Assessment Task 3
Q1. Describe three different types of organisational structure in your own words.
Different types of organizations are set up in specific ways to accomplish different goals, and the structure of an organization can help or hinder its progress toward accomplishing these goals. Organizations large and small can achieve higher sales and other profit by properly matching their needs with the structure they use to operate. There are three main types of organizational structure: matrix, functional, and Customer structure.
1. Matrix Organizational Structure
A matrix structure provides for reporting levels both horizontally as well as vertically. Employees may be part of a functional group (i.e. engineer) but may serve on a team that supports new product development (i.e. new album). This kind of structure may have members of different groups working together to develop a new product line.
For example, a recording engineer who works for a music publisher, may have engineers who report to him but may also use his expertise and work with teams to develop new music albums.
The advantage of a matrix organizational structure is that employees have responsibility not only for their department but for organizational projects. A challenge with this type of structure presents itself when employees are given direction from two different managers and they need to prioritize their work responsibilities.
2. Functional Organizational Structure
Functional organizational structures are the most common. A structure of this type groups individuals by specific functions performed. Common departments such as human resources, accounting and purchasing are organized by separating each of these areas and managing them independently of the others.
For example, managers of different functional areas all report up to one director or vice president who has responsibility for all of the operational areas.
The advantage of this type of structure is that functions are separated by expertise but the challenges comes in when different functional areas turn into silos that focus only on their area of responsibility and don’t support the function of other departments
4. Customer Organizational Structure
Certain industries will organize by customer type. This is done in an effort to ensure specific customer expectations are met by a customized service approach.
An example of this would be in healthcare. A patient seen as an outpatient has very different needs than those of patients who spend time in the hospital as inpatients. A customer centered structure creates customized care for those patients.
The advantage of this type of structure is that it specializes in the needs of each customer group but can ignore the needs of different customer types.
Q2. List relevant legislations that may affect aspects of project management. Where would you find the required legislative information?
Project managers must comply with the relevant commonwealth and state legislations;
- The trade practices Act
- The Australian competition and consumer commission (ACCC)
- The home building Act
- Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977
- Copyright Act 1968
- Electronic Transactions Act 1999
- Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
- Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999
- Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Act 1986
- Judiciary Act 1903
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984
- Civil Aviation Act 1988
These legislations can be found in the commonwealth acts and state acts.
Q3. List five key project parameters that will be essential in any project.
Five key project parameters can be categorized as follows;
- Scope of Work – totality of work to complete a project (quality, time, cost). Change in various project parameters typically occurs, but these changes must be carefully managed and must not be so great that the project is covertly redefined. Agreement on scope between sponsor and project manager establishes a boundary within which resources and budget are allocated. Scope can be precisely defined in terms of the work breakdown structure and task analysis. An unknown or changing scope is a moving boundary that constantly redefines the project and the assumptions guiding allocation of resources. When scope cannot be precisely defined, it cannot be managed, and thereby becomes a significant project risk factor.
- Risk Factors – potential harm to a project (quality, time, cost) that may arise from a process or a future event. A “risk” is the probability that a threat that will act on a vulnerability to cause an adverse impact. Risk management involves minimizing threats, vulnerabilities or impacts.
- People – human resource (knowledge, skill and motivation) for implementation of tasks; a project team assembles special and general skills as resources to get the work done (quality, time, cost).Of all of these components, peopleare the fundamental key to success because they provide the means to achieve project objectives. Staffing is the most adjustable resource in being able to dynamically respond to quality, cost and timing issues & constraints. In this way, staffing also represents the greatest risk factor — no matter what other budget, resource or time risks may also exist.
- Task – A set of actions which accomplish work. A project objective is achieved through a series of tasks. Task analysis is the breakdown of work to define exactly what tasks are required to achieve project objectives, including what sub-tasks may be required to achieveaspecific tasks. Assignment of a task to a worker is an allocation of project resources, and it establishes accountability that is tracked on the schedule.
- Cost – The total scheduled cost for a task, resource, or assignment, or for an entire project. This is sometimes referred to as the current cost. In a tool like Microsoft Project, baseline costs are usually referred to as “budget”.
Five key project parameters can also be categorized as follows;
- Lead the project team in reviewing the project documentation
- To reach a common understanding of objectives, deliverables, organization structure, etc
- List major deliverable components and sub-components
- Review the overall budget
- And budget for each deliverable
- Identify where the project is in its life span
- Clarify project management process structure
- E.g. life span phases, stages, milestones, decision gates
Q4. What is a critical path? Draw an example of a critical path using the given information in the space below.
Critical path can be explained as the longest sequence of activities in a project plan which must be completed on time for the project to complete on due date. An activity on the critical path cannot be started until its predecessor activity is complete; if it is delayed for a day, the entire project will be delayed for a day unless the activity following the delayed activity is completed a day earlier.
Critical path for baking a loaf of bread.
Q5. Explain how a project aligns with organizational plans (e.g . strategic and business plans)
Project management is rapidly becoming a standard way of doing business in many organizations. The key to productivity is often found in how we manage projects, which are the tools of implementing the business strategy of an organization.Every project in an organization should contribute to its strategic plan. But how can we ensure this linkage? We need to make sure that we integrate projects within the strategic plan. This integration requires a process for prioritizing projects by their contribution to the plan.
The strategic management process in customer-driven organizations, mission and goals are set to meet the needs of the customers. The mission typically covers “what we want to become” and should be communicated throughout the organization. Goals translate the mission into specific, measurable, and tangible terms. The goals answer in detail where a corporation is heading or when it is going to get there. These goals should set targets for all levels of the organization. Each level of the organizational objectives should support the higher-level objectives in more detail.
The development of strategies to meet these needs and goals should focus on “what we need to do to achieve these goals.” It requires an extensive analysis of the internal and external environments. Based on a political, economic, social, and technological analysis (PEST), we analyse the external environment to identify opportunities and threats. We analyse the internal environment by looking for strengths and weaknesses such as management, facilities, core competencies, product quality, technology, and financial resources. The deliverable of this analysis is a set of strategies designed to best meet the needs of the customers.