The disadvantages of a matrix project structure



  • Most companies use Earned value management (EVM) technique for measuring project progress. EVM has the ability to combine measurements of scope, schedule, and cost in a project (Jacobs & Chase, 2014). It measures a valuation of each activity work Planned Value (PV). It also quantifies the accomplishment of work so called Earned Value (EV). At the end of each week, the project manager identifies every detailed element of work that has been completed, and sums the EVs performed for each of these completed elements by estimating the percent complete of the activity and multiplying by the activity budgeted cost. Afterward a chart is made and the variance is determined. If the variance is increasing every week and mitigation plans are not helping, then the project is in trouble.


Jacobs, R. F., & Chase, R. B. (2014). Operations and Supply Chain Management 14th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.



  • The matrix project structure is a combination of functional and pure project structures.  Projects use people from different functional areas and the project is managed by both a project manager and functional manager.  The project manager is responsible for deciding which tasks will be performed and within what time frame.  The Functional manager is responsible for deciding on the people and technologies for the project.  Senior management is responsible for deciding on the form of the matrix (weak/balanced/strong). 


The advantages of a matrix project structure are:

  • Enhanced communication between functional divisions
  • Project manager is responsible for successful completion of the project
  • Resource duplication is minimized
  • Team members have a functional location within the company upon project completion
  • Organizational policies are followed and support is increased as a result

The disadvantages of a matrix project structure are:

  • Two project leaders (project manager and functional manager)
  • Project will only be successful if the PM has strong negotiating skills
  • Resources may not be divided fairly among projects

The hospital I work for uses the matrix project structure and I have found that being involved in projects using this structure really does enhance communication between functional divisions during the project and after the project has been completed.



Jacobs, R. F., & Chase, R. B. (2014). Operations and Supply Chain Management 14th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.



  • Project managers typically design plan using the Critical Path Method (CPM), a formula used to determine the correct order in which to complete a project as efficiently as possible. This can involve planning the project down to the hourly level. Project management is the job of overseeing a project to ensure it meets its goals, time line and budget. Clearly, however, this involves many processes once it is applied to projects within large organizations and involving many people. Among the first jobs for a project manager is identifying the scope of a project – in other words, define in detail what the project is supposed to accomplish. Next, a project manager must prepare a schedule, assigning tasks to team members and setting deadlines for each task.


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