Describe three types of organisation structures and the strengths and weaknesses of each
- Functional Organisation – A functional organisation has clear reporting lines throughout, and accountability up and down through the organisation. The staff work for their own line manager and report into them on a daily basis. Skills are developed and maintained with minimal change and project work is coordinated at department level. A functional organisation maintains a group of very skilled staffs which are experts in their specialised subject and are valuable where this level of expertise needs to be maintained, however it does mean that these individual can become less flexible with regards to project working. This structure does allow for organisational learning which means that teams can collaboratively work in their specialism however it doesn’t provide variety to staff which may lead to a drop in motivation levels due to the lack of opportunities. All staff know exactly who they report to on a daily basis, and will fully understand their priorities without creating conflict however this can lead to underutilising your resource as staff are not gaining experience in other areas.
- Project Organisation – In a Project organisation, the Project Manager is in charge, and all project staff report to their project manager on a daily basis. This type of structure would normally be seen in a construction consultancy business where projects team are brought together and changed when a project is completed. This structure is effective as staff have a very clear focus on the project objectives and no other distractions; however it can provide a lack of career progression and a sense of job security. It is good that the project manager is clearly in charge and staff can identify this authority level however projects can under utilise their staff, which could lead to the member not utilised on future projects. Project managers build their teams personally, so roles and responsibilities are very clear however staff members usually leave the projects when they are complete, hence leaving with their experience which the future project teams might not gain access to.
- Matrix Organisation – A Matrix Organisation is a mix of both the two main types where staff report to the head of their department but also work with project managers across the business. Project managers can deploy staff to projects as and when they need them by drawing on resources, choosing the right people for the project. However this structure requires an organised resource management culture otherwise teams can become unknown. Project managers have an organisational authority over staff and the organisation recognise this; however staff may find conflict between their line manager and project manager due to priorities. Specialist skills are maintained as skilled staff can move around projects, but to ensure this is the case, project managers’ needs to be good communicators to ensure the work gets completed as they are not the staff’s line manager