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amd29
(@amd29)
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Quite recently Dr. Simon organized us into project teams. And strangely, I became a part of one before I knew it. The approach of forming the team was weird.
Personally, after experiencing with the Functional Organizational type in the past, learning of the Project-based type and now having an experience with the Matrix type organization, I seem to very much prefer the Matrix type over the others; it seems to make more sense and would give room for better outcome from a group.

I wonder: what type of organizational setup would you prefer to work with/manage out there: Functional, Project-based or Matrix-based; but why?

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Posted : 23/11/2018 9:04 am
hzy2
 hzy2
(@hzy2)
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There are advantages to each type so it's good to go over those first before you make a decision to be part of one. From a project manager's standpoint, functional structure gives you the least power. This structure is good for smaller teams where everyone works in the same division: people you need and other resources are easily accessible to you. A project based structure is organized around projects for maximal project management effectiveness. The employees can come from different departments with different titles, but they all are needed to finish a particular project. Not much interaction is needed between the workers because the main focus is the completion of the project. A project manager has more authority in this case. Finally, matrix organization is one in which structure is a combination of the two prior structures. I think I would prefer to be with a project-based structure if I was working as a project manager because it would be more of a full time position.

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Posted : 25/11/2018 4:41 am
es338
(@es338)
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Currently, I work in a Matrix Organization which is project-based, where there is a representative per functional group that is responsible for successfully moving the project through the developmental phases and creating the documents required for the DHF. Each project is assigned a project team, where there is a selected global program lead, project coordinator, quality lead or staff, regulatory lead, engineering lead or staff, operations lead, marketing lead, and procurement lead that are responsible for developing the product from inception to launch. Typically, the leads are chosen based on experience, skills, and relative projects-based knowledge – which as mentioned in Dr. Simon’s lecture, the knowledge is easily transferred between project teams because resources are duplicated amongst product lines. For example, since the operations lead manages the project post launch/design transfer, they will be placed on project teams of similar medical products. This makes it easier to manage products of the same classifications, complaints and field actions, and any end of life components that could be relative across the product line. The project managers have a lot of power because they are responsible for reporting the status of the project on a monthly basis to their directors and having interim or phase reviews with the product development committee (PDC), being upper management. Functional heads typically do not have a lot of power in regards to the actual project (unless there are complications), but they are responsible for assigning leads to each of the projects once they are approved. Project and department schedules do often conflict with one another, where depending on priority, rescheduling or other accommodations need to be made. I personally enjoy the Matrix Organization because you not only work with others in your function, but you also directly work with other leads from other functions depending on the project types. I believe this organization style allows for a lot of growth within each functional group due to transferring knowledge, experiences, and skills.

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Posted : 25/11/2018 4:10 pm
cjm64
(@cjm64)
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I currently work in a matrix style organization. I think it fits me the best, and if I founded a company that is the way I would run it. The biggest benefit in my eyes is the ease of access to knowledge and information. I work in product development, but if I have a question about the packaging or manufacturing of the product then I can quickly go to the subject matter expert. The area of product development I work in is different from regular PD, so it leads to me working with the same people often. This has allowed me to develop a better relationship with them so that projects can be expedited if need be. Matrix style offers a sort of best of both worlds combining good parts of functional and project based organizations.

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Posted : 25/11/2018 5:57 pm
pv223
(@pv223)
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Based off my past experience on how group projects tend to go for classes here, I would say that I am used to the Matrix form that Dr. Simon used and would probably prefer it over the others. For one thing, the smaller group of people in the same "division" (students in this case), make it easier to get in touch with each other since most of us are going to be in a select few places throughout the day doing work for classes, so it would not be that hard to meet up or get in contact. At the same time, everyone is also very independent and plays to their strengths and they all put in their best effort because they're all focused on the end goal, which is a stellar grade. While this gives project managers more of a leadership position since they can instruct the team members what to do, they also have a more relaxed time since the members already know what they're best at for the project and will work on that and will also be reaching out to other members about their parts if they need any clarification. It's taking the best of both of the other two organizations and melding them together.

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Posted : 25/11/2018 6:08 pm
ajm73
(@ajm73)
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I prefer a matrix style and also work in a matrix style organization where people are grouped together in their own groups with someone heading each group as a point person. When trying to route our deliverables, often times it requires collaboration between different groups, with some groups having to wait for inputs from other groups in order to go forward with their part. It helps that I have to 'report' to different people in different departments as it helps me to understand the whole process of what is going on and helps me to identify where I can help others do their job better (especially interms of the communications other groups need). Working with several people in other departments also helps to speed along the information transfer process where if one person does not know the answer to the question I have, I can go to another person in the department and find out the answer that way.

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Posted : 25/11/2018 6:19 pm
Fp55
 Fp55
(@fp55)
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I think I would prefer a matrix organization while working on a project. In a matrix organization you are a part of two groups, the functional group and project group. You also have two managers, one for the project and one for your function. This to me makes it very clear what objectives need to be completed. This style world very well when each functional group has coming tasks regardless of the project. I think it helps to have that kind of structure so that if you have an idea that had more to do with your function than your project than you could talk to the functional manager. This division of responsibility can ultimately ensure that each task is taken care of.

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Posted : 25/11/2018 7:04 pm
JOnyekwere
(@jonyekwere)
Eminent Member Registered
Posted by: @amd29

Quite recently Dr. Simon organized us into project teams. And strangely, I became a part of one before I knew it. The approach of forming the team was weird.
Personally, after experiencing with the Functional Organizational type in the past, learning of the Project-based type and now having an experience with the Matrix type organization, I seem to very much prefer the Matrix type over the others; it seems to make more sense and would give room for better outcome from a group.

I wonder: what type of organizational setup would you prefer to work with/manage out there: Functional, Project-based or Matrix-based; but why?

Given the work that I do, I think the functional organization is the structure in which I would prefer to work. My organization is headed by a chief executive, and has a series of upper managers with with staff in departments that report to functional managers. If my work were more project-based, I might want to work within a projectized or matrix organizational structure. While my organization does have program/project managers, they exist is separate, self-contained departments that generally do not fill their ranks with staff from other departments. Because of this, I consider the functional organization to be the organizational structure that I would prefer to (and presently do) work under.

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Posted : 21/08/2019 10:17 am
shfrancis
(@shfrancis)
Active Member Registered
Posted by: @amd29

Quite recently Dr. Simon organized us into project teams. And strangely, I became a part of one before I knew it. The approach of forming the team was weird.
Personally, after experiencing with the Functional Organizational type in the past, learning of the Project-based type and now having an experience with the Matrix type organization, I seem to very much prefer the Matrix type over the others; it seems to make more sense and would give room for better outcome from a group.

I wonder: what type of organizational setup would you prefer to work with/manage out there: Functional, Project-based or Matrix-based; but why?

As a small business owner I elected to form a project-based organization. I function as the project manager with several colleagues functioning experts in their area of research. The work of my firm focuses on public health research, but we contract or services/expertise out to various clients. I would to be able to build our firm into a strong matrix organization because each of my colleagues are very skilled in their functional departments. Also, I believe that our functional departments can acquire a small collection highly-skilled employees which is a necessary step to expand our firm.

However it is important to note a few of the disadvantages of a strong matrix structural organization:

  • Employees may have to report to two bosses, which can add confusion, and conflicts may arise, particularly in the balanced matrix environment where both bosses have equal authority and power.
  • Conflicts may arise between the bosses regarding the power and authority.
  • Employees may become confused regarding their roles and responsibilities, especially when they are assigned to a task which is somewhat different than what they were doing.
  • Sometimes unclear priorities may also confuse the employees.
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Posted : 24/08/2019 11:31 pm
shfrancis
(@shfrancis)
Active Member Registered
Posted by: @jonyekwere
Posted by: @amd29

Quite recently Dr. Simon organized us into project teams. And strangely, I became a part of one before I knew it. The approach of forming the team was weird.
Personally, after experiencing with the Functional Organizational type in the past, learning of the Project-based type and now having an experience with the Matrix type organization, I seem to very much prefer the Matrix type over the others; it seems to make more sense and would give room for better outcome from a group.

I wonder: what type of organizational setup would you prefer to work with/manage out there: Functional, Project-based or Matrix-based; but why?

Given the work that I do, I think the functional organization is the structure in which I would prefer to work. My organization is headed by a chief executive, and has a series of upper managers with with staff in departments that report to functional managers. If my work were more project-based, I might want to work within a projectized or matrix organizational structure. While my organization does have program/project managers, they exist is separate, self-contained departments that generally do not fill their ranks with staff from other departments. Because of this, I consider the functional organization to be the organizational structure that I would prefer to (and presently do) work under.

Julian, I think that most of us will work in a functional organization while we are within the job market. Do you believe that think tanks or silicone valley firms also form functional structure organizations? From the media representation of these companies it appears that they would form matrix organizational structures. What are your thoughts?

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Posted : 24/08/2019 11:36 pm
sb2363
(@sybleb)
Trusted Member Registered

I believe I would like to work in a matrix based organization as it gets the team members and managers to work on a specific goal. There is quick flow of information throughout the project which results in an increase in knowledge as it allows individual to work with subject expertise from various other departments. It gives more work flexibility and human resources are used efficiently. There is more flexibility in decision-making as compared to the other type of organizations due to the level of communication involved within the various departments working on the project.

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Posted : 19/11/2019 11:17 pm
AniketB
(@aniketb)
Trusted Member Registered

I would prefer working in a matrix organization as there is direct communication within the team and there are no silos nor is there any competition within themselves are they are assigned a simple task of completing the project on time.
I have worked in a functional organization and I believe most of the companies have a functional organization, the downside to this is since one person is controlling the team, there could be a chance that the project is going in the wrong direction and hence lot of time is lost.

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Posted : 20/11/2019 3:54 pm
jl959
(@jl959)
Trusted Member Registered

I would prefer to work in a strong matrix organization, where balance of power between the project managers and functional heads are less skewed. I believe this type of organization is best, since it forms a collaborative environment that discourages department and project silos from happening. In order to increase project success rate, it is important to establish strong communication, and transfer knowledge from project to project and between departments. In addition to effective management of resources, these benefits outweigh the potential disadvantages of a matrix organization. Project and department schedule conflicts may occur, and having two bosses may be an issue, especially if each boss only considers his/her own objectives. However, a strong matrix organization will prevent the frequency of these issues, since the project heads will hold enough power to convince the department heads to compromise as well. This provides an incentive for both heads to work together in deciding how to allocate each member's time and effort towards the department vs each project.

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Posted : 21/11/2019 11:45 am
TraceyMraw
(@traceymraw)
Eminent Member Registered

I would prefer to work in a matrix organization for the transfer of information benefits. It would be important to ensure that the schedule are managed well between departments and projects to avoid conflicts between them. But I think the ability to easily transfer information between projects and the departments would make it the most beneficial organization. 

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Posted : 23/11/2019 9:47 pm
sameer-rana
(@sameer-rana)
Eminent Member Registered

From the three organizational setups discussed in the lecture, I would prefer to work with or manage the project-based organization followed by the matrix organization as a runner up. For starters, I believe these two are more suitable options over the functional one because it is necessary for the different departments to effectively share information and knowledge. On the contrary, I prefer the project- based over the matrix organization because I believe many conflicts can arise due to a power struggle between the functional heads and the project managers. Correspondingly, unless roles between the two are not well-defined in advance, there may be complications related to who is responsible for any issues that may arise from the project. Secondly, I believe the efficiency and effectiveness of a staff member in the project – based organization is better when they are working in only one team for only one project. For example, as mentioned in the lecture, timing conflicts or priorities of the different project managers can become a dilemma when staff members are part of more than one project team. Lastly, since the teams generally remain the same in a project- based setup, it reduces the time needed for the project staff to become well-acquainted with each other during the start of a project. Overall, in my personal opinion, the project- based setup allows for an adequate distribution of information while having a more well-defined structural organization of whom someone is responsible to report to.

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Posted : 24/11/2019 3:31 am
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