Project V Line Management

Project V Line Management
Definition of Project Management
– A project can be defined as a ‘nonrepetitive activity’. This needs augmenting
by other characteristics:
• it is goal oriented - it is being pursued with a
particular end or goal in mind;
 it has a particular set of constraints - usually
centred around time and resource;
 the output of the project is measurable;
 something has been changed through the
project being carried out.
– Project management includes planning,
organising, directing and controlling
activities in addition to motivating what are
usually the most expensive resource on
the project - the people.
– Planning involves deciding what has to be
done, when and by whom.
– The resources then need to be organised
through activities such as procurement and
– Directing their activities towards a coherent
objective is a major management role.
– The activities also need controlling to
ensure that they fit within the limits (e.g.
financial) set for them.
The project as a
conversion process
indirect effects
satisfied need
knowledge and expertise
tools and techniques
Complexity of Projects
• The level of complexity is a function of:
 the number of people, departments,
organisations and nations involved (the
organisational complexity)
 the volume of resources involved, time,
capital, processes (the resource complexity or
 the level of innovation involved in the product
or the project process (the technical
• The scale of projects can be further
described using the following typology:
is the project
– strategic,
– systems-based, or
– operational?
Degree of change to customers
Likely complexity
Effects of project
2 - 5 years
impact felt throughout
organisation and beyond
• Change to customers/users of output
change what is
Degree of change to customers
Likely complexity
Effects of project
1 - 2 years
impact limited to most
parts of the organisation
• Change to customers/users of output
change to the
way that things
are done
Degree of change to customers
Likely complexity
Effects of project
up to 1 year
impact limited to the
function within which
project undertaken
• Change to customers/users of output
change who,
where, when and
means of doing
e.g. Manufacturing
• (lighting fittings manufacturer)
• develop new products
• implement quality system
• change operating procedures on the shop-floor
e.g. Service
• (general hospital)
• add or remove facility (A&E department)
• contract out cleaning services
• find new supplier for surgical supplies
e.g. Construction
• (housing developer)
• develop designs for a series of standard houses
• use contractors rather than employees to manage
• cross-train decorators and plumbers
Project Management and Line Management
• At the head of each of the major functions
within an organisation there will be functional
or line managers. These managers have the
responsibility for the people who work under
them in their departments.
• The project manager may have a line
management role as well, but is responsible
for projects that may run across several
Line / functional managers
operations personnel purchasing
Line management
responsible for managing the status quo
authority defined by management structure
consistent set of tasks
responsibility limited to their own function
works in ‘permanent’ organisational structures
tasks described as “maintenance’
main task is optimisation
success determined by achievement of interim targets
limited set of variables
Project management
responsible for overseeing change
lines of authority ‘fuzzy’
ever-changing set of tasks
responsibility for cross-functional activities
operates within structures which exist for the life of the
predominantly concerned with innovation
main task is the resolution of conflict
success determined by achievement of stated end-goals
contains intrinsic uncertainties
• The split between tasks that can be considered as
maintenance (maintaining the status quo) and
innovation is changing.
• On the figure, the trend is for the line AB to move
downwards - increasing the degree of innovation
activities required from line managers.
• The result of this is a change in the role of line
managers and a reduction in the difference in the
roles of line and project managers.
Project Management
The Traditional Organisation
 The line or functional organisation represents stability
for employees.
A standard organisation has an existing vertical
communications system already in place.
In a department there are existing budgeting and cost
accounting controls in place.
There is better technical control in line organisations.
Line organisations are set up to handle routine and
recurring tasks.
Failure Of Line Organisations In Projects
• Lack of Focus and Attention
• Inability to Cope with Different Project
• Feelings of Being Used and Exploited
• Lack of Project Experience
So If a Separate Project Idea Is So Good,
Why Not?
• So, the idea of separating project structures
from the normal organisation is a good one.
• But, a company cannot operate for a
prolonged period of time on projects alone.
• You need an infrastructure within the
organisation to succeed in the long term.
– How to get benefits from both worlds-completing
the projects done while keeping the organisation
intact. Enter the matrix organisation.
• Very good for project-oriented companies
• Ensures that people on projects are utilised (as otherwise
they are returned to the pool)
• Project manager tends to be powerful in getting resources
• Accountability and tracking of projects improved
• Possibility that people who move between projects can
build skills
• Provides formal structure for projects of medium to large
• Ability to track what people are working on in projects
• Good people will be in heavy demand for projects; others, who are not
so good, will sit in the unassigned pool.
• Difficult to assign control between project and tine management
• Line managers tend to be weak.
• Projects with long lives tend to be confused with line organisations.
• Difficult to share resources between projects
• More difficult to have lessons and skills cross projects - less chance for
organisation history
• Project prospers and traditional organisation suffers
• More difficult to anticipate resource needs and to staff for requirements
• More difficult to address small projects
Project Management will involve
 financial management - through the preparation of a financial case to
meet the needs set out in the project brief;
 personnel management - the identification of skills required, the
selection of staff, their motivation and welfare;
 operations management - there are often parts of a project that are
repetitive in nature and so can be treated as individual operations;
 purchasing and logistics - the identification of material and service
needs, suppliers, their selection and the management of the logistics
(location and transport of materials);
 technical specialisms - e.g. new product development, engineering,
programming, quality management;
 marketing - projects generated for both internal and external
customers will need to have explicit statements of needs drawn up and
then be ‘sold’ to the customer.
The Use of Project Management Consultants
 An integrator
 An honesty-broker
 A change-agent
 A knowledge provider
 A resource provider
 A checker
 A trainer
Employing Consultants
• The first stage in employing consultants is to decide
exactly what it is that they are being brought in to
achieve. The evaluation of the suitability of one or
other firm can be done through:
membership of appropriate professional bodies;
talking to previous clients;
closely evaluating their capabilities;
evaluating the costs for the job, in particular whether there is
any financial incentive for them to finish the job in a given
time, and whether their fee is linked to tangible benefits
achieved from their work.