Designing a Structure

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Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example

Key questions to ask when designing an effective organizational structure include:

  1. How many individuals can a manager direct efficiently and effectively?

The number of individuals a manager can efficiently and effectively direct, also known as the “span of control” or “span of management,” can vary depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the work, the skills and experience of the manager, the level of autonomy of the team members, and the organizational structure.(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)

Traditionally, management experts have suggested that a manager can effectively supervise and direct around 5 to 10 subordinates. This approach is often based on the idea that a smaller span of control allows for more personalized attention and closer supervision of individual team members.(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)

However, with the advent of flatter organizational structures, empowered teams, and advances in communication technology, some organizations have found success with larger spans of control. In modern settings, some managers can efficiently handle 15 to 20 subordinates or even more, especially if the work is relatively routine, and team members are skilled, experienced, and self-directed.(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)

It’s essential to strike a balance when determining the appropriate span of control. Too few subordinates can lead to micromanagement and inefficiencies, while too many can result in the manager being spread too thin and unable to provide adequate support and direction to their team.(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)

Ultimately, the optimal span of control will vary from one organization to another, and managers should consider the specific context and needs of their team when making decisions about how many individuals they can effectively direct.(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)

  1. Where should decision-making authority lie – entirely with the manager or more as collaboration between manager and staff?

The optimal distribution of decision-making authority can vary depending on the organization’s culture, size, industry, and specific circumstances. Both approaches—centralized decision-making with the manager and collaborative decision-making between the manager and staff—have their merits and drawbacks. Let’s explore each approach:(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)

  1. Centralized decision-making (entirely with the manager): Pros:
    • Quick decision-making: Decisions can be made swiftly since they rest solely with the manager.
    • Clarity of responsibility: The manager takes full responsibility for the outcomes of decisions.
    • Maintaining vision and direction: The manager can align decisions with the overall organizational vision.(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)


    • Limited input diversity: With only one person making decisions, the organization may miss out on diverse perspectives and innovative ideas from staff.
    • Reduced staff empowerment: Employees may feel disengaged and less motivated if they are not involved in the decision-making process.(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)
    • Risk of flawed decisions: Relying solely on one individual’s judgment may lead to errors or blind spots.
  2. Collaborative decision-making (manager and staff working together): Pros:
    • Diverse perspectives: Involving staff in decision-making can lead to better ideas and solutions due to the diversity of experiences and knowledge.(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)
    • Enhanced employee engagement: When employees feel heard and valued, their commitment and motivation tend to increase.
    • Better buy-in and implementation: Staff involvement leads to greater ownership of decisions and a higher likelihood of successful implementation.(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)


    • Time-consuming: Collaborative decision-making can be a lengthier process, particularly when multiple stakeholders are involved.
    • Potential conflicts: Differing opinions within the group may lead to conflicts that can slow down decision-making or hinder progress.(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)
    • Shared responsibility: In a collaborative model, accountability for outcomes may become less clear, making it challenging to attribute successes or failures.

In practice, a combination of both approaches can be beneficial, known as a “decentralized” or “empowered” decision-making model. Here, certain decisions can be left to the manager’s discretion, especially when time is of the essence or when the manager has the expertise to make informed choices. Simultaneously, other decisions can involve a collaborative process, allowing employees to provide input, feedback, and contribute to shaping the outcomes.(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)

Ultimately, the key lies in finding the right balance based on the organization’s unique needs and context. Flexibility and adaptability are essential in today’s rapidly changing business landscape, and the decision-making approach may need to be adjusted over time. Open communication, transparency, and a culture that encourages constructive feedback are crucial elements for successful decision-making, regardless of the chosen model.(Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example)

Answer each question in 2-3 paragraphs based on personal experience

and your readings. Be sure to use proper spelling, punctuation, and

grammar and cite your sources per APA.

Designing a Structure Project Management Essay Example


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