Your bank is probably organized in a traditional manner. Your organization chart depicts a functionally basedÂ organization, divided along traditional lines of responsibility with chiefs and workers performing up and down theÂ organizational ladder. But you probably have a number of projects underway in various business units, so at someÂ point you organized a PMO and began to add staff for these projects, either permanent FTE or contract staff. All is well and you are now organized and staffed to meet any number of challenges in the everyday business of banking or the everyday business of running projects.
Then the inevitable happens, the projects take on a life of their own. They grow into programs as naturally as aÂ teenager grows into adulthood. Somewhere along the way, you implemented an enterprise-wide Project Management Methodology. The programs continue to mature and grow and you now own portfolios of projects, which is pretty cool in terms of growth, but can be quite un-cool when the matrix organization, which is the structure of your ever blossoming project world, constantly collides with the functional organization that is the bread-and-butter backbone of your business world. If youâ€™ve read this far and this isnâ€™t resonating, then donâ€™t bother reading on. On the other hand, if you are saying â€śYes!â€ť and nodding your head in agreement, then you may want to continue reading to learnÂ what we have to say about the rest of the story.
It continues like thisâ€¦.You roll along for a while, managing to keep some level of control and synergy between these organizational structures that co-exist within the enterprise. But slowly you realize this is easier said than done. You notice a slight, but steady, decrease in productivity across the board. Overtime is on the rise, employee turnover rates increase, there is a noticeable decrease in employee morale.
In the project world, deadlines and milestones are regularly missed, accountability seems non-existent and constant re-planning of major initiatives becomes the norm. All you are getting from your managers is excuses and fingerÂ pointing and the cost to support all of this activity is on the rise. Whatâ€™s going on? What triggered the general decline in performance and how long before it translates into a true loss on the balance sheet?
Those are worthwhile questions, but the reality is that most organizations are not taking the time to even notice these things, or if they do, they are not attributing the problems to the right causes. They feel some pain, but are unable to pinpoint the source. So what are the causes and what needs to be done to right the ship? Consider the following:
- Business Units in a traditional functional organization have always operated with a well defined set of goals and objectives that are long-term, usually customer oriented and profit driven, delivering a variety of services in multiple channels.
- Project organizations that overlay these business units operate under a temporary set of goals and objectives that exist only to serve the project at hand so the project can be successfully delivered on time and within budget.
- We expect these almost diametrically opposed groups to somehow work together knowing that in every single organization, regardless of size, they use many of the same resources to deliver results. Therein lies the rub.
We call on the same people in the business units who operate under one set of rules and expectations in their â€śday jobâ€ť and we ask them to play a different role on a project, with different expectations, loyalties and deliverables within a temporary, yet overlapping timeframe. This is true, regardless of the type of role â€“ be it analyst, manager, sponsor and so on. It doesnâ€™t matter what the level of performance is â€“ we ask people to take on two personalities. And the sad thing is that they do. Well guess what â€“ having two personalities isnâ€™t fun! In our everyday life it would be considered a mental illness and would require treatment. In the business world, it also needs treatment, but first it must be diagnosed.
This is just one example of the kind of issue we see every day in the conflicts between functional and project organizations. Itâ€™s not easy to make it work and that is why a certain kind of expertise is needed. It almost cannot beÂ solved within the organization itself and there is no â€śmethodologyâ€ť that can be applied after the fact.
At ADS, weâ€™ve seen this many times. We understand the challenges and can help you create a more productive organization.
Connect with us today to see what value ADS Financial Services Solutions can add to your organization. Â Learn more about ADS Financial Services Solutions atÂ www.adsfs.com or emailÂ firstname.lastname@example.org to match you with the correct ADS resource for your needs.