Need help or suggested resource to understand the different staffing organizations

Another question (practice exam #3), asked what staffing method does firm XYZ utilize if each project has a team leader, working from project beginning to project end and the project team assists in each phase by required staff?

The solution states the differences between a Vertical method, Horizontal Dept. method, and a Matrix method. Saying the correct answer was Matrix (a combination of Horiz. and Vert.). Is it just me, but does the question not seem clear enough? I mean every project leader will need assistance with staff in each phase of a project. I realize now I missed the correlation between phases and departments (which is SD,DD,CD, Procurement, CA?). I think my first reaction to phases is a project that is divided into buildable phases of the scope of work, rather than design phases. So that last sentence is meant to say “assisted by departments for every portion of the project”? I mean different resources and questions define terminology ever so slightly. Or is this just and recognizing the “and” in the sentence meaning a combination of the two?

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Hi Jared,

You’re completely right! The key in this question was definitely the “and”. Question below for reference:

The horizontal method typically divides projects by phases. So there is a team that takes care of SD and then passes the project off to a separate DD team. Then this team completes the phase and passes off to the CD team. If procurement is a part of the project scope this may be it’s own team too. Then it is passed to the CA team during Construction. I think the question uses the word “portions of the project” because not all phases might be present in the project or the project may not have a traditional phasing.

In vertical organization a single team advances the project through all phases from start to completion.

I would categorize most firms as falling into the matrix category as they utilize a mix of both organizations. For example, in this question there are team members that jump onto each phase to help as needed in addition to a dedicated team who works on the project from start to finish.

One form of matrix organization which I have seen often in real life is that firms will employ a single CA manager or a group of a few CA managers who do the Construction Admin for all the firm’s projects. In this case the project might be advanced by a single team from project kick-off up before being passed to the dedicated CA manager after the design is complete and construction starts.

Hope this helps!