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Differentiating Functional, Matrix, and Projectized Organizational Structures
Functional Organizational Structure
A functional organization structure is a classical hierarchy in which each employee has a single superior. Employees are then organized by specialty and work accomplished is generally specific to that specialty. Communication with other groups generally occurs by passing information requests up the hierarchy and over to the desired group or manager. Of all the organizational structures, this one tends to be the most difficult for the project manager. The project manager lacks the authority to assign resources and must acquire people and other resources from multiple functional managers. In many cases, the project's priority is viewed lower than operations by the functional manager. In these organizations, it is more common for the project manager to appeal to the senior management to resolve resource issues.
Matrix Organizational Structure
A matrix organization is a blended organizational structure. Although a functional hierarchy is still in place, the project manager is recognized as a valuable position and is given more authority to manage the project and assign resources. Matrix organizations can be further divided into weak, balanced, and strong matrix organizations. The difference between the three is the level of authority given to the project manager (PM). A weak matrix gives more authority to the functional manager (FM), whereas the strong matrix gives more power to the PM. As the name suggests, the balanced matrix balances power between the FM and the PM.
Projectized Organizational Structure
In a projectized organization, there is no defined hierarchy. Resources are brought together specifically for the purpose of a project. The necessary resources are acquired for the project, and the people assigned to the project work only for the PM for the duration of the project. At the end of each project, resources are either reassigned to another project or returned to a resource pool.
There are many subtle differences between each type of structure. Table 1.3 compares the various organizational structures.
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