Free CAPM® Exam Sample Question
Of the following organizational structures, where does the project manager have the most authority?
B. Strong matrix
C. Weak matrix
HINT: Stakeholder registers of previous projects are historical information.
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Answer and Explanation:
The correct answer is B
Projects operate within the constraints imposed by the organization through their structure and governance framework. To operate effectively and efficiently, the project manager needs to understand where responsibility, accountability, and authority reside within the organization. This understanding will help the project manager effectively use his or her power, influence, competence, leadership, and political capability to successfully complete the project. The structure of a given organization is unique due to numerous variables, but project managers are most concerned about how workgroups are arranged, the project manager's authority, the project manager's role (part-time or full time, project manager or coordinator designation), resource availability, responsibility for the project budget, and availability of project management administrative staff. In a strong matrix organization, a full-time project manager is designated with moderate to high authority and budget responsibility, making the strong matrix the best answer to these choices.
Details for each option:
Incorrect. A functional organization is a structure where workgroups are organized by the operational department or the job being done (engineering, manufacturing, and so on). The functional manager is responsible for the budget with little resource availability, so the project manager has little or no authority.
B. Strong matrix
Correct. A matrix organization is a structure in which the project manager shares responsibility with the functional managers for assigning priorities and for directing the work of persons assigned to the project. In a strong matrix, the project manager has a moderate to a high amount of authority. Therefore, the strong matrix is the best answer of the choices given.
C. Weak matrix
Incorrect. In a weak matrix, there is low resource availability and the functional manager is responsible for the budget, so the project manager has little authority.
Incorrect. In an organic or simple organizational structure, workgroups are flexibly arranged, often with the owner or operator responsible for the budget and little resource availability, so the project manager has little or no authority.
Reference: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2017, Page(s) 47, 42