During my career I’ve enjoyed numerous roles within organizations that leverage matrix management structures. Typically larger companies and ones that contain specialist functions will favour this design as it allows the function to work as a center-of-excellence for their specific discipline, creating a hub of expertise with individuals sharing knowledge and developing best practice for the benefit of the company.

This horizontal layer of functional management is then complemented with the vertical project management streams that utilize one or more of these functions to deliver the programmes and projects the company has created to achieve specific goals.

This complementary model can create an interesting dynamic between Function and Project Management, specifically regarding resourcing and prioritization. I’ve performed both roles and so as a previous poacher and gamekeeper I understand the challenges and frustrations that face both. I’ve also been the poor team member feeling somewhat like a pawn in an elaborate game of chess being played out over which task I am to do next - not fun!

My previous posts have focused on the challenges of the Project Office and so in the interest of balance I want this time to look at task/resource management and how to overcome the bottlenecks that specialist teams often experience.

The biggest challenge dealing with bottlenecks is understanding where they are and being able to ascertain the urgent from the important. This isn’t an easy task when there are multiple projects with multiple tasks spread across multiple team members. Laying out the task view across these dimensions and trying to identify where changes can be made to resolve clashes without damaging project critical paths is hugely time-consuming and prone to error.

That is why we’ve created a view within OpusView, our flagship product here at IdeasCast, specifically for this challenge. Task Center enables a Team Manager to work with their team members and quickly establish workload and see where tasks are linked to a project’s critical path. This unique view can be set for a specific date range and makes task prioritization highly effective. Individuals can also see their own tasks list and instantly message their Manager should they foresee a problem. No longer having to look through an out of date Gantt chart or emailing Project Managers to understand impacts. Within a couple of clicks the information is there, real-time allowing fast and efficient decisions to be made.

So if you’re a Team Manager and you want to spend more of your time building capability and excellence within your team rather than removing bottlenecks then come and take a look at OpusView.

It’s probably the best Project Delivery platform in the world.