Projects are administered in three basic structures: the traditional functional structure, the project-focused projectized structure, and the extensively used matrix structure, which combines aspects of both the functional and projectized structures.

Projects have evolved from organizational afterthoughts to major vehicles for conducting business and developing future capabilities. Naturally, the approaches for organizing and managing projects have evolved as well.


The functional project structure

The functional organization structure brings together people who perform similar tasks or who use the same kinds of skills and knowledge in functional groups. In this structure, people are managed through clear lines of authority that extend through each group to the head of the group and, ultimately, to a single person at the top.


The projectized organization structure

The projectized organization structure groups together all personnel working on a particular project. Project team members are often located together and under the direct authority of the project manager for the duration of the project.

The project manager has almost total authority over the members of her team in the projectized structure. She makes assignments and directs team members’ task efforts; she controls the project budget; she conducts team members’ performance assessments and approves team members’ raises and bonuses; and she approves annual leave.


The matrix project structure

With increasing frequency, projects involve and affect many functional areas within an organization. As a result, personnel from these different areas must work together to successfully accomplish the project work. The matrix organization structure combines elements of both the functional and projectized structures to facilitate the responsive and effective participation of people from different parts of the organization on projects that need their specialized expertise.