Alternative name(s)
TechnologyUK. Source:

Organisation Hierarchy (Gardiner, 2005)


The internal environment of the project consists of groups, and organisations that are involved in the project, in other words, people who are involved in the project and can affect the project in a positive or negative way (Stakeholders). Project organisation structure defines the systems, processes, and reporting structure during the project life cycle (Gardiner, 2005). Project organisation structure allows the project stakeholders to establish effective communication in terms of reporting structure, status of the project, and solving problems that may arise during the project. There are three types of organisation structure (Functional - Matrix - Product), and there is no type seems to be perfect, each one has advantages and disadvantages (Gardiner, 2005).

Agile values

XP Values
Communication:It is what matters the most in teams, project organisation structure establishes the communication process through the whole organisation, it determines the reporting process between senior managers, project manager, project team, and all stakeholders involved in the project

Feedback: Feedback represents the result of the communication between people. e.g. communication and feedback in agile projects are essential, due to the frequent meetings (daily short meetings, weekly meetings). Organisation structure determines who is providing feedback on accomplished work, and what is expected in the next stage.

Respect: Respect is essential between project team and everyone involved in the project. Organisation structure does give positional power (from Job title), and therefore imposes respect from those who have weaker position, to those who have powerful and higher position in the organisation hierarchy.

Scrum Values
Commitment: Organisation structure determines the level of commitment and responsibility of each employee or department, by addressing a job title and its requirements in the organisation hierarchy.

Agile principles

Face-to-face conversation: There should be regular ‘face to face’ conversations, the use of email, text messages etc. should be avoided. This stops project developers from losing track of work and not meeting deadlines. This also improves team bonding.

Collaboration: The collaboration principle found in Scrum is said to be crucial at all levels of an organisation. A strong, collaborative organisation will have a solid foundation and rigid structure and this is why this principle s relevant to this knowledge area.

Working software is the primary measure of progress: Working software should be used over any form of documentation. Projects should be broken down into smaller parts as it would serve the system better. But when large of project fails, there might not be any form of retrieving the previous step.

Agile practices

Ubiquitous Language: This practice is relevant to this knowledge area as different vocabulary is used in different projects. Senior management need to be able to understand the vocabulary that the project team use to further understand the status of a project. Therefore ubiquitous language can be used to ensure all people involved understand the terminology used.

Self-Organising Team: This practice can be related to this knowledge area as self-organising teams can help to promote a strong organisational structure. Self-organising teams promote strong collaboration, team work and motivation and this criterion will help to strengthen not only the project team's structure but the organisation's one.


Every organisation has its methods of operation, especially on its projects. Its organisational structure helps it achieve its goals. But an organisational structure can profit an organisation or interrupt heir ability to reach these set targets. Some organisational structures and decision making can damage an organisation’s ability to succeed. It is crucial for stakeholders and project managers to recognise the importance of organisational structures and choose the best structure to better the organisation and its projects (Pinto, 2000).

There are three major forms of organisational structure, each of the structures has its benefits and if used rightly, the precise structure can lead to project success (Tait, 2010). The structures which also have their drawbacks and when an organisation use the wrong one it could lead to the project failing. Generally, organisations have to consider the structures and decide which one would best fit their system.

Links from this KA to other KAs

Collaboration management is a knowledge area that can be related to this knowledge area. The stronger the collaboration among team members the better the structure of the organisation/project will be. Project communication management is another knowledge area that is relatable to this knowledge area as strong communication throughout project staff and the organisation itself is needed to ensure a strong structure.


  • Gardiner, P, 2005. Project Management: A strategic planning approach. 1st ed. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Schwaber, K, 2009. Agile Project Management with Scrum. Microsoft Press.
  • Morepm. 2013. Scrum Values. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 March 13].
  • Pinto J.K. (2000). Understanding the role of politics in successful project Management. IJPM. 18 (2) 85-91
  • Tait, R. (2010, May 10). Types of organizational structures. Available at: [Accessed 2/01/2013]

External links - Article on whether waterfall and agile techniques are mutually exclusive