BBA 3626 Unit VIII Research Paper

BBA 3626 Unit VIII Research Paper

Columbia Southern University


In managing any project, it is important for project managers to know and understand various aspects related to organizational structure, organizational culture, and role assignments and their ability to impact the success or failure of the particular project. The sample project being discussed involves a new small-medium scale organization called “Three Guys Automotive,” dedicated to the world of automobiles and auto sport. The organization offers a full line of automotive specialty needs including vehicle purchasing and consigning services, leasing, rentals, automotive care, storage and much more. The project at hand involves the development and expansion of vehicle inventory through both company owned vehicles and customer owned lease and consignment vehicles. This sample project will discuss the functional organizational structure of the organization, the multi layered organizational culture encompassing both role and power cultures, the various roles assigned to organizational executives and team members, and the impacts that these various aspects have on the success of the planning of this project. Lastly, the project life cycle model used in this project will be addressed and why it is most appropriate for this particular project.

Organizational Structure

There are various methods that can be used in establishing the organizational structure of an organization and each method of structuring an organization brings its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Organizational structure establishes requirements concerning work assignments, reporting relationships, and decision making responsibilities (Kloppenborg, 2015). According to Yi (2019), the structure of an organization can have a direct impact on the future success or failure of the organization, making the choice a fundamental one. Yi (2019, p. 2) also defines structure as “a system used to define a hierarchy within an organization. It identifies each job, its function and where it reports to within the organization.” The organizational structure utilized within Three Guys Automotive is that of a functional organization. This type of organizational structure is one of a hierarchical organization where each employee has one clear superior and staff is grouped according to specialty, being managed by an individual with expertise in that area. This type of organizational structure is a very military type of traditional structure, which establishes very clear lines of authority according to the work being performed and allows for ease of central control (Kloppenborg, 2015). The functional structure integrates relevant professional skills into each varying department, meaning that every department has the participation of experts, in turn improving work efficiency and quality (Yi, 2019). One major advantage of the functional structure is that it offers advantages within unity of command in that workers typically understand what they are supposed to be doing due to the fact that they are receiving directions from just one boss (Kloppenborg, 2015). This is very helpful in this project as it offers clear insight as to who is in charge and makes the final decisions related to inventory. This project will face many questions related to types, quality, prestige, condition, and number of vehicles to be purchased, at what price, in what time frame, and whether or not to buy, consign, or lease these vehicles. So having a clearly established hierarchy as to who is in charge will be helpful in making these decisions.

Organizational Culture

For project managers, knowing and understanding the culture within an organization is just as important as knowing and understanding the structure. “Organizational culture is comprised of values, social rituals, and symbols that are shared among members of the organization and are taught to new members” (Kloppenborg, 2015, p. 59). Values are of high importance within the culture of an organization and are put into place through social practices such as meetings, training, and ceremonies. Culture is instrumental in motivating the ethical actions and communications of managers and subordinates and establishes how individuals are treated, controlled, and rewarded. Additionally, culture establishes how to properly handle cooperation, competition, conflict, and decision-making as well as encourages personal commitment to the organization as a whole (Kloppenborg, 2015). Three Guys Automotive as the parent organization, utilizes an organizational culture established around a combination of both a role and power culture, with the role type culture being the primary motivator. A role culture simply motivates members to understand and carry out their appointed roles through formal designation of responsibility and a high level of respect for laws and regulations. A power culture is one that exists when a supervisor or boss employs a high level of economic and political power and employee’s work towards pleasing this individual. Individuals assigned to roles of formal authority control aspects related to competition, conflict resolution, and communication (Kloppenborg, 2015). Understanding that Three Guys Automotive utilizes a culture in which formal authority is highly regarded and that each member is fully responsible for carrying out their individual responsibilities will be helpful in successfully planning for this project by aiding in establishing formal authority and role responsibilities with the project team. The project team culture can be crafted in such a way that it mirrors the culture of the parent organization to aid in the cooperative nature of the project.


Assigning roles within a project is a vital to reaching an organizations strategic goals and a variety of individuals will need to be involved at the executive, managerial, and associate levels. In some smaller to medium sized organizations, such as that of Three Guys Automotive, specific individuals may perform more than one role at different levels. Generally, the executive level consists of the steering team, sponsor, customer, and Chief Project Officer. The managerial level is comprised of the functional manager, project manager, scrum master, and facilitator while the associate level encompasses core team members and subject matter experts (Kloppenborg, 2015). For this project, we will discuss the sponsor and customer within then executive level, the project manager within the managerial level, and the subject matter expert and core team member within the associate level. This customer within the project is clearly Three Guys Automotive. Within a unique project such as this one, the customer cannot simply expect to place an order and have it come to fruition. The customer must be involved in order to answer questions and approve upon deliverables in order to enhance the probability of success. Four of the seven tasks that must be accomplished by customers involve joint tasks to be accomplished with the contractor. For this project Three Guys Automotive will work with our team to write and sign a charter, develop clear requirements, use control systems, and conduct a kickoff meeting to get the project started (Kloppenborg, 2015).

The role of sponsor within this project will be filled by Wes Hollan, a former wealth management executive with a cornucopia of knowledge related to management of money and resources. “PMI defines a sponsor as the person or group who provides resources and support for the project and is accountable for enabling success for the project” (Kloppenborg, 2015, p. 66). Wes will play a major role throughout various stages of sponsor responsibilities, more notably in the selecting, executing, and realizing stages. Within the selecting stage, he will identify, select, and prioritize projects. In the executing phase, Wes will nurture key stakeholders, and ensure communications and quality within the project while in the realizing stage, Wes will be charged with ensuring benefits are achieved and capability as a whole has increased (Kloppenborg, 2015).

The role of project manager within the managerial level as well as the role of subject matter expert within the associate level will be filled by, myself. Kloppenborg (2015) describes that project managers are the focal point of a project and spend a considerable amount of time communicating with various entities involved with the project. As the project manager I will lead the planning, execution, and closing of the project as well as be responsible for the overall schedule of the project. In scheduling activities, as the project manager I will play a large role in deciding when specific project activities occur or need to be accomplished. It is the overall responsibility of the project manager to ensure the delivery of required results needed by the project to the parent organization. As an automotive genius with an expansive background within the automotive world, I will also fill the role of subject matter expert (SME) on this particular project. SMEs are experts who provide any necessary help in making decisions. SMEs will attend meetings and perform certain project activities when needed in order to ensure that the best decision is being made regarding the project (Kloppenborg, 2015).

The core team of a project are the individual(s) who are assigned to a project form start to finish and will assist the project manager in making and carrying out decisions related to project activities. The size of a core team will vary dependent upon the project and ideally should be as small as practical, in this case, consisting of one very highly qualified individual, Dick Boyce. It is the responsibility of the core team to understand the range of the project in its entirety and to also understand the technologies that will be used within the project. As the core team member, Dick should be concerned more with the completion of the project; meaning on time, of high quality, and on budget, rather than with personal satisfaction and should be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done (Kloppenborg, 2015).

Project Life Cycle

The project life cycle model used within this project is the Agile Project Life Cycle Model. According to Kloppenborg (2015, p. 64), “while these models may start like other project life cycle models, they provide short bursts of planning and delivery of benefits in multiple increments during project execution.” For this project in particular, a traditional type plan driven model may have worked well but due to the high probability of change in requirements for inventory or demand for specific types of vehicles, an agile approach works much better.


Every project will range in scale from large to small and can encompass both projects internal to an organization that are accomplished form within or can be between multiple organizations and require outside firms with different backgrounds to work together. Project managers have possibly the most significant impact on the success or failure of a project and must know and understand the organizational structure of the parent organization and also the culture within the parent organization in order to establish the project team culture and structure it in such a way that it will positively impact the outcome of the project. Various roles and responsibilities within the executive, managerial, and associate levels will direct affect the processes an procedures undertaken within a project and can contribute greatly to a successful project if carried out properly. Finally, as all project go through various predictable patterns of activity, it is important to choose and implement the appropriate project life cycle model that best fits the project at hand and will deliver the best possible outcome to the organization.


Kloppenborg, T. J. (2015). Contemporary project management (3rd ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Ying Li. (2019). Which organizational structure will facilitate the success of your project? PM World Journal8(2), 1–19. Retrieved from

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