How can the organizational culture influence project management

Organizational influences on project management

An organization can influence project management in different ways and at different levels.

Regardless of whether the project is part of your own organization or whether it is an external project, such as joint ventures or partnerships, it can be influenced by the organization.

This happens automatically through the culture, the style and the tools used by an organization, but also through its organizational structure.

Organizational culture as an influencing factor

Many organizations have developed their own unique culture sooner or later. Often this is also set out in a COC (Code of Conduct).

The own culture of an organization contains many things that are also relevant for the implementation of a project.

For example, an organizational culture includes:

  • Work specifications and working procedures
  • The relationships and dealings between employees and superiors
  • working hours
  • Work ethic
  • Common standards and common values

Depending on the characteristics of the culture and thus also the above-mentioned factors, this can influence the success or failure of a project.

Organizational form as an influencing factor

The form of organization should always be adapted to the importance and frequency of the project work. If the form of organization is not in line with the number and size of the projects, this can have a negative impact on the course, quality and adherence to the project schedule.

Depending on whether a company only occasionally relies on project work or primarily creates value through projects, the organizational form should be adapted.

Line organization

If the project work is given relatively little importance, the line organization can be used. In the case of project management in the line, management and personnel responsibility for the employees involved in the project remains with the line managers. The projects are given lower priority, so that line work tends to have priority and the project managers usually only have limited authority.

  • The project manager has limited authority to issue instructions
  • Line work has priority over project work
  • The line manager is responsible for personnel and management

Matrix organization

In the matrix (project) organization, both project and line tasks are processed equally. For this, it is necessary that the competencies and responsibilities of line managers and project managers are clearly delimited and regulated.

Line and project tasks are processed in parallel and with the same priority by project managers and project members. The employee himself has two roles. As part of the project, he reports to the project manager. As part of his specialist function, he reports to the line manager. Normally, however, personnel responsibility always remains in line.

  • Project and specialist tasks are processed in parallel
  • The supervisor defines himself from the context of the work (project-> project manager vs. specialist work-> line manager)
  • Personnel responsibility remains in line

Pure project organization

The form of the pure project organization can usually only be found where a large part of the added value comes from project work. In the pure PM organization, the project manager has far-reaching and comprehensive competencies. The employees are also formally subordinate to the project manager and are normally assigned 100% to the project for the duration of a project.

  • Project manager has considerable competencies
  • Employees are 100% assigned to the project during the project
  • Employees are formally subordinate to project managers
  • Projects are viewed as “temporary companies” within the organization