BUS 517 Discussion post responses.

Respond to the colleagues posts regarding:

· You are working with your Project Sponsor to decide on the optimal project management structure for an upcoming complex project that will involve over 100 members, similar to this project: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/digger/wp/2016/10/18/marriott-to-move-headquarters-to-downtown-bethesda/?utm_term=.721d2114db06.

· The Sponsor believes that a dedicated project team structure will not work. He has the same concerns about this structure that the author has noted. You are confident that this structure or a matrix structure will work for the project. Describe how you will reassure him that either structure will be successful.


SW’s post states the following:Top of Form

To defend a Dedicated Project Team or Matrix structure for the proposed 100-person project we must first know what these terms are and how they affect the project. A Detailed Project Team is one built separately of the organizational structure whose sole responsibility is to the project (Larson & Gray, 2018). Such a team could be made up of internal and external components. It is a bid to supply adequate resources to the project while not burdening the normal operations of the organization. Matrix structure is the best of both world approach, combining dedicated project management with functional organization management to ensure cohesive teamwork and uniformity for the project and beyond (Larson & Gray, 2018). With both structures defined, why would they be most efficient for such a large project as the one being presented? In order to remove the project sponsors’ trepidations, we will look at guidance from specialists in the field on projects of this scope. Larson and Gray provided seven factors that should be weighed to assist in determining the best structure for the project team. Those seven factors are:


· Size of project.

· Strategic importance.

· Novelty and need for innovation.

· Need for integration (number of departments involved).

· Environmental complexity (number of external interfaces).

· Budget and time constraints.

· Stability of resource requirements

A review of each factor is needed to weigh the best option for the project. With 100 people as a part of the project, even without specifics like departments and other factors, this project could be considered large. In comparing the project to the Marriott plan with over 3,500 jobs and millions on the line, especially since keeping the Montgomery County, MD area attractive for business was the main goal I would place its strategic importance very high. Novelty and need for innovation are low with regards to a project like this. They can be utilized in unique ways, but the project does not hinge on these items. The need for integration could be very high on the list. Using the Marriott project as a reference, many decisions, the release of funding and collaboration is needed between Marriott and the Maryland government with regards to this project. If any piece is out of step or groups are out of lockstep with planning, decision or expectations the whole project could fail. Environmental complexity is also big since a project akin to the Marriott is building huge buildings in locations. Moving from one place to another means a shift in traffic and other transportation resources. This also means residential effects, business effects and an influx of change to an area. Juggling those changes is pivotal to avoid backlash or residential turn of opinion late in the project. Budget and time constraints weren’t provided by the scenario, but as every project should aim to quick, concise and efficient to reach the end result I would always place this highly. Stability is a major factor that must be kept in line for a large project like this one. Resource management is a major consideration when performing construction projects and can never be overlooked.


With our review, we have six of seven factors as high on the list. Larson and Gray advise that Matrix or at minimum a Detailed Project team is best for large scale projects that are strategically critical. If your project requires constant customer contact and input from diverse, interdisciplinary teams, you should also work with Matrix or Detailed Project team (Larson & Gray, 2018). A high level of success is possible by using these two methods to focus on the best possible outcomes for such a project.



Larson, E. W., & Gray, C. F. (2018). Project Management; The Managerial Process (7th Edition ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

O’Connell, J. (2016, October 18th). Marriott to move headquarters to downtown Bethesda with $62 million in incentives. Retrieved from The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/digger/wp/2016/10/18/marriott-to-move-headquarters-to-downtown-bethesda/

Williams, C. (n.d.). Product Team Structure Vs. Matrix Structure. Retrieved from Chron: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/product-team-structure-vs-matrix-structure-51342.html


KR’s post states the following:Top of Form

In supporting the dedicated project team structure, team building is very important. This process of taking the over 100 members of the project team with different needs, backgrounds and expertise and transforming them by various methods into an integrated, effective work unit. In this transformation process, the goals and energies of individual contributors merge and support the objectives of the dedicated project team. Most importantly, objectives must be explicit, are not explicit, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to clearly define roles and responsibilities. Among the advantages of this structure: simple, fast, chesive, and cross-functional integration. As in the case of function organization, the dedicated project team approach has strengths and weaknesses (Larrson, 2004).


Additionally, a team-based structure allows for input from all stakeholders who are apart of the project. This allows information to flow more freely and adjustments made throughout the process. In this structure the project manager is kept updated with the development of the project and there is no barrier to information. With this team-based approach a mix of expertise and skills benefit the project positively. This structure will ensure the successful implementation of this project.


The matrix team structure is also effective, reduced cost is also an advantage as more efficiently sharing personnel across projects. However, this will result in the project taking much longer to complete since attention is decided and coordination demands are higher. The matrix structure allows dual focus between functional/techniques expertise and project requirements that is missing in either the project team or functional approach to project management.


Both structures do have their strengths and weaknesses, the weaknesses should be carefully examined prior to implementation to ensure that those weaknesses are not transferred to the project. In carefully analyzing both structures they both influence time and cost and must be carefully examined throughout the project planning and implementation to ensure the project’s success.




Larson, E. W., & Gray, C. F. (2018). Project Management; The Managerial Process (7th Edition ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

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