Chapter 2 – Culture and Structures of Organizations

2.9. Key Terms

Artifacts and Behaviours: Something valued by a certain culture.  They are symbols and signs of an organization’s culture. They are observable. ie. country’s flag, how people dress; how people conduct themselves around others, how people are greeted when entering a building. 2.3

Assumptions: Unknown and generally not written down, employee’s beliefs, perceptions, feelings. 2.3

Balanced Matrix: In a balanced matrix, the project manager and functional managers equally share authority over resources and staff. This allows the organization to experience the “best of both worlds” by receiving the benefits of a projectized organization and functional organization at the same time. 2.2

Constrained Optimization Methods: Constrained Optimization Methods of project selection are mathematically intensive means of analyzing a series of projects and are not easily generalized. 2.7

Cultural and Social Environments: people, demographics, and education 2.3

Dedicated Project: Teams where a project manager can have authority over the staff assigned to that particular project. 2.2

Economic Scoring Methods: These methods assess the ability of the project to help the bottom line, either by increasing profits or reducing costs. These models often look at the cash flow that a project will generate after it is completed. 2.7

Espoused Values: Values expressed by an organization, standards, what does the organization stand for;  ie. mission statement, tag lines; honesty, trust, consistency, integrity. 2.3

Functional Managers (Regular Managers): Serve as conduits for communications and collaboration (see Figure 2-2). This type of structure is very efficient for operations management where continuous process improvement can be conducted on all regular departmental operations. 2.2

Functional Matrix and Projectized: These structures represent a continuum, from structures where the project manager has very little authority (functional) to those where project managers have very broad power (projectized) 2.2

Functional Organizations: Large organizations are traditionally organized by function into various departments, with staff in each department reporting to a departmental manager or head of a department. 2.2

Matrix Structure: Tries to combine the strengths a functional organization provides for operations management with the strengths a projectized organization provides for project management. 2.2

Murder Boards: A group of experts (internal and external) attempt to “murder” a project proposal by pointing out its flaws and weaknesses. This can be very useful in high-risk projects where there is little data from previous projects from which we can learn, or in situations where the environment has changed significantly since the development of the project’s original scope. 2.7

Official Rules: These are the rules that are stated.2.3

Operational Rules: These are the rules that are enforced. 2.3

Organizational Culture: Refers to the beliefs, attitudes, and values that the organization’s members share and the behaviours consistent with them. 2.3

Physical Environment of The Project: Requires you to consider the impact of time zones.2.3

Political Environment: Where you need to understand different countries’ cultural influences. 2.3

Portfolio: The “array of investments in projects and programs a company chooses to pursue” (Morgan et al., 2007, p. 3). 2.6

Portfolio Level: Management works to ensure that all the projects in a portfolio support the organization’s larger strategy. In other words, management focuses on optimizing its portfolio of projects. According to Morgan et al. (2007, p. 167), portfolio optimization is “the difficult and iterative process of choosing and constantly monitoring what the organization commits to doing”. 2.6

Project Culture: Represents the shared norms, beliefs, values, and assumptions of the project team. This is very similar to the corporate culture. 2.3

Projectized Organization: Operations are minimal and the project manager has great authority over resources and personnel decisions. Projectized organizations may have organizational units called departments and these groups either report directly to the project manager or provide support services to projects 2.2

Qualitative Scoring Methods: Scoring methods can take a variety of factors into account. These can range from simple checklists to complex weighted scoring systems. 2.7

Set-Based Concurrent Engineering: Avoids filtering projects too quickly instead of focusing on developing multiple solutions through to final selection just before launch. 2.7

Shared Values: The values that everyone within the organization work toward as common goals. Also, it refers to shared assumptions which are seen as the real essence of the organization 2.3

Stage-Gate™ or Phase-Gate Models: In which a project is screened and developed as it passes through a series of stages/phases and corresponding gates. 2.7

Strategy: According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is “a careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal usually over a long period of time.” 2.6

Strong Matrix: In a strong matrix, the project manager has more direct control over resources and staffing, while the functional manager will provide support to the project staff in terms of hiring, technical expertise, and professional development. 2.2

Values are stable: Evaluative beliefs that guide a person or an organization in our preferences for outcomes or a certain course of action to be taken.2.3

Weak Matrix: The project manager has less authority over resources and people than the functional managers. Project managers in a weak matrix may go by other titles such as a project coordinator or project scheduler. 2.2