What Are the Effects of Poor Communication in a Project? Essay
Faculty of Business Department of Management and Project Management Baccalaureus Technologiae Project Management Project Research IV Lecturer: L. Jowah RESEARCH METHODOLOGY PROPOSAL TABLE OF CONTENTS Hypothesis – The matrix management structure hinders the project manager when executing a project. 1 Research Question 1 Topic 1 KEY WORDS 1 CONCEPT DEFINITIONS 1 2 CHAPTER ONE BACKGROUND AND PROBLEM ORIENTATION 2 1. 1 INTRODUCTION 2 1. 2 BACKGROUND TO STUDY 3 1. 3 PROBLEM FORMULATION 4 1. 4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY 5 1. 4. 1 Primary objective 5 1. 4. 2 Theoretical objectives of the study 5 1. 4. Empirical objectives 5 1. 5 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 6 1. 5. 1 Literature review 6 1. 5. 2 Target population 6 1. 5. 3 Sample selection and method of sampling 6 1.
5. 4 The method of data collection 7 1. 5. 5 Statistical Analysis 7 1. 6 CHAPTER CLASSIFICATION 7 1. 6. 1 Chapter two: Literature review 7 1. 6. 2 Chapter three: Research Design and Methodology 7 1. 6. 3 Chapter four: Results and Findings 7 1. 6. 4 Chapter five: Conclusions and Recommendations 8 1. 7 SYNOPSIS 8 REFERENCES 9 Questionnaire 11 Part A – Project Planning…………………………………………………………………….. 1 Part B – Organisational Support…………………………………………………………. 12 Part C – Organisational Characteristics …………………………………………….. 13 Hypothesis – The matrix management structure hinders the project manager when executing a project. Research Question – How does the matrix structure affect the project manager’s effectiveness? Topic – Organisational structures influence the effectiveness of a project manager.
KEY WORDS organisational structures management project management CONCEPT DEFINITIONS Project: According to the PMBOK – A temporary endeavor ndertaken to create a unique product or service. Temporary means that every project has a definite beginning and a definite end. Unique means that the product or service is different in some distinguishing way from all similar products or services A project management guide, and an internationally recognized standard, that provides the fundamentals of project management as they apply to a wide range of projects. PMBOK – Project Management Body of Knowledge: Management Organisational structures: 1. Effective use and coordination of resources such as capital, plant materials and labour to achieve defined objectives with maximum efficiency. . People responsible for directing and running and organisation. 1. Arrangement of the work of the organisation into units and management positions between which there are defined relationships involving the exercise of authority and the communication of instructions and information. 2. Determination and specification of appropriate operational and functional roles and the resulting relationships. The aim of organisational structuring is to provide for an effective organisation structure which enables the best use to be made of the minds, judgements and energies of the members of the organisation. CHAPTER ONE BACKGROUND AND PROBLEM ORIENTATION 1. 1 INTRODUCTION Project management is the discipline of planning, organising, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives (Cleland & Gareis, 2006:1-4). According to Burke (2007:28-30), modern day project management started in the early 1900’s with Henry Gantt’s development of the barchart, and project management techniques which were specifically developed for the military and aerospace projects of the 1950’s and 1960’s in America and Britain.
Today, companies are encouraged to change their management systems to adapt to the project management environment. A project is defined as a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product or service (PMBOK, 2004:4). According to Sandhu & Gunasekaran (2004:673-690), a project is a set of inter-related tasks that are undertaken by an organisation to meet defined objectives, that has an agreed start and finish time, is constrained by cost, and that has specified performance requirements and resources. Projects are usually led by a project manager who is a professional in the field of project management.
Project managers can have the responsibility of the planning, execution, and closing of any project. However the project manager has to interface with the line management, according to Kerzner (2006:7). Projects are performed by people and managed through people, so it is essential to develop an organisation structure which reflects the needs of the project (Burke, 2007:304). Organisations use project management to bring key people together to achieve specific goals (Palmer, 2002:101-105). According to Gido & Clements (2003:336-339), Conflict can arise from poor or organisational issues can cause conflict in a project. mbiguous project communication, lack of information sharing, or failure to make timely decisions. Problems caused by conflict include: confusion; waste of time, money and opportunity; diminished productivity; de-motivation of individuals and teams; internal conflicts and power struggles and ultimately project failure (Box & Platts, 2005:370-387). 2 Due to the numerous working interfaces, complicated networks, and diversified team members of a large project, coordination efficiency among members of the team is vital to the project’s success (Cheng, Su & You, 2003:70-79).
One of the simplest, yet most effective things upper management can do is to set out the company’s policy for project management; thus establishing the vision for how the company wants to best utilise project management concepts and gives a clear downwards communication (Eve, 2007:85-90). Successful executives and managers must maintain an appropriate balance between strategic and operational concerns, as they conduct the affairs of their organisation in a project management environment (Czuchry & Yasin, 2003:39-46).
The first and most basic lesson learnt regarding project management implementation, is that top management must demonstrate its unequivocal and visible support for a transition to the project management way of goal achievement (Brown & Botha, 2005:1-7). When senior management place the responsibility for project success with the project manager, without providing adequate authority and at times, implemented changes that further undermine the project manager’s authority; it leads to project failure (Kennedy & Marx, 2009:368-373).
The starting point for ensuring that matrix structures work effectively is to ensure that there is a genuine need for them (Rees & Porter, 2004:189-193). Matrix structures should not be introduced simply on the basis that they are fashionable. It is also important to note that work teams do not exist in a vacuum, but are part of a larger organisational system with distinct cultural and structural characteristics (Tata, 2000:187-193). 1. 2 BACKGROUND TO STUDY An organisational structure is a mainly hierarchical concept of subordination of entities that collaborate and contribute to serve one common aim.
Organisational structure allows the expressed allocation of responsibilities for different functions and processes to different entities such as the branch, department, workgroup and individual. 3 A hierarchical organisation is an organisational structure where every entity in the organisation, except one, is sub-ordinate to a single other entity. This arrangement is a form of a hierarchy. In an organisation, the hierarchy usually consists of a singular/group of power at the top with subsequent levels of power beneath them.
This is the dominant mode of organisation among large organisations; most corporations, governments, and organized religions are hierarchical organisations with different levels of management, power or authority. Organisations have recognised that performing organisational projects has increased both organisational efficiency and effectiveness, thus organisational projects are becoming more of a norm than an exception these days. Each type of organisation has advantages and disadvantages pertaining to project implementation. The organisation should establish firm, standardized project management systems.
The matrix structure leads to institutionalised conflict which, if properly channelled, should lead to a number of advantages, such as efficiency and flexibility in used of resources, technical excellence of solutions, motivation and development of employees and the freeing of top management from routine decision making (Rowlinson, 2001:669-673). According to Brown (2008:1-9), a seven step organisational process needs to be formally instituted in an organisation through a thoroughly planned strategy to ensure that appropriate project management processes and tools. . 3 PROBLEM FORMULATION In recent years, managers of for-profit private organisations have been under considerable market pressures to re-orient the strategies, operations and business models of their organisations. In a response to these pressures, the organisational structures of these organisations have been steadily re-engineered from mechanistic, rigid and closed system-oriented to a more organic, flexible and open system-oriented (Gomes, Yasin & Lisboa, 2008: 573-585). 4
Most managers focus on how the project methodology can adapt to it’s organisational context, however, in doing so, they sacrifice the flexibility and dynamism of the project approach for the bureaucratic, control-based view of functional organisations (Thiry, 2006:22) The questions to be addressed in this study are as follows: • How does the organisational structure affect the project manager’s effectiveness? • To what degree is the effectiveness of the organisational structure sabotaged by the human factor? • Which organisational structures are best suited for project management? 1. 4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY . 4. 1 Primary objective The purpose of this study is to verify whether organisational structures influence the effectiveness of a project manager. 1. 4. 2 Theoretical objectives of the study The following theoretical objectives were established in order to support the primary objective. • Conducting management. • Conducting a literature study on factors of influence in project management. • Reviewing organisational structure models commonly employed by companies in the project management environment. • Contrasting the literature studied with observations in the industry in practice. 1. 4. Empirical objectives The following empirical objectives were formulated in support of the primary and theoretical objectives. • Identifying key elements of influence on project management success. a literature study on organisational structures in project 5 • Identifying organisational structures employed by companies to ensure support project management. 1. 5 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 1. 5. 1 Literature review Published material in the form of books, journals, magazines, newspaper articles, government publications and the Internet formed part of establishing a well-informed theoretical background. . 5. 2 Target population The population was restricted to companies in the Western Cape Province, for economic reasons; as most companies are within easy reach. The population comprised project management practitioners. For the purpose of this study, project management practitioners are persons practising project management, who are given the responsibility and accountability for implementing projects in an organisation. In industry, the title varies from company to company. The commonly used titles are Project Supervisor and Project Manager.
The companies to be included in the study must be practising project The companies must have a formal project management for more than five years. management structure in place. It is anticipated that many companies may not be keen to share information on this subject. Therefore, to increase the probability of reaching the required sample size, organisations in the entire province were chosen. 1. 5. 3 Sample selection and method of sampling A combination of convenience and judgement sampling was used, in light of the geographical dispersion of the organisations.
Care was taken to include a broad variety of project management practitioners. The organisations were grouped according to industries. In the absence of previous research, a minimum sample size of one hundred project management practitioners will be chosen for the study. The sample size has been determined on the basis of the cost of the exercise and accessibility to the various companies. 6 1. 5. 4 The method of data collection The survey method will be used. A personal interview using a structured questionnaire will be used to obtain the required information.
This method was chosen as it is simple and allows for clarity of questions. 1. 5. 5 Statistical Analysis Descriptive statistics will be used for the initial analysis. The MoonStats package will be used for data analysis. Cross-tabulation and correlation will be used to establish simple relationships between the organisational structure and it’s effects on project management in the business. 1. 6 CHAPTER CLASSIFICATION 1. 6. 1 Chapter two: Literature review An overview is provided of strategies, strategic business levels ad their relationship to each other.
This chapter concentrates on organisational structures, competencies and the dynamics of project management. It also explores the need for strategic organisational decisions to further support project management objectives. structures are also highlighted. Different organisational 1. 6. 2 Chapter three: Research Design and Methodology The emphasis of this chapter is on the design of the research, the measuring instruments and population target. employed are outlined. The data analysis procedure and the statistical techniques 1. 6. 3 Chapter four: Results and Findings In this chapter data is analysed, interpreted and evaluated. 1. 6. 4 Chapter five: Conclusions and Recommendations The recommendations emanating from the study are suggested. limitations of the research are highlighted. The benefits and 1. 7 SYNOPSIS This paper is primarily addressed at the decision makers about project management in an organisation. In the arenas of business and management, the principles of project management are relatively simple and much of it actually common sense. However, this paper aims to confirm that the implementation and acceptance thereof, in a functionallyonly structured organisation, is quite a complex process. The paper’s prime purpose is herefore to highlight, that after the decision to implement project management is made, a number of not so obvious implications for the organisation, as well as structural, organisational culture and systems changes, have to be thoroughly managed to ensure success. In this chapter the background and scope of research are described. The Research objectives are utilized in an effort to address the research problem. In the next chapter the literature used as background for this study, will be discussed, while the different levels of project management organisational structures and how they are interrelated will be outlined. REFERENCES Cleland, D. , Gareis, R. 2006. Global project management handbook: Planning, McGraw-Hill Organizing and Controlling International Projects, Second Edition. Professional. Project Management Institute. 2004. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge – 3rd edition. Pennsylvania: PMI Publications. Burke, R. 2007. Project management Techniques college edition. South Africa; Burke Publishing. Gido, J. and Clements, J. P. 2003. Successful Project Management – Second Edition. USA. South-Western. Kerzner, H. 2006. Project Management – Ninth Edition, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling.
Hoboken, New Jersey. John Wiley & Sons. Sandhu, M. A. and Gunasekaran, A. 2004. Business process development in projectbased industry. Business Process Management Journal. Vol. 10 No. 6:673-690. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Box, S. and Platts, K. 2005. Business process management: establishing and maintaining project alignment. Business Process Management Journal. Vol. 11 No. 4:370-387. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Palmer, M. 2002. How an effective project culture can help to achieve business success: establishing a project culture in Kimberley-Clark Europe. Industrial and Commercial Training.
Volume 34. Number 3:101-105. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Czuchry, A. J. and Yasin, M. M. 2003. Managing the project management process. Industrial Management and Data Systems. 103/1 :39-46. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 9 Rees, W. D. and Porter, C. 2004. Matrix structures and the training implications. Industrial and Commercial Training. Volume 36. Number 5:189–193. Emerald Group Publishing Limited · ISSN 0019-:189-193 Gomes, C. F. , Yasin, M. M. and Lisboa, J. V. 2008. Project management in the context of organizational change. International Journal of Public Sector Management.
Vol. 21 No. 6:573-585. Tata, J. 2000. Autonomous work teams: an examination of cultural and structural constraints. Work Study. Volume 49. Number 5:187-193. MCB University Press. Rowlinson, S. 2001. Matrix organizational structure, culture and commitment: a Hong Kong public sector case study of change. Construction Management and Economics. 19, 669-673. Spon Press. Brown, C. J. and Botha, M. C. 2005. Lessons learnt on implementing project management in a functionally-only structured South African municipality. South African Journal of Business Management. 36(4):1-7 Cheng, M. Su, C. and You, H. 2003. Optimal Project Organizational Structure for Construction Management. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. January/February:70-79. Brown, C. J. 2008. A comprehensive organisational model for the effective management of project management. South African Journal of Business Management. 39(3):1-8. Kennedy, D. A. and Marx, T. 2009. Going Against Traditional Wisdom: Running Projects in a Functional Structure. Proceedings of the 2009 Industrial Engineering Research Conference. 368-373. Thiry, M. 2006. The Matrix Evolves. PM Network. Apr. 20,4:22.
Eve, A. 2007. Development of project management systems. Industrial and Commercial Training. Vol. 39. No. 2:85-90. 10 Questionnaire For each planning product written, please mark the most suitable answer referring to the projects you were recently involved in, according to the following scale: 54321ABThe product is always obtained The product is quite frequently obtained The product is frequently obtained The product is seldom obtained The product is hardly ever obtained The product is irrelevant to the projects I am involved in I do not know whether the product is obtained
Please choose between 1-5 and A or B. Part A – Project Planning Planning Product Never Always Do not know Irrelevant 1. Project Plan 2. Project Deliverables 3. WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) Chart 4. Project Activities 5. PERT or Gantt Chart 6. Activity Duration Estimate 7. Activity Start and End Dates 8. Activity Required Resources 9. Resource Cost 10. Time-phased Budget 11. Quality Management Plan 12. Role and Responsibility Assignments 13. Project Staff Assignments 14. Communications Management Plan 15. Risk Management Plan 16. Procurement Management Plan 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B 11 Part B – Organisational Support Planning Product Never Always Do not know Irrelevant 17. Project-Based Organisation 18. Extent of Existence of Projects’ Procedures 19. Appropriate Project Manager Assignment 20. Extent of Refreshing Project Procedures 21. Extent of Involvement of the Project Manager during Initiation Stage 22.
Extent of Communication between the Project Manager and the Organisation during the Planning Phase 23. Extent of Existence of Project Success Measurement 24. Extent of Supportive Project Organisational Structure 25. Extent of Existence of Interactive InterDepartmental Project Planning Groups 26. Extent of Organisational Projects Resource Planning 27. Extent of Organisational Projects Risk Management 28. Extent of Organisational Projects Quality Management 29. Extent of On Going Project Management Training Programs 30. Extent of Use of Standard Project Management Software (e. . Ms-Project) 31. Extent of Use of New Project Tools and Techniques 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 A A A A A A B B B B B B 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 A A A A A A A A A B B B B B B B B B 12 Part C – Organisational Characteristics a. Organisation type: ? (1) Engineering ? (4) Construction ? (7) Services ? (2) Software ? (5) Communications ? (8) Government ? (3) Production ? (6) Maintenance ? (9) Other: ______ b. Project type: ? (1) Engineering ? (4) Construction ? (7) Services ? 2) Software ? (5) Communications ? (8) Aeronautics ? (3) Electronics ? (6) Mechanics ? (9) Other: _____ c. Evaluate the following indexes in the scale of 1 to 10 (1-low, 10-high): Index Low High Quality of planning of project you are involved in Project performance at the end of the projects Customer satisfaction at the end of the projects Risk level at the beginning of the project 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 d. Your personal involvement in projects: ? Project Manager ? Project Team Member ? Other: _______ 13