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2/The Manager, the Organization, and the Team

Chapter 2 The Manager, the Organization, and the Team
This chapter overviews the roles of the project manager and contrasts these roles with those of the traditional manager. The chapter emphasizes the need to adopt the systems approach to managing decisions and discusses the problem of suboptimization. The chapter also overviews the PM’s responsibilities to the project as well as important criteria to consider in selecting a project manager, and project management as a profession. In terms of fitting projects into the parent organization, the chapter discusses pure project organizations, functional project organizations, and matrix project organizations. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion of the project team including the characteristics of effective team members and sources of intrateam conflict.

Cases and Readings
Some cases appropriate to the subject of this chapter are: Harvard: 9-687-001 Plus Development Corp. (A) This 17-page case highlights the difficulty of managing a fast-paced, high technology development project that includes international elements and intense competitors. The project manager must lead an American-Japanese development project where the procedures and cultures of each side are in dramatic conflict. Harvard: 9-483-098 Mat MacGregor (A) In this case, a marketing-engineering project is in trouble with many conflicts and a new project manager must be found. Harvard: 9-192-151 Concordia Casting Co. This 12-page case describes the change in leadership of a major information systems conversion project that is found to be a year behind schedule. Involves issues of organizational change, conflict, management style, and human resource policies Harvard: 9-195-141 Oticon A/S: Project 330 This 17-page case describes the reorganization of a Danish hearing aid manufacturer around projects, knowledge, and personal development. Details the implementation process and threats from early losses. Harvard: 9-689-035 Honeywell Residential Control Division: New Product Development This long (38-page) case illustrates the organization of three different product development projects in the Residential Controls Division. Considerable information on the different approaches to product development depending on the market and environment. Also discusses the issue of evolutionary change versus cold-turkey change in organizations and procedures.


B.K. Pozner. the skills required of project managers. Make Projects the School for Leaders (Harvard Business Review. How Microsoft Makes Large Teams Work Like Small Teams (Sloan Management Review. Relates the role of leadership to outstanding product development projects. Stress is on top management’s support for the project manager’s role more than on the characteristics or actions of the project manager. This article integrates two views about the requirements for good project managers. Some readings appropriate to the subject of this chapter are: H. Winter 1998. A survey is first described and then the critical problems of specific projects are identified from the survey responses. Cusumano.-Oct. Next. Paradox in Project-Based Enterprise: The Case of Film Making (California Management Review. the Organization. Fall 1997. et al. Arthur. The paper questions many of the truisms we believe in as regards organization and management.B. One view concerns the personal and managerial characteristics of PMs and their ability to lead a team. the details are related back to the critical project for problems for an integrated view of the requirements for a successful project manager. Many examples of where leadership made a difficult project successful. as indicated by the survey respondents. 125139). This approach keeps the team creativity and autonomy typical of small groups through synchronizing and stabilizing continuous design changes. 16 . Describes Microsoft’s approach to software development.J. possibly be successful. What it Takes to be a Good Project Manager (Project Management Journal. March 1987). are detailed. Sept. regardless of the project. 131-140). how can temporary projects consisting of floating pools of workers who make a film and then disband. 1994. Last. DeFillippi and M.2/The Manager. 9-20). The other view considers the critical problems in specific projects and the PM’s talents relative to these problems. M. Bowen. This paper addresses a fascinating paradox—in this age of core competencies and knowledge-based management.Z. and the Team Harvard: 9-390-012 Fan Pier This 19-page case concerns an entrepreneurial start-up involving fraud and how to resolve the problem. R.A. p. p. Includes conflicts with bureaucracy and public relations problems Harvard: 9-181-018 Pathfinder Engineering and Construction Co. pp. This case concerns a new project manager in a bid estimating group beset with multiple conflicts.

Team players rather than individuals.g.R. and the Team J. cost and performance across several projects. the ability to share expertise with several projects during a limited time period. however. The Virtual Project: Managing Tomorrow’s Team Today (PM Network. Burke. functional departments able to optimize their contributions to any project. Adams and L. 4. access to all of the organization’s technologies. good followers. the Organization. both speaking and listening. This may lead to stalling by team members as the project end nears. close contact with functional groups mitigates projectitis. The competitiveness of global firms is often facilitated by new electronic technologies and these technologies are also useful to the success of globally dispersed project teams. effective management requires an understanding how the parts of the system are interrelated. Effective and ineffective methods are identified ranging from withdrawal to forcing. Oriented to communication among peers. Disadvantages of the matrix organization include project team members having to report to two bosses. Advantages of a matrix organization include its flexibility. Comfortable in a social group. Adams. As is the case for all systems.2/The Manager. Flexible. perhaps the delay of other projects that depend on the afflicted project. In such situations. can “roll with the punches. R. and the ability to balance time. Projectitis occurs when project team members form strong attachments to the project and the project begins to take on a life of its own. Methods of Resolving Interpersonal Conflict (Personnel Administration. the most effective method. possible infighting between project managers as they battle for 17 . Projects are systems composed of tasks (subsystems) and also are part of larger systems (e. Other aspects of such dispersed teams are more problematic. and perhaps the subordination of overall organizational goals to the goals of the project. Finally. January 1997). Finally. and this article illustrates these.” 3. as well as approaches used by project managers for circumventing them. Not recognizing these interdependencies can lead to suboptimization of the overall system as each subsystem is managed and optimized independently. extroverted.L. the difficulty in carefully managing the full set of projects. Answers to Review Questions 1. a strong focus on the project. the team members may actually become more loyal to the project and other team members than to the sponsoring organization.. is described in terms of its many characteristics. some of the advice given in the article should be useful as well for project teams that are not geographically dispersed. Each method is illustrated with a number of examples. 2. Some key implications of projectitis include increased costs due to the delayed project completion. This classic article describes a number of methods for negotiating and handling conflicts. This article addresses a new phenomenon in the increasingly global competitive environment – geographically dispersed project teams.J. programs and organizations). Confrontation-Problem Solving. July-August 1969).

Micromanagement occurs when a supervisor too closely supervises and over controls the activities of his or her direct reports. but unfortunately. they had no incentive to manage either schedules or budgets but did have a strong incentive to extend their projects in any way they thought might yield better or more extensive scientific results.  Marketing would be in better touch with the customer than other functions and thus know their needs. This discussion has been moved to Chapter 7. 5. we forgot to move the review question as well. and perhaps more intrateam conflict.  Marketing would be in the best position to deliver sales of the new product to appropriate customers. The project-manager scientists had no information about budgets and schedules. Another problem is that it eliminates opportunities to develop the workforce through delegation. Therefore. 7. 9. and the Team key resources. Additional advantages of the matrix form would be the potential to use the matrix structure as a stepping stone or intermediate step to a permanent process-centered organizational structure and also to preserve an organization’s ability to develop competencies in particular areas.  Marketing would be a good liaison between R&D and manufacturing. 6. For example. therefore. in many if not all industries. In this 18 . had no way of exerting any control over budget or schedule. and no responsibility for any aspect of their projects except scientific results. Primarily because they are discipline oriented and the only person from their discipline or team on the project. Most likely something else is driving it. Any project requires some independent work but it must be coordinated with the team efforts in both performance and time.  Marketing would best know the opportunity window for product launch. cross-functional projects (such as projectitis) will be avoided. One problem with micromanagement is that it gives people the impression that they are not to be trusted or are not capable of performing the work. the marketplace continues to get increasingly competitive as markets become increasingly global and the pace of technological advancements accelerates. Finally. It means not coordinating your efforts with others on the team to complete the project.  Marketing will have the depth of skills needed on a new product development project. The project office had no authority to control any aspect of project design or scope and. Suggested Answers to Discussion Questions 10. it takes away from time the micromanager has to do his or her own job.2/The Manager.  The drawbacks of pure. they find no one else to talk to and work with. the Organization. Thus. 8.

the Organization. 15. Other dangers include micromanagement by the client and delays in completing the project due to the continuous interruptions. budget or performance need not be reported formally. but who also provide a relatively structured environment that is important in keeping uncertain. managers are beginning to realize that techniques that worked well in the past are not as effective in these more dynamic environments. We are all familiar with the fable of the man who killed the golden goose.2/The Manager. professional development of the employees. 11. When negotiating with functional managers for competent staff. Any problem that will likely impact the project’s completion date. Project managers that do not appropriately trade-off process and progress often end up with burnt out teams. it becomes clear that most projects are actually processes that are executed on an ad-hoc basis. one area where this is particularly evident is the shift in style of management. 12. Much of this shift is related to the trend toward flatter organizations. 14. This simply means that projects involving high levels of technological uncertainty and are also complex require a project manager that is open to new ideas and experimentation. it is important to look at it from the functional manager’s point of view and point out how releasing key personnel will benefit the functional manager and his or her department. From this process perspective. Thus. and the need for flexibility in more dynamic environments. or performance should be reported to management. 16. As this question alludes to. 19 . budget. The reason for treating routine processes as projects is that it facilitates the formation of cross-disciplinary teams and is often easier than implementing a true process-centered organization. It may also be worthwhile to communicate to the functional manager the importance of the project to the overall organization and the relationship between the overall organization’s health and the functional manager’s department. Such benefits may include increased visibility with senior management. and perhaps more work for the department if the project succeeds. 13. Problems that can be resolved internally by the project manager and project team that will not impact the project’s completion date. one way routine processes can be treated as projects is through the formation of cross-disciplinary teams. complex projects on track. External factors such as increased mobility of labor make it necessary to use a managerial style that is consistent with high labor retention—participative management for example. In the early 1990s proponents of reengineering argued that functional organizational structures be abandoned in favor of organizing work on the basis of specific valuecreating processes. One way scope creep can be monitored is by tracking the number of change orders to the project and summarizing these change orders by the source of the request for the change. a recognition of the critical flaws associated with the traditional functional organizational structure. and the Team environment.

19. The functional managers are probably rewarded on the basis of their departmental performance rather than their contribution to the firm as a whole and hence have little incentive to work together. a key point of discussion is related to the issue of how much technical expertise the project manager needs to effectively manage this project. It might be wise to defer conflict when emotions are high and a cooling-off period would allow a more rationale discussion of the issues. Suggested Case Analyses and Solutions Quantum Bank Teaching Purpose: This case provides students with the opportunity to apply the selection criteria discussed in the chapter for a project manager to oversee a website expansion project. Incidents for Discussion Suggested Answers Frankson Inc. The best PM is the one who can get the job done. Meticulous attention to detail is actually a drawback for a project manager because it leads to micromanagement. the ability to coordinate others’ work is far more important. and the Team Another explanation is that top management liked the results of project management in terms of schedule and budget.: Baresak is correct in her assumptions. A PM must rely on work of others. Mixed organizational systems would have all the problems of the organizational systems used in addition to the problems of managing and coordinating a diverse set of organizational systems. The existing incentive system should also be changed to provide support to the new project manager. there is a clear due date. Experience on building construction would be a plus. and that a special manager in charge of such team efforts should be appointed. Baresak should point out to Frankson that strong functional managers cannot be strong interdisciplinary managers also. the Organization. but not as important as the above points. “Being available” is useful. but is not a critical advantage. Given the technical nature of this project.2/The Manager. Project management is particularly appropriate for planning a wedding because weddings involve a large number of interrelated activities. and typically a clear budget. 17. at least on a trial or pilot basis. The additional information needed is to identify the project management skills and experience of the potential project manager. they started applying it to normal activities by creating artificial deadlines and budgets. Planning a wedding is a typical example given by students. Thus. 20 . Toledo Medical Center: The strong technical background is not an important consideration as a project manager. as well as to provide incentive for working together. 18.

staffing the project internally makes sense. The only dimension that Bill Fence would seem to dominate on is the technical expertise. How would you recommend this project be organized? Functional project? Pure project? Matrix? Why? Matrix. Quantum’s competitors could develop similar capabilities simply by hiring the same consulting firm. Thus. Test Questions True/False and Multiple Choice F 1. However. different perspectives. the major advantage to staffing the project with internal employees is that all the learning associated with the project stays with Quantum. and so on. Also. and his solid communication skills would serve him well as the PM of this project. while Andy would likely have adequate technical credibility. larger staffs. and the Team 1. organizing it as a functional project would not be appropriate. it appears that Andy has sufficient expertise to manage the project. ___ The functional manager has expertise in the function he or she manages. but at a different level. On the other hand. Furthermore. 2. Of course. Because this project would require input beyond the IS department. Bill would obviously have strong technical credibility. but the 21 . Bill’s tenure at the help desk likely exposed him to a variety of departments. T 2. In terms of the criteria listed in the book. Who would you recommend Stacey select to serve as project manager? Why? Andy Dover. from the case. Given the backgrounds of the two candidates. particularly given his MBA and the fact that he spent a year rotating through various departments at the bank. the description of Andy suggested the requisite sensitivity required of a PM. the description of Bill’s desk and the fact that Andy was always seen carrying his planner suggests that Andy would likely have more administrative credibility. Finally. the Organization. a matrix structure would be most appropriate where members from other functional departments could contribute to this project on an as needed and part-time basis. 3. most of the work associated with this project falls into the hands of the IS department. and there would probably not be sufficient work to keep members from other functional areas busy over the entire project. If the project was staffed externally.2/The Manager. ___ It is common practice to select the project manager prior to the project being selected. his natural tendency toward viewing things as systems. Of course there are advantages to utilizing the services of outside consultants including perhaps their greater expertise. Do you agree with Stacey’s decision that the project should be staffed internally? What are the major advantages of staffing the project with Quantum employees? Are there any advantages to utilizing the services of an outside consulting firm? Given the likely strategic significance of the bank’s online presence. Andy’s experience with large process improvement projects. it is likely that Bill would focus more on technical issues while Andy’s focus would likely be on the bigger picture. Therefore.

stay aloof from the conflicts arising among project team members. ___ It is appropriate for the project manager to play an active role in communications between the client and the senior management of the organization conducting the project. ___ A project is more likely to be successful if team members stay focused on their individual functional disciplines. T 11. F 14. ___ Because the project manager is dependent on the functional managers for the human resources required to carry out the project. T 7. ___ The project manager is responsible for communicating with the project team and with senior management. T 9. ___ It is critical to the project’s success that the project manager has expertise in the project’s technical components. F 5. but senior management maintains sole responsibility for communicating with the client. and the Team project manager rarely has expertise in many of the project’s technical areas. T 15.2/The Manager. ___ The individual with responsibility for performing a task is more likely to overestimate the time required to complete the task than his/her immediate supervisor. T 13. senior mangers underestimate the time and resources required to 22 . F 3. analytic approach to making decisions about projects. F 6. the Organization. ___ A good project manager adopts a systems approach to managing problems. ___ If the performance of all subsystems is optimized. ___ A successful project manager is one who can avoid conflict between functional departments and the project team. F 12. the project manager must avoid conflict with the functional managers. ___ The project manager is supposed to facilitate the work of the project team and must. F 4. it follows that the overall system is optimum. ___The project manager should take a careful. F 10. F 8. ___ In general. therefore. T 16. ___ The project manager must maintain a high level of flexibility in dealing with people. ___ Suboptimization is defined as optimizing the subsystems of a larger overall system.

___When it comes to assigning individuals to work on projects. F 21. F 20. T 22. ___ It is critical to a project’s success to have top management support. the Organization. ___ The project manager should not allow functional managers to usurp his or her control of the project. T 19. T 17. T 30. T 23. T 18. ___ A successful project manager must be able to avoid conflict. T 33. ___ A matrix organization is a combination of pure project organization and functional organization. T 28. ___ High self-esteem is an important characteristic of successful project team members. ___ Project team members are often faced with conflicting orders in a matrix organization. F 25. ___ Functional project organizations have higher personnel costs than pure project organizations. F 31. ___ Matrix organizations have more limited access to the parent company’s technology than functional organizations. T 27. ___ Cross divisional project communication is enhanced when a project is organized in a functional project organization. and the Team accomplish tasks. ___ Intrateam conflicts are minimal in a matrix organization. F 29. 23 . F 24. ___ A pure project organization is usually too expensive for the management of small projects. ___ Conflict occurs mainly at the beginning of the project. ___ Political savvy is not only an important characteristic of a project manager but is also important for project team members. T 32. ___ An advantage of pure project organization is its great depth of technical knowledge. ___ Functionally organized projects are not seen as a high priority by functional managers. functional managers and project managers are often in conflict.2/The Manager. F 26. ___ It is common to have more than one boss in a matrix organization.

and the Team F 34. T 44. ___ In general. The project team c. ___ It is more important for project team members to focus on their specific project activities than on the project’s overall results. e 45. F 41. ___ Morale of the project team is a key responsibility of the project manager. ___ A pure project organization is characterized by many part-time project team members. T 35. The parent organization b. morale and communications. F 36. ___ The project manager is responsible to: a. ___ Project team conflict stifles team creativity. F 43. The project manager’s immediate supervisor e. the project manager may have to force and beg project team members to continue working on the project. The project’s client d. The PM is a generalist the FM is a specialist c. The PM uses an analytical approach the FM uses a systems approach e. and functional project organizations may exist in the same company. ___ Near the end of the project. F 38. project team members have one boss. T 40. F 37. ___ Project “war rooms” discourage team cooperation. the FM must be able to analyze tasks. d. ___ Matrix. All of the above d 46. the Organization. T 42. ___Under a pure project organization. the project manager needs to be aware that profit for the firm is always the most important of the project’s goals. T 39. ___ In addition to managing the project. The PM must be able to integrate tasks. pure project. the project manager must also select the project’s organizational form. the project manager. performance is the most important of the goals for any project. ___ Which of the following is NOT true concerning the difference between the project manager (PM) and the functional manager (FM)? a.2/The Manager. All of the above are true 24 . ___ When making trade-offs on a project. The PM is a facilitator the FM is a technical supervisor b.

Performance. All are characteristics of a functional project structure. budget. schedule. A strong technical background b. quality b. 4 d. All of the above e 51. A functional organization d. B and C e. Performance. Lack of “projectitis” d. Pays attention to detail a 48. Lack of technical knowledge depth e. A good communicator with top management and clients d. 3 b. gets the job done e. Budget. Unlimited number c 52. e 50. Politically sensitive b. Lower personnel costs b. Problem oriented e. 5 e. ___ The project team members should be: a. A closer. Goal oriented d. All of the above b 49. A matrix organization c. budget. the Organization. schedule e. ___ How many different types of project organizations are there? a. A good manager of people c. 6 c. Schedule. A pure project organization b. ___ “Projectitis” is most likely to occur in which type of project organizational structure? a. quality c. ___ The key criterion for selecting a good project manager is: a. ___ A functional project structure is NOT characterized by: a. quality. and the Team d 47. Improved communications c. quality. Technically competent c.2/The Manager. schedule d. Profit. ___ The three primary goals of any project are: a. profit 25 .

Explain how the project manager is supposed to deal with conflict with the functional managers whose cooperation is required to get the human resources needed to do the work of the project. 27) 58. A good project manager must be able to negotiate for quality resources to be assigned to the project. especially in a pure project organization to drag their feet as the project comes to an end. 30) 60.30) 61.2/The Manager. Define “projectitis”. Briefly describe the project manager’s role as a firefighter. Describe the difference between the analytic approach and the systems approach to solving problems on a project. persuade people. He or she must be able to remove barriers to the project’s successful completion. What is a “virtual project?” (p. Briefly describe what is meant by the phrase “project champion?” (p. 54. 32-33) 26 . Why are negotiation skills an important criterion of a successful project manager? Negotiation skills are requirement for good leadership. the Organization. Why? (p. 30) 59. 56. and the Team Short Answer 53. resolve conflict. Projectitis is the tendency to delay the completion of the project. and work effectively with all of the project’s stakeholders. 55. It is said that the distinction between the traditional manager-as-supervisor and the modern manager-as-facilitator is diminishing in recent years. (p. The tendency of project team members. A systems approach involves studying the parts of the problem and also how they fit together and interact. The team is concerned about their next assignment since they are not part of the functional organization. 27) 57. What sorts of obstacles do project managers have to overcome? (p. An analytical approach to problem solving involves studying the bits and parts of the problem. Dealing with conflict is an inherent part of the process of managing projects. What is meant by the phrase “scope creep?” (p.