this video, I look at the different ways the Project Organization of the Project Manager and their team can be drawn from the wider organization.

This video is safe for viewing in the workplace.

This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy

Five Basic Project Organization Structures

To do so, I am going to describe five different Project Organization Structures, from the ‘lightest’ to the most strongly project-oriented.

There are infinite varieties and hybridizations of these, of course. And, in these, I will discuss some of the common variants.

1 Ad Hoc (also, simple, or organic)

Essentially, assembling a project team and their project manager from around the organization, and disbanding them once the project is complete.

The project manager usually has a part-time commitment, with little or no formal authority. They have to beg or borrow staff and resources through personal influence.

2 Functional

The project team and Project Manager largely come from within a single function. The PM may be the function leader or, more likely, the function leader acts as a sponsor and appoints a PM.

The project manager is usually part-time and draws their authority and access to resources from the functional leader.

3 Matrix 

Weak, Intermediate (or balanced), and Strong

This approach draws project team members from across the organization. There are a variety of possibilities that we define largely on where the PM comes from.

A Weak Matrix draws the PM from outside of the functions that benefit from the project. A variant has minimal project leadership and the team is more self-managing.

There is a variant on this where you use a contracted project manager, from outside the organization.

A Balanced Matrix draws the PM from one of the functions most closely associated with the project and its outcomes.

A Strong Matrix draws the PM from a formal pool of project managers. This may be a dedicated project management team. This may be based within a Project, Program, or Portfolio Management Office (PMO).

4 Contracted

This model sees contracted or consultant-led project teams that may have support from organizational resources.

Here, the PM and some of their core team are drawn from outside of the organization. Supplementary resources and expertise comes from within the organization.

5 Fully Projectized

A fully projectized organization does away with traditional functions. The whole organization is organized around its project teams. These models can vary from the truly ad hoc model, where everyone sits in a resource pool, and project units come together as needed, to a more rigid structure where Project Managers and core team members form stable units, drawing upon additional, fungible resources to meet the demands of their current project or projects.

This is largely how consulting organizations work.

Hybrids (or Composites)

Of course, as all project management is hybrid project management, we would expect that you will also see a vast variety of combinations of these types.

Take a look at our full FREE course on the Nature of Organizations, on our sister channel, Management Courses:

What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

Learn Still More

For more great Project Management videos, please subscribe to the OnlinePMCourses YouTube channel.

If you want basic Management Courses – free training hosted on YouTube, with 2 new management lessons a week, check out our sister channel, Management Courses.

For more of our Project Management videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management.

For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management

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Mike Clayton

About the Author...

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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