Project management structure is becoming increasingly common. In a project organisational structure, you arrange your business around dedicated teams that work on a particular project.
What is a project based organisational structure?
The project structure involves taking a member of staff out of each functional department and placing them in a temporary project team. This team then works on one specific task.
This structure can be useful when developing a new product or entering a new market. A business that usually has a functional or customer-based structure can use project management to complete short-term objectives. In this structure, a project manager usually:
- has the decisive authority over the task
- leads a team of staff from different departments to complete a project
The individuals on the team work directly for the project managers.
The advantages of a project organisational structure
Some businesses may benefit from using a project management organisational structure all the time, especially if they need to be flexible and agile in their operations.
A clear benefit of a project structure is that you have more control over the team. However, there are many other advantages. For example, such a structure can:
- facilitate a multi-disciplinary or cross-functional way of working
- flatten a business' hierarchy
- create a strong team culture and sense of identity
- ensure a business is organised according to its core activities
- make better use of employees' skills
- make it easier to schedule work with dedicated resources
The disadvantages of a project organisational structure
While the project structure is probably the simplest structure of all, it's worth keeping in mind some possible downsides. For example, the project organisational structure can:
- blur organisational lines, since it effectively removes staff from their functional jobs
- suck up resources and staff to work on a single project, rather than wider objectives
- confuse lines of accountability as employees may report to several different managers
Project organisational structure can also prove expensive, as having a dedicated project team can often lead to high costs. This is likely to work best for big and short-term projects.