6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Organizational Structures (3)

I am starting a project of going through the 6th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide and blogging about its contents.    The 6th Edition was released on September 22nd by the Project Management Institute, and the second chapter is a general introduction to the framework in which project management exists.

There are many types of entities which can influence a project:

  • Risks–events which can influence a project (covered by Risk Management)
  • Shareholders–people who can influence a project (covered by Shareholder Management)
  • Environmental Enterprise Factors (EEFs)–conditions not under control of the project team that can be either internal and/or external to the organization
  • Organizational Process Assets (OPAs)–company policies and/or knowledge bases accumulated from previous projects

The final type or entity that can influence a project is the form of the organizational structure.   In the chart on page 47 of the Guide, there are 10 different types of organizational structure listed, each of which can influence the following on a project:

  • project manager’s authority
  • project manager’s role
  • availability of resources
  • management of the project budget
  • administrative staff on the project (the project management team)

Although the table is certainly thorough, it’s a bit overwhelming in the amount of information it presents, so let’s go through the choice of organizational structure based on three different variables:

  • Operations vs. projects (functional, strong matrix, balanced matrix, weak matrix, project-oriented, PMO, composite)
  • Complexity (simple, multi-divisional, virtual)
  • Framework (hybrid)

I’m doing three posts, each covering one of these variables.  In this post, I am covering the third variable, that of the project management framework.

Traditional aka Waterfall

This is technically known as the predictive model of project management framework, in that the scope can be predicted at the beginning of the project and planned in detail; the other constraints of time and cost are shaped around this scaffolding, as it were.


In this project management framework, the scope is created in a series of of increments until it reaches its final version.

Agile aka adaptive


In this case, the scope is defined and approved in a series of iterations, but within the boundaries circumscribed by either the time (deadline for release) or cost (budget limitations).


This is a combination of predictive and adaptive frameworks, where the requirements of the project that are fixed follow a predictive approach, and the requirements that are still evolving follow an adaptive approach.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: