A model for the design of project management structures for building clients
This research constructs and tests a model of the organisation of building projects for maximum benefit to clients. The model is developed from systems theory, independently of conventional organisational assumptions. It is based upon the premise that the process to be managed must be identified before organisational structures can be designed and it recognises the influence of environmental forces upon projects. The model proposes that the process of building provision consists of sub-systems created by decision points and identifies the interdependency and hence the differentiation within and between the subsystems. The major propositions of the model are that; a) there should be a match of differentiation and integrative effort, b) the operating and managing systems should be differentiated, c) the managing system itself should be undifferentiated and, d) the client and process of building provision should be integrated. The model was tested against three commercial buildings for private clients. Data is presented from interviews and other sources and is interpreted using Linear Responsibility Analysis, which was adapted and developed in this research. The testing method examines the overall compatibility of the model and the test projects, and also identifies the causes of deficiencies in the outcomes of the projects and whether they can be explained by divergence of the projects from the model. The model was found to be valid for the type of project used in the tests. It provides a theoretical framework against which the effectiveness of organisation structures for the management of building projects can be predicted and which can be used for the design of such structures. It is suggested that Linear Responsibility Analysis provides a useful tool for organisation analysis and design. Finally, implications of the results for the organisation of building projects in practice are discussed.