Organizational Influences and Project Life Cycle

A project operates within people, process and technology of an organization. Projects have an impact on the culture, policies, procedures and other aspects of an organization. The organizational structure has a major influence on the execution of the project. The organizational structure decides the resources, communication methods and other aspects of project management.

Different types of organizational structures include:

This is the most common form of an organization. Organizational departments are grouped by areas of specialization within different functions. In these organizations, projects generally occur in silo environments, i.e. within the same function. Team members complete the project work over and above their responsibilities to normal departmental work. Communication primarily occurs within the same function.

Functional Project Organization

In a project-centric organization environment, the entire company is organized by projects, and the project manager is in control of the projects. Individuals or employees are assigned to projects and report into a project manager. Once the project is over, they need to be assigned to another project. Communication primarily occurs within the same project.

Project Centric Project Organization

In a matrix organization, the team members report into two bosses: the functional manager and the project manager. Communication goes from team members to both bosses. The matrix organization is created to get the best potential from both functional and project-centric types of organizational structure. Team members have departmental work and they also do project work.

Weak Matrix Project Organization

Balanced Matrix Project Organization

Strong Matrix Project Organization

Depending on the strength of the matrix organization, the power or level of authority varies between the project manager and the functional manager. In a strong matrix organization, the power remains with the project manager. In a weak matrix organization, the power remains with the functional manager. The project manager is considered to be a coordinator or an escalator. In a balanced matrix, the power is equally balanced between the project manager and the functional manager.

A progression through a series of developmental stages is termed as a lifecycle.

The product life cycle starts at the conception of a new product and ends at its withdrawal.

A project life cycle is required to be executed to produce the deliverables of the project. The life cycle of a project can span from initiation phase to its closure phase and may involve some additional or some reduced steps varying from industry to industry.

A project management process includes Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing process groups.

The lessons learned document includes the experience of the project manager on what was done right or what was done wrong on the project and what should a project manager do differently on the project.

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