3.5 Project teams
Some organisations carry out the bulk of their work through project teams, which are often set up to react to changing circumstances and allow the organisation to respond quickly. They are an example of what are called organic structures, as distinct from the mechanistic structures that have been described so far.
Project teams draw staff from across the organisation, seconded on a full or part time basis. The latter can be very stressful for the individual, who effectively gets two jobs usually for the life of the project. An example of how this might work can be seen in Figure 8. This looks very like the matrix structure you have just looked at – and in a way it is. Clearly, those serving on project teams also have two reporting lines: to their functional head and to the project manager. The main difference is that the project teams are not permanent groupings like the Service 1, 2, 3, 4 groupings we saw in the matrix structure in Figure 7. Instead, these project teams only last as long as the projects on which they are working. This can lead to problems of control but, on the other hand, it can generate a tremendous sense of excitement as project goals are achieved. Also, fast moving changes can be implemented as a result of the flexibility and speed of response that this sort of structure can give an organisation.