Strong vs Weak Matrix Structure - Essay Example

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This research is the best example of comparison of strong and weak matrix structure. This research is being carried out to evaluate and present skills required for project management. The research will present certain skills that appear at the top of the list…
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Strong vs Weak Matrix Structure
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Download file to see previous pages The study indicates that weak matrix organizations are no less than a nightmare for project managers. This is true because although, they have the authority and power to make plans, divide the project strategy and even closely monitor the execution as well, project managers do not have any real authority over the project team members, most of whom remain reliant on their functional managers for provision and use of resources. Therefore, in these organizations, technically the project managers do not remain “managers” in the truest sense but their role is reduced to that of project “facilitators”. Project managers within a weak matrix organization often fail to motivate their employees to the utmost degree because of the fact that they have little loyalty to the project managers and little motivation to work on the project. They are well aware of the fact that they the chain of command indicates that they report to their functional managers who decide their promotions, achievements and write their annual reviews. Project managers might have to report and discuss the issue of non-performing employees with the functional managers and then hope that the functional managers will help. Some project managers, despite all difficulties, successfully complete their projects in weak matrix organizations but it becomes nearly impossible to attain any kind of success for the project manager when the functional managers decide to obstruct the work and oppose the approaches of project managers. In this case, they might not allow project managers to use resources and prevent their employees from working with full productivity on projects, thus making the life of the project managers miserable. Figure 1 Weak Matrix Structure with project team members scattered in many functional departments and working under primary authority of their respective functional managers Strong matrix organizations provide a better framework and structure for project managers to operate. In fact, it appears that strong matrix organizations emerged on to the scene primarily in order to satisfy the needs of project managers. Rather than leaving the project managers at the mercy of different functional managers, the organization empowers the project managers so that they could exercise their authority over budgets, resources, expenses and even employee appraisals (Lewis, p. 106). Employees are more likely to report to two bosses at the same time, one their functional managers and the second their project manager but they see the incentive in being equally loyal to both of them. Project managers remain concerned with the project related issues of the employees whereas all the human resource and operational issues and responsibilities remain with the functional managers who overlook them. In these types of organizations, there is even a different department of project managers, which reports to a head project manager holding tremendous authority within the authority (Daft & Willmott, p. 36). In strong matrix organisations, project managers would usually draw up plans about the projects and then contact the functional managers about their needs and demands in terms of employees. Important here to note is that when functional managers and project manager negotiate, it is highly likely that project manager would have an upper hand (Cameron & Quinn, p. 309). A potential pitfall in these types of organizations is that with extreme power of project managers, functional managers might find it troublesome to perform the necessary functions for keeping the organization afloat and running. Furthermore, a great deal of training is required to ensure that employees do not confuse the dual chain of command where they have to report to two bosses and maintain between their functional and project duties. In addition, constantly and quickly changing projects and new team members may also ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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