Chapter 2 – Culture and Structures of Organizations

2.10. Chapter Summary

Organizations organize themselves in three broad categories of structures including functional, matrix and projectized. Project Managers have varying degrees of authority over projects depending on the structure of the organization. Human Resource departments have varying responsibilities and involvement depending on the structure of the organization.

Organizational culture refers to a company’s beliefs, values and attitudes. It is what sets one company apart from another company. Projects also have specific cultures with their own work norms and social conventions. Human Resources is strongly connected to corporate culture and helps to develop a strong culture within the organization. The culture and environment are woven together in projects through social, political, and physical factors. Both Human Resources and Project Management have a great opportunity to work in alignment to create project culture.

The organization’s strategy also plays a key role within an organization as it’s an expression of their culture and mission. All decisions in successful companies are made with the strategy in mind.  Projects flow out of the organization’s strategy. Human Resources works with the employees to design complementary goals for the company to move forward and be successful. With Human Resources’ support, projects are the way organizations operationalize strategy.

Project selection is dependent on available resources (people, materials, equipment.) Human Resources plays a vital role in making sure organizations articulate their purpose and values for the organization, and for projects.  It is Human Resources that forms the employee experience. The project selection process is important to organizations to ensure the right projects are chosen to ensure success for the company.  Staged learning is a popular choice of project selection that screens and reduces project choices. Projects are selected based on costs and benefits to the organization. There are several methods used to determine which projects are best suited for the organization.