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Old 04-26-2019, 07:38 AM
 
11,137 posts, read 8,548,081 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post
Not to draw us off onto a tangent, this is PM mythology. There is no such thing as a viable "solid line and dotted line" approach to anything. The basic PM principle at play is that if more than one person is "accountable" then no one is accountable. Split responsibility is no responsibility. So where there is a so-called "matrix" organization what you really have is management abrogating its non-transferable responsibility to establish clear boundaries and to establish clear lines of accountability. What ensues is a political organization rather than a productive one. /tangent
Talking RACI? A matrix organization is simply a company that separates the PM function from the functional work. The PM has responsibility for the project. The functional manager retains responsibility for the functional duties of the employees.

So, the IT employee officially reports to the Technology Manager. When I do my project work, I enlist the IT employee to develop the tech. They are accountable to me only for the limited scope of the project work. Any other work or HR matters fall on the Technology Manager. There are clear boundaries.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:25 AM
 
6,855 posts, read 3,722,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
Talking RACI? A matrix organization is simply a company that separates the PM function from the functional work. The PM has responsibility for the project. The functional manager retains responsibility for the functional duties of the employees.

So, the IT employee officially reports to the Technology Manager. When I do my project work, I enlist the IT employee to develop the tech. They are accountable to me only for the limited scope of the project work. Any other work or HR matters fall on the Technology Manager. There are clear boundaries.
I'm curious how your company holds the employee accountable to the PM when they work for a functional and get tasked by other PMs? That's been the big flaw in every matrix organization I've been is--the disconnect between responsibility, accountability, and authority.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:06 AM
 
11,137 posts, read 8,548,081 times
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Originally Posted by tnff View Post
I'm curious how your company holds the employee accountable to the PM when they work for a functional and get tasked by other PMs? That's been the big flaw in every matrix organization I've been is--the disconnect between responsibility, accountability, and authority.
The product owners ultimately own the tech product. The product owners sponsor/champion the project. Whatever they want happens. It's the product owners who can wield the big stick and can hold the IT employees accountable (via the Tech Manager) to give me what I need.
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:15 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
I'm curious how your company holds the employee accountable to the PM when they work for a functional and get tasked by other PMs? That's been the big flaw in every matrix organization I've been is--the disconnect between responsibility, accountability, and authority.
This.

The companies who succeed with such an environment generally do so in spite of the matrix organization, not as a result of it.
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
The product owners ultimately own the tech product. The product owners sponsor/champion the project. Whatever they want happens. It's the product owners who can wield the big stick and can hold the IT employees accountable (via the Tech Manager) to give me what I need.
That's cool. My experience has been the opposite where the product owners take their wrath out on the PM who has no authority to fix the problem rather than on the functional who do. I watched many PMs get fired while the functional just keeps on doing nothing.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:10 PM
 
708 posts, read 777,918 times
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As a PMP, running two digital banking projects currently, I appreciate this thread. Giving me a chuckle in between Friday conference calls and wrap-up.

I bought into the self-organizing, no PM needed proselytizing of Agile before. Works great for internal, software product development where you’re continuously delivering against a product roadmap. Try it with a client and see how far you get without some oversight and high level view of all the moving parts of the project.

The project will never finish because the client thinks they can continue to make changes forever or devs/designers will wander off on their own pet projects or get pulled elsewhere at random. If the account executive is left to provide status, it will always turn into a sales pitch at the end. There are always additional asks for information or issues that come up periodically. It won’t get resolved in a 15 minute daily stand-up. Not against agile development at all, but development isn’t the only phase of a software implementation project.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:11 PM
 
1,550 posts, read 403,540 times
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Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
I disagree. Project management on a large project can easily become a full time job. If you add managing people administratively to that (hiring, firing, performance reviews, interpersonal issues, etc., etc., etc.) you're now doing TWO full time jobs; which means you're not going to do the best possible of either job.


Obviously if you only have two employees and one small project the above doesn't apply, but I'm talking about the standard situation in medium and large companies where there's more work than can ever be done anyway.
I know, my experience is on very large projects. You are missing the point. Calling people who work out schedules, coordination of plans and resources, and who spend the days gathering status from others to put into a software tool aren't Project Managers. They are managers of their work area. An actual Project Manager is truly in charge of the project and everyone in it. You go to the doctor's office and there is the doctor and there are nurses. You have one doctor in charge of the patient who delegates to the nursing staff, but that doesn't cause the nurse function to be called a doctor. We need nurses and that's a full time job, but they aren't called doctors because that isn't a good job title of what they do.

They have job title inflation to attract talent to the job so it appears to be a promotion and that they are part of management when that isn't the case at all.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:57 PM
 
11,137 posts, read 8,548,081 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rummage View Post
I know, my experience is on very large projects. You are missing the point. Calling people who work out schedules, coordination of plans and resources, and who spend the days gathering status from others to put into a software tool aren't Project Managers. They are managers of their work area. An actual Project Manager is truly in charge of the project and everyone in it. You go to the doctor's office and there is the doctor and there are nurses. You have one doctor in charge of the patient who delegates to the nursing staff, but that doesn't cause the nurse function to be called a doctor. We need nurses and that's a full time job, but they aren't called doctors because that isn't a good job title of what they do.

They have job title inflation to attract talent to the job so it appears to be a promotion and that they are part of management when that isn't the case at all.
You do know that your definition isn't the definition used by the ENTIRE industry, right? But hey, if you believe, it's correct, right?

There is no title inflation. I know where I stand in the chain of command. No, I do not have direct reports. I don't manage people. I manage the project work.

In your example, imagine a hospital. There are doctors and nurses. They have their jobs. Then there are hospital administrators who can tell the doctors and nurses what needs to be done. That administrator role would be the PM.

FYI, what you are referring to would be a project oriented organization. They exist. There is also legitimate project work going on in organizations with different structures.
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Old 04-26-2019, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Between West Chester and Chester, PA
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I find middle management at any given company in any given field utterly useless.
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Old 04-26-2019, 03:33 PM
 
5,197 posts, read 2,338,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
You do know that your definition isn't the definition used by the ENTIRE industry, right? But hey, if you believe, it's correct, right?

There is no title inflation. I know where I stand in the chain of command. No, I do not have direct reports. I don't manage people. I manage the project work.

In your example, imagine a hospital. There are doctors and nurses. They have their jobs. Then there are hospital administrators who can tell the doctors and nurses what needs to be done. That administrator role would be the PM.

FYI, what you are referring to would be a project oriented organization. They exist. There is also legitimate project work going on in organizations with different structures.
Correct.


The term "Manager" has not been restricted to people with direct administrative reports for decades now.


The term "Project Manager" has been used for people who direct the work of a project, whether or not the team members report to them administratively, at least since the publication of The Mythical Man-Month in 1975.
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