Organizations have various roles assumed by a variety of individualsbased on the organization’s needs. The titles of project managerand functional manager denote authority and create delineationbetween roles that could otherwise overlap. However, the two rolesare collaborative in nature only that each role focuses on varyingsets of tasks. Comparing the two in an authoritative setup, theproject managers and members of his or her team report to thefunctional manager (Gido & Clements, 2009). The functionalmanager bears the responsibility of reporting to the executives andhe consults with the project manager when it comes to issues such asrecruiting or firing based on any project at hand. The success of anyproject in an organization solely lies on the shoulders of a projectmanager. The manager leads the project from the start knowing theschedule and all necessary inputs in order to formulate reports. Whenit comes to staff management, both this managers play supportiveroles. The functional manager oversees the effectiveness of staffmembers evaluating their performance and resolving any of theirconflicts. The project manager ensures that all staff membersunderstand their role in the project and all project goals are met.One might say the project manager manages the given resources whilethe functional manager manages the workforce.
One of the major driving forces that have lead executives to have aneed for project managers is technology. Modern organizations arequite often required to advance their technological features due tothe constant advancements in the technology world. Functionalmanagers are always quite experienced and skillful in the processesand technologies set up in their companies. However, with constantadvancements and the functional manager`s occupied schedules, thereis a need to bring in a workforce entirely concentrating on adeveloping project (Gido & Clements, 2009). The project manageruses the resources and manpower availed by the organization toeffectively develop and implement a project into the organizationsmainstream. A perfect example is an organization requiringtechnological advancements in its accounting department. Theaccounting department constantly needs to upgrade their accountingsystem to integrate arising entities. The project manager is quiteessential in the collection of new data, the scheduling of deadlinesand training of staff members on how to use the new systems. Theproject is usually given a timeline, and the project manager has togive reports on the progress and the goals achieved. Theimplementation and smooth operation of the system also depends on theproject manager.
Organizations come in different sizes and shapes and therefore, anyproject requires some kind of structure to ensure its success andeffective implementation. These structures can include a functionalstructure and a divisional structure. The functional structuredivides the projects into levels of specialty. Separate structuresare set up to deal with varying inputs of the project and itsstructure. One of the benefits of this organization is that thecompany has different individuals who are entirely dedicated andcommitted to functions of their specialty. However, if not wellplanned, it can cause overlapping. Divisional organization iswhereby a project structure is governed independently (Gido &Clements, 2009). Here varying projects are undertaken independentlyeven though they are all for the same organization and purpose. Thisorganization is beneficial in that it enables an organization torespond effectively to any market change.
One of the major conflicts inevitable between project stakeholders iscommunication. When one of the team members in a given project isgiven a task, it needs to be communicated to all other team members.If not the case, it can result to conflict as there can be duplicateefforts, which are frustrating and time wasting. This can be resolvedby ensuring the team has frequent meetings or a SharePoint whereeverybody involved is daily updated of the project status until itscompletion (Gido & Clements, 2009). An example is whereby HRcoordinators do not keep track of the recruiting status of theproject. This can result to over hiring or under hiring resulting tounprecedented loss of resources or inefficiency in labor. Anothermajor problem is lack of commitment from a particular team member.Some people are placed into projects by force while other volunteerfor the project. Working with volunteers is easy as they areinterested in the project. However, those forced on a project tend toalways be reluctant. A manager can resolve this easily by informingthose in the project that the sooner they complete the project thefaster they will leave. In addition, motivation can work for thosenot committed. Assurances of better evaluation reports or time offare some of the tools that can be used to motivate members of aproject.
One of the main disadvantages with pure product project organizationis that there can be no sharing of people with other projects. Inthis organization if one individual leaves the project for another,he or she is doomed to fall far behind with no assistance in sight.This makes it difficult to operate on varying projects. The situationbecomes even worse if an individual decides to quit the project.There is a major breakdown in operation as he or she leaves a hugeworkload and a dire need to replace him or get them back. A projectmanager in this kind of setup can request the entire organization todesist from taking up any other parallel project at the time toensure that all members of the team are entirely focused on theproject. The project manager may also set up goals for each projectmember and a target for each day to ensure that all work is up todate and no individual is left behind.
Gido, J., & Clements, J. P. (2009). Successful projectmanagement. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.