Project Manager Can Design Organization Structure: 3 Options - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  631 Words
Date:  2023-03-30


A project manager can design an organizational structure that determines the operations and performance of the entire process. Among the three options that a leader can decide to use include functional, autonomous, and matrix structure (Project Management Institute, 2000). All these organizational structures provide lines of control and authority. These three structures are briefly discussed in this essay.

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A functional organizational structure divides the project team into terms if specialization and ranks. The hierarchical structure clearly defines the lines of command by positioning the human resources from the lowest to the highest (Project Management Institute, 2000). An example, in this case, includes a structure where the project manager holds the highest rank. The logistics manager, chief engineer, architect, and planner are positioned below the project manager. At the lowest level, the design can have team leaders and team members who are also considered to be at the operational level of the structure. The functional structure is advantageous because it puts together people with similar skills and interests. The workers get an opportunity to specialize in their respective fields. In addition, it is easier to initiate and track both vertical and horizontal communication plans in a functional structure. Functional structures are always preferred in cases of mega projects such as road and bridge construction.

An autonomous organizational structure is often used by firms that handle different projects at the same time. It implies that the end-product of each project is different, which makes it impossible to utilize a single structure. According to the Project Management Institute (2000), the autonomous approach gives room for the project manager to adjust the roles and functions of the human resource to fit in a current project. The organization can decide to assign different teams to specific projects that may include construction, road maintenance and equipment installation in a company. Each team will have a mandate to develop its temporary structure to meet their deliverables. However, the head of the organization retains the authority over all the projects handled by their firms. Companies offering project management services can benefit from the autonomous structure because it provides the required flexibility to diversify. The autonomous plan spreads responsibility within the organization while enhancing attention for each project that the firm handles.

Matrix organizational structure categorizes a project's human resource into two operational entities. The common pair of groups in the matrix setting include function and product as well as function and region (Project Management Institute, 2000). This approach often has inherent traits of versatility and complexity, which makes it appropriate for large firms. Different types of matrix can be utilized by an organization depending on the desired power structure. The functional matrix gives more authority to the functional managers as compared to the project managers. The project matrix bestows more power to the project manager than the functional head. The balanced matrix gives equal authority to both the project and functional managers. The matrix style offers flexibility for the project team to be autonomous and functional on every project. Project managers can always retain authority in a horizontal manner while each functional manager has vertical power. It implies that the firm can effectively handle different projects while at the same time specializing in specific areas.


In conclusion, the functional, autonomous, and matrix organizational structures are the common techniques used to arrange the project team. The functional styles are suitable for a single project or projects that are similar. A functional approach emphasizes hierarchy and departmentalization or roles. The autonomous structure offers high flexibility in the organization of human resources, which makes it apposite for firms that offer project management services. Finally, the matrix structure is a hybrid of functional and autonomous techniques.


Project Management Institute. (2000). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK Guide). Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute.

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Project Manager Can Design Organization Structure: 3 Options - Essay Sample. (2023, Mar 30). Retrieved from

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