Although I agree with @Adrian and many others about the matrix organization, I actually work in a small collaborating environment that use the project-based organization well. We were managed by a manager who reports to the boss. We report directly and remotely to the manager who is from a different organization (the communication was really great because he was really good in replying emails and he always had answers). He organized all the tasks and communicate with the boss. We knew of other projects through team meeting. Though it was true that limited knowledge was shared between teams, our projects were very different and it wasn't needed. All different teams were great with each other and we actually enjoyed having a specific project to work on in depth rather than being pulled in various directions.
Matrix Organization would be successful in collaboration projects in which two or more companies come together to develop and manufacture a product. Matrix approaches to projects and other initiatives are typically less expensive than establishing dedicated project teams, and the diversity of the team members makes them superior to many purely functional teams. In this situation, It is preferable because such project would last at least 5 year and Matrix organization is good for long-term focus and commitment. It's also good way for Knowledge transfers from project to project and between departments.
I agree with the previous post: matrix organizations are definitely better suited for collaboration projects. They are more efficient and would save resources and allow for a more seamless flow between departments in the project.
I agree with smk45 that matrix organizational structure is the most ideal for collaboration projects. Staffers in a matrix organizational structure report to a product line manager and a functional manager who determines the direction on product offerings and help with skills, review and prioritization of work respectively. In collaborative projects, more often than not, resources are poorly utilized. Matrix organizational structure address this challenge as it allows equipment and experts to be shared across projects. Moreover, all projects and products are formally coordinated across various departments in matrix structure, making this structure the most suitable for collaboration projects.
I would consider a Product Organizational Structure for collaboration projects. In this structure, managers report to head of the company and analysts report to managers. Their main idea is the product line. Therefore, their main goal is product line too. This way it makes collaboration easier for companies since each department knows their role.
Matrix organizational structure would be the best case scenario for this project. Matrix organizations are a blend of functional and projectized characteristics. A matrix organization is defined as one in which there is dual or multiple managerial accountability and responsibility. The balanced matrix organization recognizes the need for a project manager, it doesn’t provide the project manager with the full authority over the project and project funding. Strong matrix organization have project managers with considerable authority and full time project administrative staff. Weak matrix organization have project managers role as a coordinator or expediter than that of a true project manager.
I feel that Matrix Organizations are the most efficient organizational structure for the medical device industry. This style best manages the company's recourses by having engineers working on multiple projects at a time. While this may produce scheduling conflicts, project managers and functional heads must work together in planning the work. This also destroys department silos of information. Roles are clearly defined and the knowledge overlaps with each other. The teams won't be disbanded at the end and future projects will run well together afterwards. This style of organization includes the advantages of both functional and project-based organizations.
I agree with those who believe Matrix would be a better choice. Collaboration between multiple companies for a project is very difficult to accomplish and transfer of knowledge and proper utilization of resources is even more critical. In Matrix Organization, engineers are not locked in for a single project and are able to contribute to multiple projects which is appropriate considering each company has their own needs and goals independent from the project they are collaborating with another company to work on.
For collaboration process, I think matrix type organization is the best option. A matrix type organization allows people to move around based on projects and their talents. I think this is a good option because a project manager can pick and choose the best employees of the company for each project. They can pick and choose who they think collaborates well, this allows better team building opportunities. As a few other also said, the process of work flow is also important. The culture, people, and process leads to more efficient working and collaborating conditions.
In my experience, working on collaboration projects does not really have anything to do with organizational structure. As Adrian stated above, it has a lot more to do with the culture of the employees, the processes in place, and the team members and management involved than anything else. A lot of times the better a team is together the better a collaboration project will go. If the team is out of sync, it is hard to get any traction on a project, especially if everyone has conflicting ideas and managers don't agree with each other.
I guess if I had to choose an organization structure that would be best I would have to choose a matrix organization. This would allow multiple managers to be part of the project which would allow for less bias within the team and a more cooperative work environment. It would also allow for a variety of ideas to be presented within the team and multiple perspectives to be given on the project.
I believe the matrix organizational structure is more efficient. The formation of teams with members from different departments is a great way of sharing information, resources, and specialized knowledge. The *useful* input that the team gets will be extremely helpful for creating more successful projects. You can also connect with more people through this structure which can help in the long run on other projects. I can see though how some people dislike the confusion that could come from having several different people on different projects over time but when communication is effective, I look at this as a great fluid way to collaborate. In the scenario mentioned in the first post about two or more companies that are working together, I think the matrix structure is the only effective structure and will promote an even wider web of knowledge and skills being shared.
I have worked on several projects like this before with some good and bad outcomes. From an engineering point of view, this can be a pain if the work culture and engineering processes are different in both companies. Also, if there are intellectual properties that one or more companies are trying to protect during this collaboration, this can make the process more cumbersome.
So to answer your question and based on my experience, it's not so much the org structure that has impacted efficiency during collaboration, but more so processes, working culture and skill sets.
I strongly agree with Adrain it all about the processes of each company coming together and meshing well throughout the project.