How Organizational Structures Affect Projects and Project Management

It is true that the structure of an organization can have a major impact on project management.

Think about your own experience. Is it difficult to get a traction on your projects? Are there numerous layers of authority that you have to navigate to get approvals for basic tasks? Does your budget get cut because of competition for limited funding? Do your projects lose out in favor of day-to-day routine operations? And you thought it was something you were doing, or failing to do! Well it may have been, but it's more likely that you are feeling the effects of the organizational structure within which you work. Understanding your working environment better will help you to rise above organizational issues and smooth the way to successful project management.

By looking at three different organizational structures – functional, matrix and projectised – we will discover how each distinct organizational style affects project management.

  1. Functional Organizational Structure . These firms are organized into functional divisions based on primary functions such as engineering, human resources, finance, IT, planning and policy. Each different functional division operates independently and isolated groups of workers in a division report to a functional manager. The functional manager generally both allocates and monitors the work and carries out tasks such as performance evaluation and setting payment levels. In this model project managers have very limited authority. Functional organizations are set up for ongoing operations rather than projects and so this organizational structure is often found in firms which primary purpose is to produce standardized goods and services.
  2. Matrix Organizational Structure. In a matrix organization control is shared. The project manager shares responsibility for the project with a number of individual functional managers. Shared responsibilities can include assigning priorities and tasks to individual team members. But functional managers still make the final decisions on who will work on projects and are still responsible for administration. Project managers take charge of allocating and organizing the work for the designated project team. In this type of structure there is a balance between ongoing operations and projects, so it is a common structure for organizations that have these dual roles. For instance, local body organizations that are responsible for both maintaining existing infrastructure (ongoing operations) and commissioning the construction of new infrastructure (projects) often have matrix structures.
  3. Projected Organizational Structure. In a projectised organization the project manager has full authority over the project. This includes the authority to set priorities, apply resources, and to direct the work of the project team. All members of the team report directly to the project manager and everyone is assigned to a project. After completion of the project, resources will be re-assigned to another project. This type of structure is common in firms that work on size-able, long-term projects, such as in the construction industry.

Take a moment to reflect on which type of organizational structure you work in before we move on to discuss how these organizational structures affect projects. Then see if you recognize any of the issues raised.

So what are the implications for project management?

In a functional organization, projects that exist within a single functional division generate no particular organizational issues, but projects that cut across functional divisions can be challenging to manage. Why? Because the project manager has no direct functional authority and must obtain continuous cooperation and support from functional managers of other divisions in order to meet project objectives. This can get complicated.

Because the matrix structure gives authority to both project managers and functional managers the income is to provide a more seamless division of labor and extremely to build a stronger team culture. However, the potential for conflict between functional managers and project managers still exists because there is still resource conflict. Everyone who is on a project team has two bosses – their functional manager as well as their project manager.

In a projectised organization authority is centralized. Because projects are removed from functional divisions the lines of communication are shortened. Both these factors enhance the ability to make swift decisions. Project teams develop a strong sense of identity which in turn creates a high level of commitment from team members. Due to their involvement in consecutive projects of a similar nature projectised organizations can develop and maintain a long-term body of experience and skills in specialized areas.

It is clear that projectised organizations make it easier to run projects because the entire structure is set up for that purpose. But if you are managing a project within other organizational structures, then recognizing and understanding the impacts will raise your awareness of the potential project management pitfalls, so that you can be proactive about resolving them. Communication, conflict resolution and team building will be key to your success.

The Samsung U600 And Its Multimedia Applications

Samsung U600 is a slide phone that has excellent looks and is loaded with the latest multimedia applications. This handset is much slimmer than its predecessor, the U900. This mobile has touch-sensitive external buttons and is light in weight. The mobile has a music player, a camera and offers the latest connectivity options.

The camera installed in Samsung 600 has been updated to 3.2 MP. This camera comes complete with auto-focus, LED flash and digital zoom. The in-built camera clicks photos and records videos that can be easily saved in the whopping 60MB memory of the mobile. These saved pictures can later be shared with others.

The MP3 music player has the ability to support a number of formats such as ACC, ACC +, MP3 and e-ACC +. There is the digital power amplifier named as the Bang and Olufsen amplifier. The memory of the handset can be further expanded to 2GB through a Micro SD card. So, now you can store innumerable number of songs in the memory of the phone. Samsung U600 is equipped with a PC data link kit that enables song transfer form the phone to other devices such as a laptop. Messaging with this mobile is easy and is supported by email attachments. So, now you can attach a document while sending messages to your friends. Moreover, the document viewer allows you to see files in formats such as MS office, PDF and HTML.

Includes EDGE connections enable faster downloads. A compatible printer allows you to get wireless photo printing. There is also a TV Output feature with the aid of which you can view pictures and videos on a television screen. This handset has a Li-Ion battery that gives a stand-by of 250 h and talk-time of 3 h 30 mins. The handset is light and works on 2G networks. The mobile has 60 MB embedded memory that easily accommodates 1000 entries. MP3 and polyphonic ring-tones can easily be stored in the handset. The U600 is available in a range of colors such as Sapphire Blue, Crystal Blue, Garnet Red, Copper Gold, Platinum Silver, Soft Black and Neutral White. So, you can choose from these color options, depending on your preferences.

Fashion in the 1950′s

The 1950′s spawned a wide variety of original and distinctive styles, presented with a classic new age twist. For America, recently recovering from catastrophic tragedies related to the second World War, the 1950′s brought restored hope; a chance for a new way of life whose destiny would be decided by them alone. This metamorphosis of America was heavily represented by fashion.

Women especially dramatically altered the way they dressed and presented themselves; during the evolution of an increasingly liberated society, women began to favor casual, relaxed clothing over traditional dress rules and associated formality of previous decades. Some of the most admired new trends for women in the 1950′s included button-up sweaters with simple necklines, fitted blouses, and full knee-length skirts. However, the most prevalent fashion for women during this time was dresses. Most dresses were worn casually, and were accentuated with circle skirts, halter straps, or small collars. Evening wear dresses seemed soft yet daring, coming in many pastel hues and accompanied with bold ruffles, tulle trim, and dazzling velvet bows. The fitted evening wear of this period, which was usually sleeveless or strapless, was also emphasized with sheer silk.

Growing increasingly popular, the full skirts of the 1950′s needed some sort of support in order to maximize their look. To address this problem, Nylon petticoats were created exclusively to be worn in conjunction with full skirts to create fullness. Nylon was a favorable material because of its high quality and easy care wash. This fullness it created transformed the skirt who gave nothing more than a gentle swish, into a glamorous royal-like flutter. Another significant fashion of this period is the swing coat, developed in the last 1940′s by Jacques Fath. The silhouette of the swing coat was “designed perfectly to cover full skirts, and also ideal for the post war high pregnancy rate”. Another trend in the 1950′s was the “trapeze dress: a swinging dress almost triangular in shape and designed to be worn with low shoes and bouffant hairstyles.” The trapeze dress was later modified into a shorter baby doll tent style dress, which was popular in the next decade. Perhaps one of the most classic fashion garments from the 1950′s was Christian Dior’s H-line of 1954, which consisted of a slender tunic-style suit with a slim skirt. His other popular fashions during this period were his A and Y lines. Dior has long been a dominant force in the fashion world, especially in the 1950′s. His creative and usually voluminous garments gave women a more feminine touch. Another designer, Hubert Givenchy created a Parisian style dress in 1957 which he called the Sack. The Sack began the trend of straighter-waist dresses. Initially, it developed into the “fitted darted sheath dress and later into the loose straight short shift dress.”

Coco Chanel was another major fashion designer in the 1950′s. In contrast to popular full and flouncy skirts, Chanel began creating the boxy, now classic Chanel suit jackets and skirts in trimmed and textured tweed. The materials Chanel chose were always richly textured, which contributed to the finished product’s high prices. Chanel’s silhouette of her suits was completely straight, divinely lined with silk. Her look was classic, refined, and adorned with details. Chanel also accessorized many of her designs with strings of pearls and collarless jackets, both of which were considered fashionable in the 1950′s. One of the most classic trends from the 1950′s is the empire line, which was introduced in the late 1950′s. This style was applied to dresses and shirts mostly, and was adored by teenagers who looked innocently childlike, hence the coined phrase “baby doll style”. During the 1950′s, all teenagers were expected to dress like their elders. The empire line was also a striking contrast from what most mothers wore at the time, which contributed to its high approval among teenagers in America.

Until the 1950′s, the term “teenagers” was not commonly used, and certainly not a targeted market group. But with a new range of influences, including film, television, rock music, and magazines, teenagers began to be respected and acknowledged in the community. Often nicknamed the “Space Age”, the 1950′s was an important time in history for science and development as well. So many aspects of life changed during this period, perhaps partially attributed to the recent end of World War II. America had emerged from war with prosperity and a new identity. A new consumer-based society was “forging ahead, helped by such new developments as the credit card system” (Baker, 6). These innovative conditions however produced a similar effect on the fashion industry: while so many things in the lives of Americans were changing, they stayed clear from the radical, intense fashions while preferring the normalcy of standard trends. For once, being normal felt good. Another huge change in the 1950′s was the increased ownership of television sets. Popular television programs such as I Love Lucy connected Americans on both sides of the Atlantic, bringing a sense of unity in the country. Segregation was ended in 1954, which brought together black and white students for the first time though racial tensions were still high, and also birthed the existence of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. Constant fears of communism reaching the states held many Americans tight with fear. More changes brought forth in the 1950′s include the discovery of DNA, the launching of the first space satellite, an increase of women in the work field, and of course, rock and roll. All of these economic, social, and political changes in the world affected the American citizens, and therefore the fashion industry.

Regardless of the world’s issues, the top fashions that drove the industry were more influenced by those who were idolized by the consumers: celebrities. Some of the most popular celebrities in the 1950′s include Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Ricky Nelson, and of course, Elvis Presley. Marilyn Monroe’s sexy yet simple style was a widely imitated across America, by women of all shapes and sizes. Elvis Presley was another huge influence in the 1950′s; not only was he adored by millions of girls, but he was also an inspiration for men. In a time where men only wore traditional attire, Elvis tore down all barriers which confined men to navy suits and ties. Elvis typically wore clothes that were more popular among the African American population. His wild pegged pants and zoot suits concerned the conservative community of America, who hardly approved of such a “gender bending, race-integrating star” (SOURCE). Elvis’ bright and baggy clothes, makeup, and so called obscene dancing all acted as evidence of his single handed destruction of the morals of America’s youth. Not all men followed the examples Elvis set however. In fact, more men in this time period dressed conventionally than not.

Most men in the 1950′s maintained clothes with casual and modest colors, including dark blue, dark brown, and charcoal. The occasional daring young man would wear pastel pink to stand out; a trend that was just gaining momentum in the 1950′s. Cardigan sweaters were popular among athletes, and older men. Additionally popular were fitted vests, plaid flannels, and collared jackets. There was flexibility in men’s casual wear, and was a common sight to see shirt tails sticking out. Basic fedora-style hats were also a staple item in the 1950′s for men.

Hats were also fashionable accessory for women in the 1950′s, for the reason that they were believed to add a final touch of glamour to any woman’s outfit. The pillbox hat, first introduced by Balenciaga and later modeled by Jackie Kennedy, became one of the trendiest accessories of the decade. Several glorious hat styles existed in the 1950′s. Some hats were covered in flower petals, while others were adorned with swirls of georgette. Gloves were also worn often by women, especially those of elite social status. Some were made of cotton, which was much more affordable than leather or nylon. Though gloves came in many colors and styles, clean gloves whose color was white or cream were the most favored. Fur trimmings and adorned collars were also extremely fashionable. Brooches too, were considered a glamorous accessory.

The 1950′s was a decade in which fashion changed dramatically from previous generations. Multiple influences from political debates, to economic issues, to new age celebrities and mass media all influenced the distinct styles and trends which identify the 1950′s. Recovering from the casualties of World War II brought a lasting change to America, which was reflected in the fashions of this decade. The American women craved glamorous simplicity in their new lives, and as a new and liberated society evolved, the women of America began to liberate themselves by choosing which fashions they felt depicted them best. Not only were the 1950′s important in history, but they also greatly transformed the face of fashion in America.

Qualities and Education of Pastry Chefs and Bakers

Almost everyone loves eating desserts. For those of you that enjoy making them, you should definitely consider becoming a baker and/or pastry chef. In this line of work, you will be creating and making your very own desserts. From candies to cookies, muffins and cakes, there are an endless amount of food items that can be considered pastries. Another great reason to enter this profession, other than the fact that you will be doing something you love, is because you can make good money.

There are many things that you will have to learn to become a successful baker or pastry chef. You will need to join culinary programs. Such programs are large in number. When it comes to locating baking and pastry schools in the US, you can rest assured that you will find one that accommodates your wants and needs. From weekend courses to nighttime classes, you can earn your culinary degree at your own pace.

Qualities of Successful Bakers and Pastry Chefs

It is important that you understand that there are several skills you will need to master as you earn a degree specialization in baking and pastry arts. Such skills include the following:

- Attention to detail: A small change made to a recipe can result in a very favorable dish. On the other hand, the wrong change can result in a recipe becoming completely inedible. As a pastry chef or baker, you must be strongly attentive to detail, always paying attention to what you are doing even while multitasking.

- Stamina: You will likely spend much of your time as a baker or pastry chef on your feet. In fact, in this line of work, it is not uncommon for culinary professionals to be on their feet more than 10 hours a day. To make sure you excel, you will need to be in good physical shape. You must also be willing to get up early in the morning because many pastry and bakery shops start cooking their goodies earlier than 3 a.m. every morning.

- Customer relations: Bakers and pastry chefs who own their own shops will need to have top-notch customer relations skills. From being interpersonal to dealing effectively with customer complaints, a thriving business will only be obtainable if you have people skills.

- Creativity: To be a good baker or pastry chef, you need to be creative with the goodies that you make. From new icing flavors to oddly shaped cookies, being creative will help ensure your success in the culinary industry.

Becoming a Baker or Pastry Chef

There are a couple of paths you can take to obtain a specialization in baking and pastry arts. The first path involves going to baking and pastry schools in US. In doing this, you will join culinary programs, leading to the earning of a culinary arts degree. The second path involves obtaining many years of experience working in the baking and pastry industry. No matter what route you take, there is no undervaluing the advantages you will gain with a culinary degree. Even if you have 20 years of experience as a baker or pastry chef, there are some employers that will not mandate you without a culinary degree.

The culinary programs that you can take part in will vary in length and coursework. Some last for 12 months while others take up to four years to graduate. If you are looking for a quick way to enter into a pastry chef or baker position, you will want to take part in a certification program. For a job position that is accompanied by a higher paying salary, you will want to obtain an actual degree.