Instructions For this assignment, you will be reading Case 3.1 “Moss and McAdams

For this assignment, you will be reading Case 3.1 “Moss and McAdams Accounting Firm” in your textbook. Once you have finished reading the case study, you will address the prompts below.
Define functional, matrix, and projectized organizational structures, and list the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Determine which organizational structure was being used in the two projects discussed in the case study, and explain how you came to that conclusion using evidence from the case study.
Do you believe that the projects described in this case study could have been managed better using a different type of organizational structure? If so, which one do you think would have worked better, and why? If you believe that the organizational structure used was the correct one, explain why you think so.
Describe what is meant by the technical side of a project and the sociocultural side of a project. Do you think Sands and Crosby were masters of both sides of their projects? Why, or why not?
Do you believe that a better knowledge of the organization’s strategy would have improved the outcome of this case study? Why, or why not?
Your response should be a minimum of two pages in length and formatted as an essay. Citations and references are not required. If outside sources are used, please adhere to APA Style when creating citations and references for this assignment. APA formatting, however, is not necessary.
The following videos offer some insight into the reasons why projects fail. In this course, we will discuss the
proper ways to plan for projects before they actually get started to avoid many of the pitfalls that can occur
once the project actually begins.
To access the following resources, click the links below.
Video Arts (Producer). (2000). Office relocation (Segment 1 of 8) [Video].
In Project management. Films on
ClickView PTY Limited (Producer). (2001). Why do projects fail? (Segment 1 of 8) [Video].
In Project
management success factors. Films on Demand.
ClickView Pty Limited (Producer). (2001). Thorough project planning (Segment 2 of 8) [Video].
In Project
management success factors. Films on Demand.
The transcripts for these videos can be found by clicking on “Transcript” in the gray bar to the right of the
videos in the Films on Demand database.
Before we delve into all of the specifics related to project planning, it is necessary that we all have a clear
understanding of what a project actually is. A project is a complex, non-routine, one-time effort, which is
limited by time, budget, resources, and specifications (Larson & Gray, 2021). Differentiating characteristics of
projects from routine, repetitive daily work is listed below:
• a defined life span;
• a well-defined objective;
• people from several disciplines;
• a project life cycle; and
• specific time, cost, and performance requirements (Larson & Gray, 2021).
Organizations can be structured in one of three ways: functional, projectized, and matrix (Larson & Gray,
2021). Those with a functional structure have a hierarchal chain of command, delineate departments based
on specific job duties, and are much less flexible with change. Projectized organizations have a more fluid
chain of command. Job duties and departments are based on individual expertise and are much more flexible
regarding change. Whereas a functional organization would require meetings, committees, and extensive
negotiations with various levels of management to get the right people working on a project, a projectized
organization can have a few meetings and the right people assigned to a project or multiple projects as their
expertise is needed. As its name implies, organizations with a matrix structure are a combination of functional
and projectized. Would that cause tension between the different types of managers and ways of doing
business? Yes, it would. This tension is recognized by identifying organizations as having a strong matrix or a
weak matrix. Strong-matrix organizations are those in which the project manager has more power, whereas in
weak-matrix organizations, the functional manager has more power.
MGT 4301, Project Planning 3
Determining which projects to undertake requires broad considerations of the potential impact on a firm.
Financial criteria, such as return on investment (ROI), will not ensure that selected projects contribute to the
mission and strategy of a firm. Other considerations, such as developing new technology, public image, brand
loyalty, ethical position, and maintaining core competencies, should be considered. Furthermore, it is difficult
or next to impossible to assess ROI for many important projects (e.g., projects to develop new technologies).
While ROI is likely to be a key consideration for many organizations, multiple screening criteria are
recommended for selecting and prioritizing projects.
Power in an organization is important because it can determine the speed at which projects are initiated and
completed. Projectized and strong-matrix organizations enable project managers to identify, acquire, and
utilize resources (including staff) for projects with limited interference. Functional and weak-matrix
organizations restrict the ability of project managers in these same actions because resources, especially
staff, must be approved at various levels by functional managers throughout the hierarchal chain of
command, including cross-departmentally. Some resources can be approved at the first functional manager,
but others must be approved by top-level management or a governing body, such as the board of directors or
city council. For example, in a weak-matrix organization, a project has been approved by senior leaders, and
the project manager has been chosen. The project manager determines that they will need additional staff
with expertise that the company does not currently have. Because the functional manager has more power
than the project manager, the functional manager will have to evaluate if the project manager is correct in his
or her assessment of need, determine how to fill the position (contract, temporary hire, direct hire, part-time,
or full-time), review budgets in the project and the human resources department, obtain higher manager
approval, and determine the timeline for hiring and employment of the new staff. In a weak matrix, this
process can be completed quickly if the project is high profile or strongly supported by senior leaders;
however, it can also take an indefinite amount of time, during which the project manager can only wait.
One way a project manager can increase his or her power in a functional or weak-matrix organization is
through leadership skills. Working with functional managers to build trusting and respectful teams, sharing
decision-making responsibilities, and communicating with them as a part of the project team—as opposed to
obstacles to overcome—can go a long way toward creating a more even balance of power. Leading by
example (e.g., having collaborative partnerships with functional managers) is one of the best leadership skills
a project manager can have in any type of organizational structure.
A Closer Look
You were recently hired as project manager of an aviation project. During the meeting, you are informed that
you will report to a manager who works in the operations department. There are two issues that concern you
about this situation: (1) You do not know the manager, which means that you do not have any idea regarding
his expectations, and (2) you prefer a situation in which you can make decisions on your own.
Because the project manager will report to the operations manager, the organizational structure is functional.
The fact is that many companies operate in this manner. Functions include accounting, finance, information
technology, marketing, operations, and so on. For effective project management, it is essential that teams are
cross-functional. In other words, the different departments should be represented. By taking this approach,
silos, in which teams keep to themselves and limit their contact with other teams within the business, are
In this scenario, the project manager must contact the functional manager to gain a clear understanding of
how work is done. The focus must be on the project objectives and how they can work together to meet the
requirements. A sticking point is access to resources, which includes people, capital, equipment, and
technology. Of course, making sure that people are available to handle project work is the most significant
Project managers must have the ability to negotiate. For example, the functional manager might want to
restrict the number of hours that a key person can contribute to the project. In this case, the project manager
can negotiate for additional time or for another person to participate on the project. Given that the functional
manager has the power in this structure, the project manager must have a backup or contingency plan.
Larson, E. W., & Gray, C. F. (2021). Project management: The managerial process (8th ed.). McGraw-Hill

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