THE UTILIZATION OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONCEPTS
AT THE NASA JOHNSON SPACE CENTER
R. Wayne Young
B.S.E.E., Texas A&M University, 1956
M.S.E.E., Ohio State University, 1957
A dissertation submitted to the
Graduate School of Public Affairs of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Public Administration
Graduate School of Public Affairs
This dissertation for the Doctor of Public Administration
R. Wayne Young
has been approved for the
of Public Affairs
Albert C. Hyde
Young, Robert Wayne (D.P.A., Public Administration)
The Utilization of Project Management Concepts
at the NASA Johnson Space Center
Thesis directed by Professor Jay Shafritz
In 1961, the United States of America (USA) was locked in a
power struggle for world technological superiority with the Soviet
Union. In the midst of this struggle on May 21, 1961, the late
President of the USA, John F. Kennedy, challenged the United States
with the goal of landing an astronaut a man on the moon and re-
turning to earth before the end at the decade of the 1960's. The
moon landing program, known as ANo, was assigned to the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for management imple-
mentation. Because of the magnitude and challenge of this assign-
ment, NASA determined that the basic organizational foundation
for carrying out this assignment would be a concept known as pro-
Project management Is an innovative organizational technique
which is predicated on the premise that in order to effectively
achieve a significant goal, the general management authority of
an organization must be focused on providing an end item within
specified objectives of time, cost and performance;. This disser-
tation provides an analysis of the application of project manage-
ment concepts at NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (NASA-JSC).
This dissertation begins with the establishment of a background
for application of project management concepts by reviewing a rela-
tively vast literature which has been written concerning project ryian-
agement concepts. A review of the historical applications of project
management is then developed. An evaluation is made of those organi-
zational influences which were present at the establishment of NASA-
JSC. The study utilizes an organizational effectiveness model to
evaluate the manner by which project management concepts have been
utilized by JSC. Lessons learned in the JSC utilization of project
management concepts are then established. The study concludes with
a discussion of the future outlook for utilization of project manage-
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its
When one undertakes the challenge of a task such as the writ-
ing of a dissertation, it is only with the combined assistance and
support of many that the task is ever accomplished. For this reason,
I find myself indebted to a significant number of people for their
encouragement and inspiration. To make any identification of
acknowledgement provides the risk of omission. However, this work
would simply not be complete without the recognition of the following
For the assistance of my colleagues at the NASA Johnson
Space Center and particularly my classmates from the University of
Colorado I extend my thanks. They provided mutual encouragement
and support that was vital to the success of this endeavor. A
special debt of gratitude must also go to the management team who
have supported me in this task. This includes many; but particular
thanks must be given to the JSC Center Directors, Mr. Gerald D.
Griffin and Dr. Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., as well to my immediate
supervisors, Mr. William R. Kelly and Mr. Philip H. Whitbeck.
There are many other individuals who provided information
to help complete this study. Mr. Earl Young assisted in the devel-
opment of the conceptual framework of this study while Mr. Joseph
P. Loftus and Mr. Dennis Fielder gave valuable assistance in the
critique of early manuscripts. The work could not have been completed
without the superb and very professional efforts of two very conscien-
tious and capable typists: Ms. Marie Tucker and Mrs. Lynn Ross.
Mrs. Ross performed an extraordinary service in her diligent and con-
scientious commitment to a task that at some times seemed to have no
end. A very special acknowledgement of gratitude must go to her.
It is important that I acknowledge the special efforts of the
Advisory Committee who ably assisted me in this undertaking. Dr. Jay
Shafritz chaired my committee and Dr. Ed Ezell served as the practi-
tioner member. Each member of this committee, in their own realm of
expertise, made invaluable contributions, but a special mention must
be made concerning the conscientious and diligent assistance provided
by Dr. AI Hyde. His unwavering perserverance and comprehensive re-
view assisted greatly in the development of this product.
Lastly, this work could not have been completed without the
encouragement and inspiration of my family. To my father and
mother by love. Dr. and Mrs. Merle A. Mitchell, goes a special word
of appreciation. In the midst of their own physical struggles,
their desire for my achievement and their example of diligence was
a continuing encouragement to me. To my own father and mother,
Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Young, I owe a special debt for their genuine
and consistent help and support. It was their example of a lifetime
of diligence and perserverance that served to keep me on course
during'those occasions when my motivation for this task lost momen-
tum. To our three sons, Steve, Matt and Dave, goes a very special
expression of gratitude. It is my hope that the role model of
commitment required to complete this task will serve to offset the
time that was sacrificed In father-son togetherness.
But the greatest debt of a 11 I owe to my w i fe and the Lord
whom we jointly serve. It was my life's partner who provided the rea
reason and purpose for this task. To her and our eternal triangle of
Iove I will forever be i ndebted.
I. THE CONCEPT OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT ....................
Nature and Scope of Present Study...................
The NASA Project Management Environment.............
Establishment of NASA...............................
A Foundation for Study of Management Concepts.......
Project Management Definitions..................
Organizational Strategy and Structure...............
Performance versus Change Objectives............
Centralization versus Decentralization..........
Temporary versus Permanent Organizations........
Comparisons of Project and Functional Organizations
Functional Organization with Project Manager -
Functional Organization with Project Manager -
Line Relationshi p..............................
Research Focus.............................................. 44
Superordinate Goal....................................... 46
Situation.............................................. : 48
Project Effectiveness Model .......................... 53
Study Approach and Methodology.............................. 54
Historical Research...................................... 56
Descriptive Research..................................... 57
Literature Search........................................ 57
Augmenting the Literature Search............................ 60
PROJECT MANAGEMENT IMPLEMENTATION............................. 78
Project Management Selection Criteria....................... 79
Project Structural Alternatives............................. 80
Internal Functional Model (Direct Authority)............. 81
Internal Functional Model (Indirect Authority)........... 82
Multi-Functional Project Model (Line Authority)........ 84
(Coordination Authority)................................. 86
Matrix Management Variations................................ 88
Dispersed Systems Matrix................................. 92
Product Management....................................... 93
Bipolar Management....................................... 93
Development Projects..................................... 94
Internal Consulting Service.............................. 95
The Project Manager........................................ 100
Obstacles to Project Management Success................. 108
Effective Communication................................ 109
Decision Making....................................... 11 I
Potential for Advancement............................... 112
Issues of Project Management Implementation................ 114
Power Focus............................................ 116
Task and Relational Management Styles................... 121
Functional Obsolescence................................. 126
Organizational Conflicts............................... 129
. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF PROJECT
MANAGEMENT CONCEPTS.......................................... 142
Historical Background....................._............. 144
Babylonian Management Concepts.......................... 145
The Egyptians........................................... 147
The Hebrews............................................. 148
Chinese Management Concepts............................. 149
Greek Management Concepts............................... 150
Roman Management Concepts............................... 152
The Church............................................. 155
The Industrial Revolution............................... 160
Scienti fic Management................................. 162
Department of Defense Project Management................... 166
The Man hattan Proj ect............................... 171
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Development.......... 176
The Polaris Project..................................... 183
V. JOHNSON SPACE CENTER (JSC) HISTORICAL
PROJECT MANAGEMENT INFLUENCES................................ 197
The Creation of NASA....................................... 199
NACA Organizational Influences............................. 200
Department of Defense Organizational Influences............ 213
AVRO Organizational Influences............................. 223
Aerospace Contractor Organizational Influences............. 227
Project Manager Background and Capability.................. 229
V. JOHNSON SPACE CENTER (JSC) PROJECT MANAGEMENT ERAS
The Formulation of the Manned Spacecraft
Center (MSC)............................................... 245
Initial Era (Nov. 1958 Sept. 1961)....................... 252
Performance Era (May 1961 July 1969)..................... 264
Cost Era (July 1968 July 1982)........................... 284
Summary: Comparing Three Eras of Project Management.... 296
VI. PROJECT MANAGEMENT LESSONS LEARNED.......................... 309
Superordihate Goal......................................... 314
Ski I Is................................................. 330
VII. THE OUTLOOK FOR FUTURE UTILIZATION OF
PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONCEPTS AT NASA JSC........... 353
Superordinate Goals................................... 355
Suggestions for Future Study............................. 371
A. Air Force Systems Project Office........................... 380
B. JSC Project Manager Organizational Heritage 4 Project
C. List of AVRO Employees.........................#............ 390
D. Correspondence Establishing Space Task Group............... 392
E. Phased Project Planning Concept............................ 395
F. JSC Project Management Tools............................... 401
G. NASA Administrator's Policy Statement
Concerning Project Management.............................. 406
H. NHB 7120.2 Principles of Project Management.............. 407
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Organization Chart (1963)................................
Project Manager in Staff Capacity........................
Project Manager in Line Capacity........................
Matrix Project Organization..............................
Project Effectiveness Model..............................
Lateral Functional Model (Direct Authority)..............
Internal Functional Model (Indirect Authority)...........
Multi-Functional Project Model...........................
Air Force Systems Project Office Elements................
Department of Defense Project Effectiveness Elements....
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
Organization Chart (1958)................................
Department of Defense Organization Chart.................
Work Breakdown Structure.................................
Program Objective Memorandum Relationship................
Special Projects Office Organization.....................
A. V. Roe Company Organization Chart....................
Organizational Perspective by Influencing
Organ i zat ion..........................................
IV 9. Project Manager Organizational Heritage.......... 233
IV-IO. Space Task Group - Organizational Chart (1959)........... 235
V-l. Space Task Group Complement Analysis.................... :247
V- 2. Space Task Group Headcount Analysis...................... 248
V-3. Space Task Group - Organization Chart (I960)............. 249
V-4. Functional Organization of Mercury....................... 254
V-5. Workflow Organization of Mercury......................... 255
V-6. Distribution of Johnson Space Center Workforce
by Skill.................................................. 259
V-7. Summary of Project Management Tools...................... 274
V-8. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Organization Chart (Apr. 1963)............................ 276
V-9. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Organization Chart (Nov. 1963).......................... 277
V-10. Space Task Group Program Recommendations................. 287
V-ll. Space Shuttle Design Evolution......................... 291
V12. Government Space Shuttle Program Organization............ 293
V-l3. Johnson Space Center Civil Service and Support
Contractor Manpower............................... 297
V14. Organizational Perspective by Project Era................ 298
V 15. Project Manager Functional Background............ 300
V 16. Johnson Space Center Organizational Influence Trends... 301
VI I. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Budget... 311
VI- 2. Comparison of Space Shuttle Commitment
Estimates to Actuals.............................. 313
VII I. Johnson Space Center Civil Service and Support
Contractor Manpower.................................... 362
THE CONCEPT OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project management has received much attention in the last
three decades. While many applications of project management have
been undertaken and a number of articles and books written on
various aspects of managing projects, substantial gaps and signifi-
cant deficiencies stiil exist in the literature. This is especially
true concerning studies analyzing the application of project manage-
ment concepts in large and complex organizational environments. As
will be shown, the literature is even deficient in providing a common
definition for project management.
As a starting point, the definition for project management
which will be utilized as the focus for this study is the concentra-
tion of power within an organization in order to achieve a we I I
defined objective or set of objectives by a specified period of
time. The definition for a project which will be used in this study
is a grouping of time constrained tasks, the performance of which
cuts across the traditional lines of structure and authority within
an organization. Project management as discussed in this research
effort consists of three principal elements, the sum of which -tends
to distinguish a project organization from more traditional manage-
ment structures. These three distinguishing elements are the exis-
tence of a project manager who is the single point of management
responsibility for the conduct of the project task; the development
of centralized planning and control which are exerted by the project
manager and the project organization; and the use of decentra Ii zed
project Implementation since much of the project work is performed
by other organization elements outside the direct administrative
authority of the project manager.
The literature on project management is replete with many
"how-to-do-it" books and articles on managing projects in the con-
struction Industry and the aerospace industry. Many studies on data
processing and systems management have also been accomplished. Much
of this literature focuses on mathematics, data processing and the
technical issues of network based systems for managing projects. As
a result, the more popular books on the subject of project management
tend to promote the systems concept or expound on the mathematics of
the techniques. Much of this work employs the term "systems" to
describe the inter-dependencies of modern life. Most frequently the
implicit meaning is simply technical relationship, but most environ-
mental and technical interrelationships also involve organizational
i nterreI at i onsh i ps.
The work by Cl el and and King entitled Systems Analysis and
Project Management Is one of the best known of the books concerning
the systems concept. Systems analysis as It is covered in this work
deals primarily with the planning phase of new projects together
with the analysis of new Initiatives using the systems approach.
Wiest and Levy's book entitled A Management Guide to PERT/CPM
is an excellent example of the documentation on mathematical
techniques utilized in project management applications.
Essentially these ,,systems-based" works cover theoretical con-
cepts and mathematical techniques. Very little has been written on
the practical application and implementation of project management
approaches In a large and complex organization. In fact, even less
is known about the management process by which technology is con-
verted into operating systems. For the most part there seems to be
an assumption that know-how plus large doses of Impersonal rational-
ity will almost mechanically produce results. Ironically it seems
almost as if the management literature has only recently begun to
consider the demands that the impacts of technology and growth of
large-scale organizations have made on the need for new methods of
Basically the literature on project management has retained a
largely technicaI. focus. There are any number of articles and books
on such associated aspects of managing projects as evaluation and
selection of projects, specifications, proposal writing, bidding pro-
cedures, configuration management, management of engineering and sci-
entific personnel, matrix management, and cost control techniques.
Yet, little substantive work has been done toward understanding and
evaluating the concepts of project management as developed and
utilized in a large, highly complex and technologically challenging
activity. The project management approaches which have been pursued
by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA.) are
excellent examples of such efforts that have largely gone unevalu-
ated by a too technically focused literature.
Not only is the research literature deficient in the documen-
tation of current management theories which are specifically appli-
cable to the management of large and complex technologically
sophisticated projects, but such basics as operational definitions
of terms are still deficient. Despite a plethorea of work, it is
still not clear how project-type work is and should be distinguished
from other forms of organizational endeavor. Most broad definitions
fail to differentiate project-type endeavors from other forms of
work arrangement. Necessarily there must be precise working defini-
tions before it is possible to have a cohesive theory concerning
projects and their management as distinguished from theories concern-
ing other types of work activities and their management.
However, the most glaring deficiency observed in the litera-
ture concerning project management as It might have application is
the lack of an analysis of the basic principles and concepts of pro-
ject management. They are of such a critical nature that failure to
understand and make the proper application of these principles might
result in the failure of projects to meet their established goals
and objectives. The purpose of this study is to provide a framework
for resolving these deficiencies.
Nature and Scope of Present Study
In one sense, there is little new or unique about project man-
agement. Much that has been accomplished in human progress has come
by dedicating and organizing human energies and physical resources
to meet specific goals. Modern industrialized society has become
dependent on this type of management to a higher degree than ever be-
fore. Not only in the areas of hard sciences, but also in the fields
of social, economic, and political affairs, there is an Increasing
tendency to tackle problems through a project approach. The general
purpose of this research effort is to contribute to the further under-
standing of the development and application of project management con-
cepts. Essential to the purpose of this research is the establishment
of a theoretical foundation for project management concepts. This can
be accomplished by reviewing the differing approaches to project man-
agement as these approaches have developed over time. In the case of
the NASA Johnson Space Center, three such time periods can be re-
viewed: an Initial Era (1958-1961), a Performance Era (1961-1969)
and a Cost Era (1968-1982). The initial Era considers project man-
agement concepts applicable to the Mercury and Gemini Projects. The
Performance Era document project management considerations of the
Apollo, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, while the Cost Era
deals with the Space Shuttle Program.
In order to establish a background for this study of project
management applications, a historical review of project management
as well as contemporary uses in secular and military settings will
be documented. Although there has not been a direct correlation
established between historical management approaches and the more
recent project management techniques, there is a very distinct rela-
tionship to project management principles that can be Identified
from the study of historical management approaches. Once this back-
ground is established the utilization of project management concepts
by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) together
with an analysis of the utilization of project management concepts by
NASA will be accomplished. Finally, the unique aspects of project
management at the space agency, and more particularly at the NASA
field center responsible for the design and development of manned
spacecraft, will be described.
Because of the magnitude, complexity and uniqueness of its
assignments, NASA is a very appropriate example of an organization
which has been extremely successful in its use of project management
techniques. By its very nature, the space program is an activity
that encompasses a number of discrete projects, each aimed toward
achieving specific objectives within a finite period. Like many other
advanced-technology enterprises, NASA has relied heavily on the
techniques of organizing its staff and physical resources into project
structures to realize goals involving specified costs, schedule, and
performance requirements. It may well be that one of NASA's most
valuable contributions to furthering the advance of technology is
the appiIcation of viable, flexible project management techniques
in the space program. Given that the agency is a relatively new
organization that has had radically new and challenging tasks, the
choice of NASA as the primary focus for this study of project manage-
ment concepts is both obvious and highly appropriate.
The extraordinary success of the NASA in leading the United
.States from a position of relative inferiority to one of world leader-
ship in astronautics during the I960's has stimulated wide interest
in the organizational and management systems which contributed to
this feat. One area of NASA organization and management systems which
has drawn wide attention is "project management." Although the use of
project management by NASA is not unique for NASA, NASA's approach to
project management has been implemented in a manner that does tend
to be somewhat unique. Some important aspects of NASA implementation
of project management have been derived from NASA's heritage and have
tended to establish a uniform approach to project management imple-
mentation by the NASA. First, there was a determination to maintain
a partnership style of operation, whereby NASA and industry worked
closely together on technical problems, in contrast to the more typi-
cal government-industry arms-length relation of customer and vendor.
Second, most of the technical initiative and detailed technical deci-
sion making was left to the field installations. Still another
reason for selecting NASA is the open and accessible nature of docu-
mentation and personnel at NASA. Because of its establishment as a
public organization designed to extend peaceful access to space for
the public benefit, there are no security classification restrictions
to complicate the research process. For all of these reasons, the
NASA project management organizational approach can be most clearly
examined by studying NASA activities at the field centers. NASA
Headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. Field centers, each
with Its own set of specific tasks, are located throughout the United
States, as shown in the organization chart of Figure l-l.
Within the NASA field center structure, the Lyndon B. Johnson
Space Center (JSC), Houston, Texas, has been established as the NASA
field center responsible for managing the design, development and
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
SOURCE: R. L. ROSHOLT, AN ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY OF NASA, 1963-1969 (WASHINGTON, D.C.: GPO, 1966), p. 345
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
operation of all manned spacecraft.
Before looking at a comparison of project management concepts,
a brief review of the NASA project management environment will be pro-
vided. Although an indepth review of the JSC project management
environment will be provided in the later chapters of this study, a
summary of the NASA JSC environment will be provided in the following
section so that an appreciation of those organizational characteris-
tics which established the opportunity for NASA JSC project management
concepts can be established.
The NASA Project Management Environment
The beginning of the space age is generally dated from
October 4, 1957, the day the Soviets launched the first artificial
earth satellite, Sputnik I. Although the United States orbited its
first satellite, Explorer I, on January 31, 1958, it appeared at the
outset that the United States had fallen behind in what became called
the space race. Less than a dozen years later, the United States
had overtaken and surpassed the Soviet Union, with the world witnes-
sing one of the most dazzling exploits in history. On the night of
July 20, 1969, Astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped out on the moon and
proclaimed, "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
The Apollo Program that eventually landed 12 astronauts on the moon
and returned them safely to earth was a technical masterpiece that
some analysts think may never be matched. In the years since
the first landing on the moon, the United States has probed deeper
and deeper into outer space, investigating the planets of Mercury,
Venus, Mars, Jupi+er, and the universe beyond.
The lunar landing marked the high point of Americas first
two decades in space. Less dramatic is the immense wealth of scien-
tific knowledge that has been and continues to be accumulated as the
U.S. launched spacecraft after spacecraft toward the deep recesses of
the universe. A great number of industrial and social aspects of our
lives here on earth receives direct or indirect benefits from our
present and future activities in space. Typical of these benefits
are the pocket computers that can be bought for less than $50 today.
In the 1950's, before the first satellite was launched into orbit,
the technology for the same computer would have cost one million
dollars and the computer equipment would have filled the living room
of the average home. Electronic watches, freeze-dried foods, live
television from Europe, satellite weather maps and liquid-crystal
gadgets are other applications of space program derived technology.
Although the technological benefits from the space program have been
extensive, a more significant result is being realized from the space
program innovative organizational concepts. The managerial problems
presented by the immense complexity of the space program also provided
a unique challenge to our national capabilities.
There were tens of thousands of parts in the Apollo space
vehicles. Every part had to perform satisfactorily to achieve the
success of these missions. At the peak of the NASA budget years in
the mid I960s, NASA directly employed 37,000 scientists, engineers,
and skilled technicians while an additional 403,000 Americans worked
directly on NASA contracts in the aerospace and related electronics
industry to build the hardware for space exploration. Perhaps the
scope of this endeavor was best identified by the second NASA Adminis-
trator, James Webb, when he asserted that the space program presented
management requirements that went beyond proven capabilities of pre-
sent forms and methods. One of NASA's major achievements was its
organization; and as Webb has indicated in the McKinsey Lecture
Series, the successes of NASA were possible in large part because of
the basic NASA organizational pattern. Thus, the significant
achievements of NASA, to be fully understood, must be analyzed
from the perspective of those organizational approaches and manage-
ment techniques which are being utilized by NASA. It is appropriate
to consider the organization in which the project management concepts
are being evaluated before considering the concepts of project manage-
Establishment of NASA
Although much has been written about how NASA was created by
welding together existing organizations and personnel from many dif-
ferent backgrounds, this development and its implication cannot be
stressed enough. When considering the organizational structure and
managerial concepts which NASA has used, the origins of the agency
and the context and constraints this background places upon the
managers of NASA were vital. Essentially NASA was created out of
several government organizations which were already conducting space
related activities. The most important of these were the National
Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), parts of the Naval Research
Laboratory (NRL), the Development Operations Division of the Army
Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(JPL) of the California Institute of Technology.
While the above organizational origins will be dealt with in
much greater depth in Chapters IV and V, each of these organizations
provided a distinctive heritage when it became part of NASA. Each
organization had its own operating procedures and pattern of struc-
tural relationships. The degree of expertise of these organizations
was different as to how they conducted and accomplished their activi-
ties. These previous organizations had their own line-staff relation-
ships, including their own history as functioning organizational
entities. The task confronting the newly created NASA leadership
was to try to weld these organizations into a single agency.
Further complicating this was the fact that the personnel in these
pre-existing space related organizations came from a variety of
other backgrounds. Although many of these Individuals came from
government agencies such as the Department of Defense (DOD) and the
Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), many other NASA employees would come
from universities and industry. All totaled about one half of NASA's
personnel came from other agencies. These Individuals with their
different backgrounds, experiences, and predelections, had specific
ideas and attitudes about how NASA should be managed and operated.
In effect, NASA inherited from its organizational forebearers
*a wealth of experience with varied techniques and-organizational
arrangements. A series of power relationships were inherited, where
members of the various organizations had their own clienteles and
their own positions of prestige. For example, Werner Von Braun, the
German missile genius, and his German missile development team
brought their own cultural approach to organizational alignments/
Even if centralization of control for the agency at NASA Headquarters
had been a prime goal (which it was not), it would have been very
difficult to Institute in an agency with field operations spread
across the nation.
The demanding nature of the agency's mission and programs
was another factor conditioning headquarters-field relationships
which developed within NASA. Research and development activities
are traditionally not amenable to a high degree of centralized
direction and control. The intellectual climate required
(especially for basic research) is one of relative freedom from
strict supervision and management. While questions of basic policy
direction and resource allocation should be decided by the head-
quarters organization, supervision of day-to-day activities of
field installations from senior policy levels is hardly feasible.
The NASA experience was that supervision of creative people must be
predominantly a localized responsibility occuring in the field opera-
Finally the nature of NASA's operating relationships with its
environment has had a major impact. NASA expends most of its budget
(over 90$) through contracts to industrial organizations. Because,
of a fundamental decision concerning organizational strategy that was
made soon after the formulation of NASA, this fact also dictates a
high degree of decentralization. The policy of NASA has been to
monitor research and development contracts at the center level, where
a proximity to the contractors' operations and technical expertise
required for intelligent evaluation of the contractors' performance
is available. But to understand fully the decentralized management
concepts employed by NASA, one must realize that management style and
organizational structure reflect the mission and objectives of the
A Foundation for Study of Management Concepts
In order to pursue a study of the scope and character of that
described in the previous sections, there must be some reference to
terms that serve to communicate the ideas of management development.
Some of the more common words that will serve as a foundation through-
out this study for communication of management concepts are such terms
as manager, delegation, responsibility, accountability, line and
staff. As common as such terms are, they often do not have a precise
and universal meaning. Because these are words often used in dis-
cussing management concepts, the following meanings developed by
Eric Frank are to serve as a reference throughout this study. Frank
is an organizational theorist whose work is representative of that
generally available in the literature. The terms are:
Manager: a person whose work calls for someone to plan,
organize, motivate and control the work of others.
Delegation: the act of entrusting to someone else (a
subordinate) part of the job the person (superior) Is ex-
pected to carry out.
ResponsibiIity: the work, function, or activities assigned
to any particular organizational component or person.
AccountabiIity; an obligation to answer to a superior for
carrying out delegated responsibilities: obligation to
produce and account for results, in terms of objectives or
work which have been delegated.
Authority: the right, power, and freedom to take action
necessary to carry out work or obtain results for which the
person is accountable.
Line and Staff: organization terms used to define the re-
lationship between the work and authority of organization
components. In terms of work, "line" connotes the work,
functions or organization components that are accountable
for fulfilling the economic objectives of the organization.
In terms of work, "staff" connotes work, functions or organ-
ization components that are required to supply information
and services to the line components.
It becomes evident as one considers each of these definitions
that they all involve concepts of organization which are developed
from a combination of principles of organization. One noted organi-
zational theorist, Harold Stieglitz, has identified a number of
principles that can be followed in structuring organizations.
Most of these principles relating to activities, authority and
relationships stem from a very basic concept concerning management
objectives. Namely, the objectives of any enterprise and its
component elements should be clearly defined and stated formally.
However, there is an additional principle that is particularly
critical to this study of project management which deals with the
homogeneous grouping of activities: that is "Functions should be
assigned to organizational units on the basis of homogeneity of ob-
jectives to achieve the most efficient and economical operations."
As one reviews these objectives and considers thei.r appli-
cation to organizational endeavors, there are different options
available for organizational grouping. For example, Frank identifies
three major methods of grouping which he considers to be self evi-
dent. These methods are the functional method whereby activities
are grouped on the basis of similarity of function alone; the regional
or area method which provides for the grouping of dissimilar functions
that occur in different regions; and the project method where all
production, sales, financial, or other activities incident to a given
product are grouped under one head. These groupings seem to be quite
common as is noted by a very similar categorization in some of the
newer works on organizational theory. The following sections will
discuss these organizational groups in detail. In fact these organi-
zational alternatives were the basic concepts which would have been
feasible for the NASA JSC to consider during Its establishment.
A functional structure is a grouping of work and organization
tasks based on job activities such as purchasing, finance and per-
sonnel. The functional management technique Is designed to take
advantage of the experience and expertise which specialization makes
possible, without excessively disrupting the hierarchial chain of
command within an organization. The basic organizing principle of
functional organizations is to group similar logistic activities
under a major functional manager who, in turn, reports to a central
institutional manager. Some of the key objectives of functional
management include: improving the performance of functional activi-
ties in the field by providing field installation managers with
advice on particular problems; keeping them abreast of the latest
techniques in the function; achieving a desired degree of uniformity
in the performance of functions throughout the organization and pro-
viding clear lines of communication between headquarters and the
field regarding support or indirect administrative functions.
Communication between specialists in a particular functional
area (whatever their location geographically or in the organization
structure) is inevitable because effective accomplishment of activi-
ties requires communication. The functional management system is
designed to provide a focus for responsibility of the specialized
activities. Functional managers in a headquarters are given permis-
sion to communicate with and advise their counterparts in the field,
and are specifically made responsible for carrying out of the speci-
fic functional activity at all levels of the organization.
Historically, the concept of functional management (or func-
tion management) originated with the work of Frederick Winslow Taylor
(1856-1915). In developing his technique of time and motion study,
Taylor came to the conclusion that traditional forms of hierarchical
organization (which he called "military organization"), with their
classical emphasis upon strict hierarchical lines and unity of com-
mand, were basically inefficient in large organizations. In such
organizations operational functions were most effectively carried out
if broken down Into a series of specialized activities. Taylor pro-
posed replacing the military type of organization with the functional
Throughout the whole field of management the military type
of organization should be abandoned, and what may be called
the "functional type" substituted in it place. "Functional
management" consists in so dividing the work of management
that each man from the assistant superintendent down shall
have as few functions as possible to perform. If practica-
ble, the work of each man in management should be confined
to the performance of a single leading function. Under the
ordinary or military type the workers are divided into
groups. Men in each group receive their orders from one
man only. This man is the single agent through which the
various functions of the management are brought into contact
with the men. Certainly the most marked outward character-
istic of functional management lies in the fact that each
workman, instead of coming into direct contact with the
management at one point only, namely through his gang boss,
receives his daily orders and help directly from eight dif-
ferent bosses, each of whom performs his own particular
Taylor was basically concerned with management at a relatively
low levelthe management of the lowest echelon workers by their fore-
men. But, the functional concept is applicable to management at any
level, in any large organization, whether or not its goal is routine
activity. The question of how best to handle specialization has be-
come more acute as organizations have become larger and their goals
and tasks more complex. Whether organizations are viewed as Victor
Thompson suggests, "problem-solving mechanisms", or as Herbert
Simon argues, "decision-making devices", the rational procedure in
designing an organization is to divide the task or problem into
smaller sub-tasks and to attack each of these In turn. Sub-tasks
may be best dealt with by individuals who have been trained and who
'have experience in handling the problems in a particular activity;
i.e., specialists. Thus, specialization is an inevitable (or rather
a defining) characteristic of large organizations.
Traditional organizational patterns are often not well suited
to the managing of specialists. As Thompson points out, formal organ-
ization is based on the concept of hierarchythe relationships
between members of the organization (relationships of super- and sub-
ordination) that are expressed in terms of the notions of rights and
authority. These essentially formal relationships tend to be diffuse
rather than specific, particularistic rather than universal. Objec-
tive standards governing the relationship are lacking. Particularis-
tic normssuch as connections, mannerisms, dress, race, etc.often
govern such relationships. A major shortcoming of this arrange-
ment emerges; however, as coordination across functional areas of
specialization becomes more difficult. Philip Selznick was one of
first theorists to note that departmental Interests begin to take
precedence over organizational goals. Still another dimension along
which organizations are structured is by geographical areas of focus.
Area grouping is based on geographical location with boundar-
ies determined by distance, natural, legal, political and/or cultural
considerations. The area management concept which is also known as
location on territorial departmentalization is especially appropriate
for large firms whose organizational activities are physically and
geographically dispersed. One of the principal advantages of area
management is that it allows an organization to relate directly to
the environment in which it must function. As a result, an organi-
zation can accommodate those requirements that are represented within
differing geographical settings. As a result territorial departmen-
talization is very common among geographical Iy dispersed organiza-
tions. Area management is also directly correctable with differing
legal, political or cultural environments. Some of the more signifi-
cant examples of organizations that are territorially departmentalized
are regional sales offices and multi-national organizations.
These traditional organizational considerations lead one to
still another organizational approach, termed project management,
which has been developed for the management of complex and diverse
undertaking. Consideration of project management concepts will be
contrasted with the distinction between an organizational structure
that brings together the functional disciplines and the organiza-
tion that is geographically aligned in order to best achieve those
organizational objectives that have an area or territorial focus.
Project management Is an organizational arrangement which Is
applicable to the management of large, complex, usually "one time"
and often "first time" undertakings. The central premise of project
management is the notion that the project manager will have complete
responsibility for a task or project with the allocation of suffi-
cient resources to accomplish that project. Project management
provides for the organizational identification of responsibilities by
task or product rather than by function.
Within the world of management techniques, there are strong
forces at work that tend to make managers favor project management as
their organizational approach. Thus, project management is adopted
despite the organizational .complexity and personal problems associa-
ted with this technique. These forces result from "the imperatives of
technology," a term coined by the economist, John Kenneth Galbraith.
He describes six of these imperatives as follows: (I) The increasing
span time between initiation; (2) the increasing amount of capital
committed to a project prior to actual use of the end result; (3) in-
creasing technology, where the demand for a commitment of time and
money becomes more critical; (4) the requirement for a more and more
specialized workforce; (5) the inflexibility of organizational commit-
ment; and (6) the problems of market performance under conditions of
advanced technology. A consequence of these imperatives Is the neces-
sity for more effective project planning and control. According to
Russell Archibald, a noted project management theorist, several fac-
tors account for most of the increasing reliance on project manage-
ment. First, the tasks that contemporary organizations face have
become more complex. Task complexity, in turn, has demanded more
sophisticated and flexible organizational approaches. Second, the
size and scope of many projects have required the development of
various management systems for plannning and controlling project
performance, schedules and budgets. The third factor responsible for
the wide utilization of project management is that the environments
within which contemporary organizations function are becoming increas-
ingly turbulent. Most traditional organizations simply are not de-
signed to achieve the adaptability necessary to cope with rapjdly
changing, turbulent environments.
As a managerial technique, project management has the virtue -
of focusing large aggregations of resources (monetary and personnel)
across functional and organizational lines of authority in order to
attain quite specific objectives or goals. The objectives or goals
to which project management is dedicated normally include the follow-
ing: successful completion of a development product; successful
completion on schedule; successful completion within budget; and
successful completion conformance with predetermined performance
specifications. Comparable listings of these objectives are to be
found in the works of Martin (1976), Taylor and Walling (1973) and
However, two of the most notable works concerning project
management concepts are those by Jay Galbraith entitled Designin,q
Complex Organizations (not to be confused with the economist men-
tioned earlier) and the work by Leonard Sayles and Margaret Chandler
enti11ed Managing Large Systems Organizations for the Future. A
major portion of Galbraith's work has been devoted to organic or
so-called matrix forms of organization. This book has tied together
concepts such as the matrix structure, on line-real time systems and
autonomous groups so that they can be seen as part of a larger scheme.
In this manner these concepts appear as alternative designs to the
more conventional design options. The framework or larger scheme
is what Galbraith has tried to communicate in this book. Galbraith
makes clear that project management or matrix management is a pre-
ferred response to organizational uncertainty. As organizations
face more complex and dynamic situations, they must shift their
management strategy to an organizational design that involves new In-
vestments in vertical communication and creates new forms of lateral
relationships. In essence, such organizational designs (i.e., matrix
formats) will move decisions down to those levels where the appro-
priate Information exists and at the same time keep some modicum of
Unfortunately, in Galbraith's work there has not been a pro-
gram of research which tests the framework or provides evaluation
criteria to assess results. Sayles and Chandler's work on the other
hand provides a very precise comparison of the more significant dif-
ferences between project and functional organizations. This work
reviews the administrative processes which the authors observed
within NASA, paying particular attention to the actual behavior of
managers and professionals engaged in project management organiza-
tions. Sayles and Chandler's findings provide a keen insight to the
practical application of project management techniques in a very com-
plex but innovative organization. However, there is a lack of corre-
lation provided by Sayles and Chandler's work with historically
established management doctrine. A thorough understanding of the
materials presented by Galbraith, Sayles, and Chandler and others
require a familiarity with the definition of the more common terms
which are used In any discussion of project management concepts. The
next section establishes some project management definitions to
facilitate subsequent examination.
Project Management Definitions
To bring together the managerial, personnel and institutional
resources required to accomplish the project, the project manager must
be able to cross functional lines within the parent organization. In
this respect project management has emerged as a significant manager-
ial tool because it focuses the vision and efforts of managers di-
rectly on performance and results; it prevents the tendency to hide
facts such as "overhead" or "total cost;" and assures that personnel
answerable to a manager are no longer limited by the span of control,
rather the limit is a much wider span of managerial responsibility.
Before it is possible to understand the appropriate applica-
tions of project management concepts, one must first establish some
basic definitions. Initially in this chapter one very general defi-
nition was used to focus the preliminary discussion, but there are
many definitions for project management. Some of the more common
variations invlude broad based definitions such as David Cl el and and
William R. King which establishes projects as a combination of human
and non-human resources pulled together in a temporary organization
to achieve a specific purpose. John S. Baumgartner has defined
project management in a more concise manner:
"Project management consists of the actions involved in
producing project deliverable end items on time, within
the contemplated cost, with the required reliability and
performance, at a profit to the contractor. The purpose
_ of project management Is to insure achievement of these
objectives through the functional organizations over their
Taylor and Watling have defined project management as follows: "A
project may be defined as a group of connected activities with a
definite starting point, a definite finish and need for central in-
telligence to direct it." Kerzner In his book Project Management
A systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling, defines
project management as an outgrowth of systems management. On this
basis he defines project management as a management approach which
attempts to integrate and simplify scientific information across many
fields of knowledge. Kerzner's contention is that project management
in accordance with systems theory attempts to solve problems by look-
ing at the total picture rather than through an analysis of the indi-
These definitions are generally comparable even though they
differ quite specifically in terms of objectives and method. In con-
sideration of these definitions for project management and in order
to have a common reference for understanding the project management
terminology which will be utilized in this study, the following
definitions are established:
Program A related series of undertakings which continue
over a period of time (normally years), and which are de-
signed to accomplish a broad scientific or technical goal.
Project. A defined, time limited activity with clearly
established objectives and boundary conditions executed to
gain knowledge, create a capability, or provide service.
A project typically encompasses design, development, fabri-
cation, test and as applicable, flight operation of advanced
aeronautical and space hardware. A project is normally a
subset of a program.
Program Manager. The senior official who serves as the focal
point for all headquarters activities bearing .directly upon
those projects and activities which the program comprises.
Project Manager. The senior official at the field installa-
tion exclusively responsible for the execution of project
within the guidelines and controls prescribed by the Head-
quarters and field installation management. The project
manager is the focal point of all field installation activ-
ity bearing directly on the project.
System. A composite of elements, components, and sub-
systems, such as parts, equipment, facilities, personnel,
procedures, hardware, and software designed or accumulated
to perform or support an operational role.
Systems Engineering. The logical, sequential, and iterative
approach used by the engineer to develop system design cri-
teria which will satisfy and operational need.
Systems Integration. The process of management by which
the systems of a project (for example, In NASA's usage the
launch vehicle, the spacecraft, and its supporting ground
equipment) are made compatible in order to achieve the
purpose of the project or the given flight mission.
An important distinction should be made between project and
program managers. In essence, the project manager can be charac-
terized as the "insider" responsible for day-to-day supervision and
the execution of the project carried out by the government, indus-
trial contractors and university experimenters. Program managers
serve as the "outsider" fighting the battles of resource allocation
within the headquarters; preparing testimony and justification for
Presidential and Congressional authorization; working with the govern-
government and non-government organizations interested in or partici-
pating in the project. Each has a critical and specific role to
perform. These roles are sometimes conflicting; but, in the positive
sense, they are mutually supporting. When performed correctly, as
Richard Chapman notes, they constitute a critical axis of relation-
The public sector tends to run efforts as programs headed up
by a program manager. Many organizations in the industrial sector, on
the other hand, prefer to undertake efforts as projects, headed up by
a project manager. Whether these endeavors are called project man-
agement or program management is inconsequential because the same
policies, procedures and guidelines that regulate programs most often
apply to projects also. Projects are normally the first level sub-
division of a program and in this study are simultaneous with the
program management assignments made at the field level.
These definitions identify project management as a particular
pattern of organizational concepts that evolved simultaneously with
the advance of modern technology. Older concepts and techniques used
to organize work in earlier eras have not been as adaptable to actlvi-
ties embodying rapidly advancing technology. Project management
techniques are regarded as most instrumental in man's ability to
control and create technological advance. Certainly this was the
case with NASA, from its earliest stages. Building on those defini-
tions which have been established in this section as foundational to
the understanding of project management concepts, some background
concerning the more significant organizational elements such as
organizational strategy and structure is appropriate.
Organizational Strategy and Structure
Organization, according to some theorists, is a strategy
for achieving a specified purpose. Douglas Sherwin, in a 1976
Harvard Business Review article, has made point of the fact that
organizational strategy must possess at least two qualifications.
First, a single organization is probably not appropriate for every
kind of objective, but the strategy should distinguish among types of
objectives. Secondly, a chosen strategy must recognize that most
objectives require contributions from several different people.
Performance versus Change Objectives
Sherwin observes that there are at least two kinds of objec-
tives in organizations. One set of objectives maintains predetermined
standards of performance while the second type of objective involves
bringing about changes to improve the operation. The first might be
cal led "functional performance objectives or performance maintenance
objectives while the second would be identified as change objectives
or improvement objectives.
Organizations should be structured differently for varying
kinds of objectives as well as for each unique objective. For exam-
ple, a common consideration for all performance objectives is the
requirement for organizational permanence. However, change objec-
tives are temporary in nature. Performance objectives consider the
process of an organization, while change objectives relate to a pro-
ject orientation. Organizational purpose must accommodate the
achievement of an array of functional and change objectives.
Functional organizations provide a strategy for routine
system operation* Such a strategy does not distinguish between
types of objectives nor between tasks and duties. As a result,
the concept cal led "project management" has evolved from a
dissatisfaction with the ability of functional organizations to
effect change. Another critical dimension of organizational struc-
ture is the degree to which a centralized or decentralized management
approach is pursued.
Centra Ii zat i on versus Decentra Ii zat i on
Peter Drucker was one of the first noted management theorists
to argue that the requirements for organizational structure should
include the satisfying of one of two principles involving unity.
Drucker contended that organizational structure must whenever possible
integrate activities on the principles of federal decentralization.
Federal, in Drucker's argument, means organizing activities into
autonomous efforts, as opposed to the more common usage involving
the national government. Where this is not possible, organizations
must use functional decentralization which sets up integrated units
with maximum responsibility for a major and distinct stage in the
operation. Functional decentralization is universally applicable,
but it is second choice for any but the smaller endeavor. Herbert
Kaufman, for example, has provided a classical treatise concerning
decentralization of public services. Federal decentralization on
the other hand is becoming the norm for larger operations.
Drucker has delineated a number of rules that are essential
for the successful application of federal decentralization. First,
an organization requires both strong parts and a strong center;
secondly, the organizational unit must be large enough to support
the management it needs; thirdly, the organization should have the
potential for growth; and finally, there should be enough scope and
challenge to the job of the managers. However, the limitation of
of decentralization to only two categories, namely federal decentrali-
zation and functional decentralization may be too restrictive. In a
new and landmark work, Henry Mintzberg contends that there are at
least five gradations of decentralization that are correctable, each
with a different type of structural organizational configuration.
Mintzberg continues that each of these differing demands for
decentralization establishs distinct influences on an organization,
each tending toward a separate organizational structure. The organi-
zational influences together with the resulting structural configura-
tions as identified by Mintzberg are as follows: First, an influence
for centralization would retain central control over decision making,
thus leading to a simple organizational structure. Vertical and horl-
zontaI centra Ii zat i on are both evidenced in this structure. Secondly,
there is an organization influence for standardization which pro-
vides Ii m i ted hor i zontaI decentra Ii zat i on and consequently leads to
a machine bureaucracy type structure. Professional ism represents a
third influence. The standardization of skills, a hallmark of the
professional, provides emphasis for administrators to have a more
penetrating review of their organization's work. The result of
this influence is the promotion of both horizontal and vertical de-
central ization, thus favoring an organizational structure that Is
categorized as a professional bureaucracy. A fourth influence is
to "Balkanize" the structure (i.e., give individual identity to the
work units) or split it into the market-based units which can control
their own decisions. Such a structural approach favors a Iimited ver-
tical decentra Ii zat i on and provides for a divisionalized form of a;
structural organization. Lastly, Mintzberg identifies a fifth struc-
tural configuration characterized by selective decentralization. Ad-
hocracy, as this case is labeled, is hardly a new concept.
Temporary versus Permanent Organizations
When the organization is structured into work constellations
to which power Is selectively decentralized, there is a pull to col-
laborate. The consequence is an organizational structure known as the
adhocracy configuration, a term coined by Alvin Toffler in his book
Future Shock, but more completely developed by Warren Bennis in his
work on organizations of the future, Beyond Bureaucracy. Thus, the
'classical organization structures of the 1920's and 1930's which
still serve as textbook examples require elaboration and modification
to accommodate the demands for organizational change of modern times.
Much of the above-mentioned change results from changes in the
objective task of the institution or endeavor to be organized. Such
changes in the objective task invariably generate new design princi-
ples that do not fit traditional organizational concepts. As a
result, new sets of organizational design principles have been devel-
oped. Drucker has suggested in his book, "Management: Tasks*,
Responsibilities, Practices" that there are five so-called design
principles that are connectable with five distinct organizational
structures. Two of the five structures are: classic functional
structure (based on Henry Fayol's work); and federal decentraliza-
tion (attributed to Alfred Sloan). The remaining three templates of
organization are new and must be described in terms of content. These
three are: team organization a group set up for a specific task
rather than for a specific skill or stage in the work process; simu-
Iated decentra Ii zat i on where one function, one stage in the process
or one segment is set up as if it were distinct unto itself; and sys-
terns structure where team organization and simulated decentralization
Although the terminology is different, the organizational
design principles proposed by Drucker are basically very similar to
Mintzberg's structural configuration. Both Drucker and Mintzberg's
theories concerning organizational structure deal with the need for
a tailored relationship between an organizations operating environ-
ment and the optimum organizational structure. But to understand
fully decentralized management concepts, one must realize that man-
agement style and organizational structure reflect the mission and
objectives of the organization. For this reason, a discussion of
organizational objectives is essential.
Organizational .structure is not an end in itself, but should
be viewed as the means to an end. Unless a clear and concise set
of objectives has been established for a task, it would be a mis-
take to design an organization for any endeavor. Peter Drucker has
suggested in The Practice of Management that there are three ways to
determine the type of organizational structure needed to accomplish
the objectives of a particular endeavor: Activities analysis
finding out what activities are needed to accomplish the objectives
of the endeavor; Decision analysiswhat decisions are needed to
obtain performance necessary to meet objectives; and Relations
analysiswith whom will managers in charge of activities have to
work? What contribution do they have to make managers in charge
of other activities? What contribution do these managers, in turn,
have to make to him? Each of these analyses are fundamental to
determining the organizational structure suitable for a private or
A review of elements such as those suggested by Drucker can
provide the insights necessary to determine the appropriate organiza-
tional structure for any situation. For example, when the managers
of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration began structuring
the space agency, they saw as suitable all three basic organizational
structures: functional, area and project. Their concern with objec-
tives then determined their ultimate selection of an organizational
design strategy. The following section will establish the theoretical
framework for each of the organizational concepts that NASA considered
during the formulative stages of the Agency's development.
Comparisons of Project and Functional Organizations
There are of course similarities between project managed and
traditional functional Iy managed organizations. Functional managers
often take a myopic view of their responsibilities and consider their
particular function as the most Important one to the organization.
Furthermore, when functional managers promote their own organization,
they are likely to subordinate the welfare of other functional units,
indeed the entire organization, to the interests of their own func-
tional unit. Where the functional-type organization makes it
difficult to focus on organizational performance because of the de-
partmentalization by process stages, the project management-type
organization provides a focus on the project or program. Although
an unbalanced focus on any one project may be just as dangerous to
the welfare of the total organization as a faulty focus on a func-
tional entity; there is a greater likelihood that top management
attention can be concentrated on problems in the project organization
than in the functional organization. One advantage that the project
organization holds in this instance is that there are clear and
identical overall performance objectives and desired results.
Functional-type organizations place major emphasis on one
specialty which in turn may require the functionally oriented indi-
vidual to have narrow visions, skills and loyalties. In contrast, the
project-type organization requires general knowledge and the Integra-
tion of many specialties and disciplines. The resultant demands on
managers in the project organization require them to widen their
horizons, interests and outlook. Thus, there is a contrast between
generalists and specialists. Still another comparison may be made
between functional-type and project-type organizations in the matter
of setting objectives and measuring the results of efforts expended.
For the functional-type organization, which is concerned with a part
of the operation rather than the whole, objectives often will be set
in terms of "professional standards" rather than in terms of success
of the organization.
In comparison, the project-type organization is directly
related to the organization's success through the objectives of the
project or program. When NASA began to consider management approaches
in the late I950's, a choice had to be made between the traditional,
functional type organizations and the project-type organizations. Not
only was a decision regarding organizational design required, but a
decision concerning the specific approach to project management was
also necessary. One of the most significant difficulties encountered
in the consideration of project management concepts was a concern with
the lack of understanding which existed on the part of many NASA man-
agers concerning these concepts.
The answer to basic questions such as, what is the rightful
place within the total organization for the project organization were
not obvious. Russell Archibald has dealt with this issue by stating
that: "The project management function should report to the line
executive or manager who will actually resolve essentially all of
the conflicts within and between the projects to be managed." The
types of organizational possibilities for the deployment of project
management techniques vary considerably. It is useful to distinguish
among three basic project management relationships: staff, line, and
matrix. Each of these concepts can be examined in turn, and resulting
variations of each of these basic concepts analyzed.
Functional Organization with Project
Manager Staff Relationship
Staff personnel are generally classified as those individuals
whose task it is to facilitate the work of the line by serving in an
advisory or auxiliary function. Figure 1-2 depicts organizational
relationships in a traditional functional-type organization when the
project manager operates as staff assistant to the Chief Executive
Officer. This type of staff position gives the project manager status
and power within the organization. The staff alignment allows the
project manager to focus all activities concerning the project at a
high level within the organization. Although the project manager does
not function in a line capacity, the manager usually has broad func-
tional authority, which is enhanced by being close to the chief ex-
ecutive. In this role, the project manager investigates, researches,
analyzes, recommends and coordinates matters relative to the project.
Essentially, this position relieves the project manager of some of
the administrative burdens with which the project manager normally
must contend. But, major decisions must be referred to the chief
executive before action can be taken.
If a project-type organization does not have clear and pre-
cise objectives, and a project manager who Is capable and dedicated
to the project goals, then that project may be doomed to failure from
the outset. A project manager situated in a staff position within
The organization must depend almost entirely upon -functional author-
ity, personal persuasive abilities, or specialized knowledge. In
some regards greater demands are placed on the project manager in
SUB FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS
SOURCE: ADOPTED FROM UNPUBLISHED STUDY COMPILED BY THE AUTHOR
PROJECT MANAGER IN STAFF CAPACITY
the organizational framework of Figure 1-2 than in any other organiza-
tional position a project manager may occupy. On the other hand, the
staff location for project management may serve as an appropriate
proving ground for new and inexperienced project managers. If this
is the intent behind the staff location for the project manager, the
chief executive officer of the organization will for all practical
purposes serve as the project manager while the designated project
manager goes through a learning process as to roles and responsibili-
ties. In one respect, this can be viewed as a rather expensive train-
ing program, which can jeopardize the success of an organization's
activities in areas beyond the project of concern. Such an arrange-
ment requires the chief executive officer of the organization to
dilute those efforts which are expended toward the total organization
in favor of one particular project.
Functional Organization with Project
Manager Line Relationship
A more common organizational position for the project manager
(shown in Figure 1-3) is one in which the project manager reports
directly to the chief executive officer on a line basis. Line per-
sonnel are typically defined as those organizational members whose
act i v i t i es contr i bute d i rectIy to the accompIi shment of an organ i za-
tion's primary objectives. The focus of responsibility and author-
ity in a line relationship is much clearer and more decisive than in
most staff relationships. For the most part, in the staff capacity a
project manager would function alone. While in the line organization-
al relationship, the project manager could have an immediate office
SOURCE: ADOPTED FROM UNPUBLISHED STUDY COMPILED BY AUTHOR
PROJECT MANAGER IN LINE CAPACITY
s+aff-varying from one person to several hundred. The size of the
staff depends on the degree to which project functions are central-
ized. As functions become more and more centrally focused within
the line project organization, the project management organization
takes on more and more the appearance of a separate and independent
entity within the organization.
The project manager, when placed in the organization relation-
ship depicted in Figure 1-3, has authority over functional matters
pertaining to the project. By necessity there is an element of col-
laborative enterprise between the project and functional managers.
Functional managers are often cal led on to support more than one pro-
ject. When the demand placed on the functional manager makes one an-
swerable to both the various project managers and their functional
supervisors, assurances must be provided that the support necessary
to meet the needs of the project will be forthcoming. Where there
are differences of opinion between the project and functional managers
on this point, the project manager, because of assigned responsibili-
ties, must go to whatever level in the organization necessary to get
attention directed toward the project. There may be personal con-
frontations in organizations that relate project management responsi-
bilities on a line basis as shown in Figure 1-3, because authority
flows horizontally throughout the organization. Horizontal flow of
authority must include the input of the functional managers in order
'ro be successful. The desire to focus responslbi Hty has been one
of the underlying reasons for establishment of the project management
concepts in the first place.
Matrix Organization '
Although the line-type project organization is more common
than the staff-type (and in many cases the more effective organiza-
tion), the matrix-type structure has become the most widespread pro-
ject management approach. This organization, as depicted in
Figure 1-4, provides the best features of both the project-type and
the functional-type organizations. The advantages of the functional-
type organization are retained, because functional expertise is main-
tained in a check and balance manner due to the fact that the project
oriented personnel retain their identity in the functional organiza-
tion. It is the functional supervisor's responsibility to maintain
adequate personnel performance within a particular functional disci-
In the matrix structure a project-type organization has the
advantage of focusing project responsibilities upon the project man-
ager and staff. These advantages of project focus in a matrix-type
organization are only realized if the project manager provides strong
organizational control. A responsibility for insuring that an ade-
quate concentration of functional talent is available to deal with
project needs resides with the project manager. In the past, many
managers have found themselves incapable of overcoming the inertia
found in functional organizations. These individuals, therefore,
have demanded the reassignment of functional personnel to the project,
organization on a line basis to insure that they would provide the
necessary support to the project. Any matrix organization cutting
across numerous functional disciplines will have both strong and weak
SOURCE: ADOPTED FROM UNPUBLISHED STUDY COMPILED BY THE AUTHOR
MATRIX PROJECT ORGANIZATION
functional interfaces. Responsibility to identify such shortcomings
and assure that adequate functional support Is given to the project
reposes with the project manager.
In practice there have been numerous variations on these three
basic approaches; line, staff, and matrix. One of the primary errors
made in the deployment of project management techniques has been a
lack of awareness on the part of genera I-type and functional-type
management as to the proper role of project management organizations
within the total organization. This requires a recognition on the
part of all key organizational managers that the project organization
cannot function effectively without the proper support of all organi-
zational elements. This type of oversight has often resulted in the
appointment of project managers who have not been provided adequate
stature or authority within the organization. Since managers often
fail to provide their project managers with an adequate and appropri-
ately authorized staff, upon failure of the organization to achieve
project objectives, chief executive officers of the installation have
tended to blame the project management concept for inadequacies which
were really attributable to the manner in which the project organiza-
tion was structured.
What is critical is that the project managers must become
personally involved In the project and must also understand how
project-type management functions within the total organization.
If the project-type organization is not properly located within the
total organization, the efforts of the individual project manager
(together with those of the project organization) may be doomed
to failure simply as a result of poor organizational relationships.
Basically, the best aspects of both formal structure and informal
relationships (the living personalities and their interrelationships)
must be considered In shaping the organization.
In summary, there several basic concepts for implementation
of project management within an organization. These project manage-
ment alternatives range from a self-contained project organization
to one that is dependent on the total organizational resources. The
following chapters of this study will evaluate these project management
alternatives as they have had application within differing organiza-
The organizational structure of project management concepts
has provided most of the foundation for discussion thus far. However,
it is the premise of this research that a realistic assessment of
organizational effectiveness derives from the interaction of multiple
factors, some not immediately obvious and others that have been under-
analyzed. Productive and effective organizations require compatabiI-
ity among the more tangible elements of organizational structure and
management systems. Organizational effectiveness is also dependent on
a correlation of factors such as goals and strategy with the organiza-
tional structure to the skills and staff required to succeed; the
organizations management style linkages to the organizational en-
vironment or situation and the duration of the organization's ma-
turing process or evaluation of change over time. Analysis of the
interrelationship of these organizational influence characteristics
are extremely limited although the research literature on organiza-
tional concepts has given consideration to each of these elements:in
isolation one from the other.
Some contemporary management literature has established the
significance of the interrelationship of certain organizational in-
fluence factors. An article published in Business Horizons has de-
scribed a model for assessment of organizational effectiveness that
seems to identify many of the elements that must be considered in
the establishment of an effective organization. This model which
has been described as the 7-S framework has been utilized in a com-
prehensive analysis by two management consultants, Richard Pascale
and Anthony Athos, entitled The Art of Japanese Management which docu-
ments a comparison of eastern and western organizational approaches.
Seven elements of this model are a superior goal, organization strate-
gy, staff, skills, management systems, leadership style and structure.
This model has proved to be an extremely useful tool for organiza-
tional assessments. An even more recent work which has documented the
study of seventy different organizations using the 7-S framework has
revealed an intensified application of this research methodology.
For the purposes of this research the focus will expand the
organizational assessment tool developed by Waterman, Peters and
Phillips in order to accommodate two extremely significant variables.
These added factors are the organizational situation and the sequence
of the organizational maturing process. This research framework which
will be labeled the 9 element project effectiveness model will be
utilized to analyze the NASA JSC implementation of project manage-
ment concepts. A graphic representation of this model is provided in
Figure 1-5. Each of the project assessment elements which is to be
utilized in this research can be defined according to the following
These are the goals of the organization that stand out above
all others. A superordinate goal is an organization's guiding
concept that is widely perceived and hard to change because it is
what people in the organization believe they are all about. The
superordinate goal identifies the overriding philosophy of the enter-
prise. Effective superordinate goals should be significant, durable,
and achievable. Superordinate goals identify an organization's sig-
nificant meanings, shared values, and spiritual fabric. A firm's
history wlI I often contribute to Its enduring value system and
thereby shape the values or superordinate goals the organization may
adopt. As is usually the case, the basic philosophy, spirit and
drive of an organization have far more to do with an organization's
achievements than do technological or economic resources, organiza-
tlonal structure innovation and timing. These goals are not secu-
lar goals like meeting cost or schedule objectives but rather pertain
to values or purposes that "move men's hearts" and that genuinely knot
together individual and organizational purposes. An organization's
superordinate goals tend to serve as the focus for integrating all of
the other elements of organizational influence.
STRONG GUIDING BELIEFS
PHILOSOPHY OF ENTERPRISE
HOW IT WILL GET
MAKE UP OF HUMAN
UP OVER TIME
WHAT PEOPLE DO
SOURCE: DEVELOPED BY THE AUTHOR
PROJECT EFFECTIVENESS MODEL
An organization's situation relates to the environment, both
internal and external, as well as the history of the organization.
Fundamentally, organizational situation encompasses both the job to be
done and the condition under which it is to be performed. Warns ley
and Wald have suggested that organizations tend to have both political
and economic influences which establish their situation from both an
external and internal perspective. The organizational influence
parameter (i.e. situation) described in this research effort will con-
centrate on the external organizational influences. One of the rela-
tively distinctive features of public organizations is the greater
degree to which external forces are directly involved in setting
goals, allocating resources, and granting or withholding legitimacy
from them. The degree of opposition or support which is afforded
public organizations and their programs varies widely, particularly
with regard to consensus-legitimacy Influences. Most organizations
strive for at least a bland or benign environmental situation; i.e.,
they are satisfied with a status quo. However, this pursuit can lead
to bureaucratic paralysis and may be totally in conflict with project
management organizational objectives.
Organizational strategy is what management is trying to accom-
plish and how they are going about it. At its best a strategy is tied
to a simply articulated, paramount objective that energizes and fp-
cuses the efforts throughout the organization. Strategy pertains
to a firm's plan of action that causes it to allocate its scarce re-
sources over time in order to get from where it is to where it wants
to go. Strategic decisions of an organization are concerned with:
the long term health of the enterprise. These decisions may be of
either an entrepreneurial or an operational nature.
The "demographic" description of important personnel categor-
ies within the firm (i.e.f engineers, entrepreneurs, administrators,
etc.) is categorized as organizational staff. "Staff" is not meant
in line-staff terms but relates to the makeup of the people in the
organization. This organizational personnel element provides a con-
tract to the skills or capabilities which these staff characteristics
Ski I Is
The primary strengths and capabilities of an organization that
have built up over time are known as organizational skills. Those
capabilities which are needed to satisfy future organizational objec-
tives are also categorized within the organizational element known
as organizational skills. Skills are the distinctive capabilities
of key personnel or the firm as a whole, and refer to those things
which the organization and its key personnel do particularly well.
The organizational element of skills are those distinctive abiIities
that truly set an organization or its employees apart from their
competition. It is important to note that skills apply on both the
organizational and interpersonal level thereby describing both group
and individual capabilities.
The organizational factor that identifies how things get done
in an organization is known as systems. This term encompasses the
operations management systems that enable and support decision making
within and between organizational units. Organizational structure
provides, in effect, the skeleton of an organization. The various
systems that project managers employ to move information around in
their organization, make decisions, and implement change are man-
agement's most powerful tools for directing how an organization is
to work and what is to be accomplished. There are the "hard copy"
systems involving reports, numerous documents, and computer printouts
containing written words and numbers. There are also a host of other
systems (including meetings) and routines that are concerned with how
information is shared, how conflict is handled and how decisions
are made. It is the systems of an organization that more than strate-
gy or periodic revisions to the organization chart that communicates
throughout the organization what the management really cares about.
The characteristic way in which an organization makes deci-
sions or addresses issues is known as style. Basically, style is
shaped by the organization's culture, the job it has been assigned
to do, and the management leadership that strongly influences the
conduct of activities. This element is descriptive of the basic be-
havior of the organization. Style characterizes how key managers
behave In achieving the organization's goals. A project manager's;
behavior Is a powerful form of symbolic communication to people down
the line, informing them as what the project manager deems as really
Style is often assumed to refer to the superficial, contrasted
with substance or content. However, in this study style refers to
more to the management mode of the project manager and its Impact on
others. Style isn't really something one "has," even though it can
be attributed to a person. The natural operating mode or character
of an organization or an individual is revealed in the style of the
organization or the individual. Organizational observers, both from
within and without the organization, can see project manager patterns
of performance. Such observations can be related to a particular pro-
ject manager by considering clusters of information concerning the
managers' management manner. Over time organizational observers
integrate the clusters of data collected concerning a project manager
to obtain a sense of the whole and reactions to it. Often the words
used to describe the manager are value-laden, emotionally charged
metaphors, such as perfectionist, impeccable and detail oriented.
People determine project management style by looking at the managers'
personality attributes, at role behavior and task orientation. Style
of a positive nature can be described as attentive, committed, deter-
mined, pragmatic, forceful and disciplined. Negatively, style is
known as obsessive, compulsive, domineering, paranoid or even addic-
Formal mechanisms for dividing and coordinating an organiza-
tion's work are known as structure. This term refers to the manage-
ment hierarchy in which people workthe explicit responsibilities and
accountability for carrying out activities and reporting relation-
ships. Structure provides for characterization of the organization
chart (i.e., functional, decentralized, matrix, etc.), and basically,
shows how the responsibilities or heirarchies are arranged or how the
organization is wired.
Structure relates to the design of the organization through
which the enterprise is administered. This design, whether formally
or informally defined, has two aspects. First, the lines of authority
and communication between the different organizational elements,
and, second, the information and data that flow through these lines of
communication and authority. Generally, structure tends to follow
strategy. For example, when an organization moves into new func-
tions, this is referred to as a strategy of vertical integration or
in the case of the development of new products or services as a
strategy of diversification.
Sequenc i n.q
The organizational consideration that identifies how an organ-
ization evolves, changes or matures over time is known as sequencing.
There is a pattern of progress or degeneration that all organizations
must accommodate. This organizational element reflects the process
by which organizational strategy is accommodated and implemented over
time. There is one school of thought which is founded on the pre-
mise that organizations go thru a cycle of achievement. Each cycle
includes several mandatory steps of accomplishment. Changes to any
of the organizational factors can influence an organization to recycle
through stages of its evolutionary progress. These organizational
cycles relate to the sequencing process.
Project Effectivensss Model
There are on Iy a limited number of "levels" to influence com-
plex large organizations. The integration of the aforementioned
organizational influence elements will serve as the mechanism for
analyzing project management concepts utilized at NASA JSC. The fit
among and between theSe elements will be evaluated in order to under-
stand the long-term leverage that has influenced the course of the
NASA JSC. Several influence elements that seem to be more tangible
and significant in their potential organizational effect are known
as the hard elements. The hard elements contrast with another series
of organizational influence factors that are generally attributable
to the human factors school of management. The hard elements of this
model that have been utilized most frequently in defining major com-
plex technological undertakings are the three S's of Strategy.
Structure and Systems; however, some of the most effective and succes-
ful organizations have also placed significant emphasis on the soft
elements of Staff, Skills, Style, Superordinate Goals, Situation, and
Sequencing. The soft S's have also had a significant part to play
in the achievements of NASA JSC. For this reason the soft S's
will be given equal consideration with an analysis of Strategy, Struc-
ture and Systems.
Study Approach & Methodology
The study approach and methodology utilized In this research
work are established in part on the foundation of insights and percep-
tions that the author has accumulated as a member of the project man-
agement team within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
* Johnson Space Center. Barbara W. Tuchman in her book Practicing
History, notes that history is divisible into three parts: "the inves-
tigative or research, the didatic or theory, and the narrated or
communication. ... Research provides the material, and theory a
pattern of thought, but it is through communication that history is
heard and understood." The purpose of this study is to examine and
document experiences relating to project management within the
format of a historical narrative.
The first problem encountered in the preparation of a study
of this sort is the gathering and sifting of information. To write
about history takes an understanding of historical evidence. As
Jules R. Benjamin points out, the main difficulty facing historians
is not eliminating unanswerable or unimportant questions, but choosing
among the important ones. The historian must consider the credibil-
ity and reliability of the historical evidence and reliability of the
historical evidence considered, as well as the accuracy of the records
utilized. In order to establish an accurate and reI event collection
of data for this study, a combination of the historical and descrip-
tive research techniques have been utilized. A historical investiga-
tion of project management as it was used before the creation of the
American space program is accomplished with particular attention
given to the uses of project management by the U. S. Military. This
part of the study is based upon published documentary sources and as
a result summarizes the secondary literature. Secondly, the histori-
cal uses of project management as they served to establish the founda-
tion upon which NASA and particularly JSC implemented project manage-
ment principles is analyzed. The environmental and circumstantial
factors which influenced NASA JSC in the establishment of a project
management structure at the JSC is discussed. A review of historical
literature, together with interview results, has been utilized in
development of this material.
In analyzing the NASA and JSC approach to project management,
this study demonstrates how that approach built upon and/or deviated
from preceding project management activities. Thus, a major part of
the study is based upon internal NASA documents, personal observa-
tions and interviews with NASA personnel who have been involved in
project management within the space agency. In one sense, the study
presents a unique glimpse into the working of NASA management, one
. . S'"
that would be hard to find in the published literature. Of course,
the author's experiences with project management add an important
dimension to this study; a dimension that an external investigator
would not have. However, this also introduces the possibility of
participant bias. The use of the project effectiveness model is de-
signed expressly to counter this influence. Finally, this study iden-
tifies those lessons which NASA has learned in the implementation of
project management techniques. This section also considers the appli-
cability of project management concepts to future NASA JSC programs
as well as other non-NASA high technology projects.
The historical research technique has been utilized for the
purpose of systematically and objectively collecting, evaluating,
verifying and synthesizing the evidence in order to establish facts
and reach defensible conclusions in relation to particular hypothe-
sis. Two basic forms of historical evidence have been utilized
in this research work, those being the primary and secondary evidence
records. Primary evidence, which provides those actual works of in-
dividuals who participated in or witnessed the events described or
works which are recorded by those persons who claim firsthand know-
lege of an event, have been sought out whenever possible. In addition
to personal statements, that establish primary evidence, an additional
primary source of data is contained in those statements attributed to
established organizations. However, secondary literature is used ex-
tensively as a data source in this study. Secondary evidence in-
cludes findings of researchers who did not observe the event but who
have examined the primary evidence. As such, secondary evidence is
especially appropriate given the research focus of this study across
a number of historical time periods given that the main purpose is
more comparative than introspective.
In addition to the historical research technique, a descrip-
tive research technique has been utilized. This technique is
applicable to those areas dealing with NASA employment of project
management concepts and, when appropriate, was applied in the literal
sense of describing situations or events which took place. Included
in this approach are the following steps: First, to collect detailed
factual information that describes existing phenomena; secondly, to
identify problems or justify current conditions and practices; third,
to make comparisons and evaluations; and finally, to determine what
others are doing with similar problems or situations and benefit from
their experience in making future plans and decisions.
To pursue the historical (pre-NASA) segment of this disserta-
tion, a literature search on the topic of project management has been
conducted. From a variety of standard bibliographical indexes, a list
of articles germane to the topic of project management was assembled.
This search has been supplemented by a computer, bib Iiography search
using the NASA RECON (Remote Console) System. RECON provides easy
- access to a I I technical reports issued by NASA and its contractors
as well as other government agencies and their contractors. Also
included in this source are research works by both domestic and
foreign corporation, universities and research organizations, and
abstracts of articles from selected aerospace and engineering period-
icals. This same information is published in the NASA sponsored
indexes: Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports (STAR), and
International Aerospace Abstracts (IAA).
For the Department of Defense (DOD) data used in development
of this study, the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) Tech-
nical Abstract Bulletin and computer bibliography search service
were also used. This data base included program planning documen-
tation at the project and task level. In addition, this data source
provided information describing the programs and projects being per-
formed by DOD contractors as part of their development programs.
Materials generated by the faculty and staff of Syracuse Uni-
versity in a series of studies of project management which were sup-
ported by a grant from NASA in 1969 have also been used. These
studies investigated project management systems associated with the
Apollo Program. There are several types of documents included in this
series. The more significant of the documents in this series were as
Working papers which were developed as interim reports of
concepts associated with project management and management
systems. These papers are exploratory in nature and
served as a focus for discussion during the course of the
Occasional papers which were developed in areas not di-
rectly related to project management and management
. systems but which covered topics of interest to the
investigators who participated in the research'projects.
Reports which were unpublished documents submitted to
NASA and other interested parties and which represent the
final results in particular areas of inquiry in the re-
Theses and dissertations which are the unpublished results
of the research efforts of graduate students associated
with the project and which represent the writing require-
ments of their degree programs.
Publications which.are articles, books, and monographs
published by professional journals, commercial publishers,
or the university.
Interview Notes which have been documented during a series
of interviews with NASA and contractor management person-
One of the most applicable documents in this series for this
study is a volume of working papers written on project management
and organization by Syracuse University on a grant from NASA. Part I
of this series deals with a generalized theory of project manage-
ment. While Part 2 deals with NASA peculiar project management
applications. Other research materials from this Syracuse Univer-
sity study which have been used as reference are concerned with the
applicability of NASA project management concepts to other potential
applications. The Syracuse working papers also provided background
about some of the key structural elements of project management, as
well as information on the mechanical aspects of organizing for pro-
ject management. The final report from the Syracuse Study which
was prepared as part of the Multidisciplinary Studies in Management
and Development in the public sector was referenced extensively.
Additional materials that have been particularly useful in
the analysis of NASA's implementation of project management include
the administrative history which was written by Arnold Levine for
the NASA Headquarters History Office. Reports prepared by the
staff members of the Congressional Committees and the Government
Accounting Office (GAO) also provided useful background material and
insights. Research materials which have been documented and used as
reference material for courses taught concerning the NASA management
experiences have also been quite useful. But perhaps one of the
most meaningful research sources was the personal file and reference
notes accumulated by the author during the past 20 years of partici-
pation in the JSC project management environment.
Augmenting the Literature Search
One of the most effective techniques for obtaining data about
organization is through the use of interviews. David Nadler states
that one of the most obvious, direct and sensible ways of discovering
how an organization functions is to ask the people in it. The
interview technique allows the researcher to confirm and expand data
gleaned from the historical documents. In a number of cases, data
were acquired using interviews to augment official records which in
some cases were not sufficient to fully understand certain issues.
Some records were simply not available, thus interviews with some of
the key participants in the NASA JSC project management structure
were required to fill in some of the gaps in the data. However,
wherever possible, preference was given to written references and
records as the principal source guide.
Interviews of both a structured and unstructured nature were
conducted. Flexibility was maintained in the interview process, but
special pains were taken to eliminate Interviewer bias by developing
some test questions and evaluating their effectiveness before the
final interviews took place. Interviews were conducted of NASA;
management personnel at varying levels of the JSC organizational
structure. In some cases interview results obtained earlier by the
NASA historians were utilized. But in all cases the interviews were
directed toward the basic questions: Is NASA project management
unique; how does it differ from other project management activities
conducted by Government and industry?
The last data collection technique to be utilized was that of
personal observation. The technique of personal observation provided
for the documentation of those observations that the author made dur-
ing participation within the NASA JSC project management organizations
from their inception. As mentioned it is recognized that one of the
perennial pro blems of personal observation is the danger that indivi-
dual biases may overly influence the observer's findings. In order to
guard against this danger of personal bias, interview notes have been
utilized as a cross reference for those research findings that are
particularly subject to individual bias. This data source recorded
the observations of organizational and management behavior as events
The research materials that follow have been organized into
four parts. The first two parts will provide foundational materials
for understanding of the utilization of project management concepts
at a large public sector development center known as the NASA
Johnson Space Center. The final two parts will review the unique :
application of project management concepts together with an assess-
ment of the effectiveness of these organizational applications.
Each part of this work has been developed separately although there
is a progressively more comprehensive foundation established by the
consecutive review of each of the parts in order to provide organi-
zational framework for the narrative and analysis. The third part
of this work provides an an lysis of the utilization of an organiza-
tional effectiveness model in order to better understand those factors
which had significant bearing on the organizational performance of the
NASA Johnson Space Center. Considerations of the basic project man-
agement concepts that may have applicability to organizational oppor-
tunities of the future are documented as an element of the final part
of this work.
The first part of this research work is a literature chapter
(Chapter II) which reviews the more significant work of some of the
organizational theorists who have documented reference materials on
project management. Where it was deemed appropriate, a review or at
least an overview of the relevant literature has been provided in the
chapter where this material is used. Therefore, the literature chap-
ter (Chapter II) is intended to provide a summary of the literature
utilized in the development of this dissertation. In conjunction with
this literature search. Chapter II will review several of the options
that are available for the Implementation of those project management
concepts that were introduced in Chapter I. Those project management
alternatives reviewed will Include both line and functional project
models with particular emphasis placed on project matrix alternatives.
Another section of this literature chapter (Chapter II) will describe
the personal dimension of project management applications.
Perhaps the most critical element of the project management
approach is the role of the project manager. Chapter II will review
the more salient characteristics of the successful project manager.
Also, considered in this chapter will be the obstacles to success of
a project manager together with the outlook for advancement of project
managers. Although a cookbook for developing the successful project
managers does not exist, there seems to be a number of factors that
are generally descriptive of the more successful project managers.
There are some books that attempt to describe these factors which
are considered necessary for effective project management implementa-
tion. In fact, the last chapter of this study will review some of
the basic elements considered by NASA management as mandatory for
project managers to understand and pursue.
With the theoretical foundation of project management estab-
lished, and with a description of the more significant characteristics
of effective project managers, Chapter II then will consider some of
the more significant issues which are associated with the behavioral
aspects of project management implementation. Several different cate-
gories of issues will be considered in this chapter. For xampIe,
issues of personal power influences within the project structure will
be considered as well as management styles such as authoritarian man-
agement approaches. One of the most significant management issues to
be considered regards organizational conflicts that may develop
between project and functional organizations.
The second part of the research materials will provide a
historical perspective to the development of project management con-
cepts. This part will consist of a single chapter designed to pro-
vide a chronological review of the management and organizational
themes that have provided a background for the NASA utilization of
project management concepts. Chapter III provides a chronological
review of the management approaches that were utiIized by such
ancient civilizations as the Egyptians in the building of the pyra-
mids: the Babylonians in their business transactions, the Greeks in
the development of their advanced society and the Romans in their
civil works management projects. The management approaches utilized
during the Dark Ages, the Medieval period and the industrial Revolu-
tion are viewed along with the basic concepts of Scientific Management
that were first documented at the end of the 19th and beginning of the
Because of the significant development of project management
techniques through the influence of the Department of Defense (DOD), a
review of the DOD utilization of project management concepts will also
be developed in Chapter III. This review will consider some of the
more significant DOD projects which employed project management tech-
niques, such as the project which designed and developed the nuclear
bomb, 'the Manhattan Project. More contemporary application of DOD
projects will also be documented; e.g., the development of the nuclear
submarine and the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).
Part three of this research provides a review of the project
management concepts pursued by the NASA-JSC. In October 1958, the
U.S. Civilian Space Agency was established. Because of the perfor-
mance demands placed on this organization, a comprehensive search for
effective management strategies, which might be applied to aerospace
activities, was conducted. Chapter IV will review the factors that
influenced the NASA decision to utilize project management techniques.
The influence of this concept on the formulation of NASA's organiza-
tional structure will be an essential part of this chapter. A summary
of the history of the formulation of NASA will be presented from the
perspective of the decision to use project management theories and
principles. This review will of necessity, consider some of the per-
sonal perspectives of those principals who were involved in the
creation of NASA. The project effectiveness model will be utilized
to establish the background influences which became a part of the
NASA JSC. Consideration will be given to the background of several
of the managers who were given project management responsibilities
at the Johnson Space Center.
The focus of Chapter V will be on the utilization of project
management concepts in the NASA manned spaceflight program. Consider-
at ion will be given to the variations of these applications as they
were pursued at the NASA Headquarters and at the manned spaceflight
field centers. Particular attention will be given to the JSC use of
project management. Evaluation of the forces of influence upon pro-
ject management, such as the budgetary influences, the political in-
fluences will also be accomplished in this chapter. Chapter V will
also consider the personal element of project management including
the manner in which individual project managers have affected the
implementation of the concept. An assessment of the individualiza-
tion of project management will be made and will be evaluated
against a criteria for project management success.
The final chapters of this study will consider the lesson
learned through the JSC utilization of project management concepts.
Chapter VI will evaluate the value of project management as a concept
for accomplishing complex technological tasks. This evaluation will
result in the identification of those insights and observations which
have merit for future applications of project management techniques.
Chapter VII will identify those situations where the lessons learned
by the application of project management concepts in a large and
complex technological undertaking such as the space program may have
application to opportunities and challenges of the future. There has
been limited consideration given in the documented research as to how
the management insights developed in the space program might have fu-
ture application. Chapter VII will identify the types and in certain
cases the specific applications that project management techniques
and- concepts documented.in this study may have in future uses.
Chapter VII of this study will also identify some suggestions for
Because there have been some significant NASA actions concern-
ing project management implementation which have been accomplished
during the time period of this study, the final chapter will also
provide a review and analysis of those actions. It is the premise of
this final chapter that project management concepts are here to stay
and that their application in the future may be even more far reaching
and significant than has been their use in the past.
1. Francis Marion Webster, Jr., The Management of Projects, An
Examination of the Art as Represented by Current Literature
(Dissertation submitted to Michigan State University 1978),
2. David I. Cleland and William R. King, Systems Analysis and
Project Management, 2d ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book
3. Ibid., pp. vi i i-xvl.
4. Jerome D. Wiest and Ferdinand K. Levy, A Management Guide to
PERT/CPM. (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall Inc., 1969).
5. Leonard R. Sayles and Margaret K. Chandler, Managing Large
Systems Organizations for the Future. (New York, NY: Harper
and Row, published 1971), p. 4.
6. Howard E. McCurdy, Public Administration: A Synthesis. (Menlo
Park, California: Cummings Publishing Company, Inc., 1977),
7. Webster, Management of Projects, p. 6.
8. I bid., p. I.
9. Richard L. Chapman, Project Management in NASA: The System and
The Men. (Washington, D.C.: NASA Scientific and Tech. Info.
Office, 1973), p. I i i.
10. Ibid., p.i i i.
11. Ibid., p. 6.
12. Robert L. Rosholt, An Administrative History of NASA, 1958-1963,
(Washington, D.C.: NASA, Scientific and Technical Information
Division, 1966), p. 157.
13. Edward C. Ezell, A Look at the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration and Its Role In the Preservation of the Security
of the United States, unpublished manuscript (January 1982),
p. I; James E. Webb, Reflections on Government Service, (first
of three lectures provided in McKinsey Foundation Series Lecture
Series at Columbia University, May 2, 1968), p. 9.
14. Frank W. Anderson, Jr., Orders of Magnitude, A History of NACA
and NASA 1915-1980. NASA SP. 4403 (Washington, D.C., 1981),
15. Vernon Van Dyke, Pride and Power: The Rationale of the Space
Program. (Urbana, III., University of III. Press, 1964), pp. 5-8.
16. Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr.,
Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft
(Washington, D.C., NASA Scientific and Technical Information
Branch, 1979), p. 346.
17. Thomas O'Toole and Jim Schefter, The Bumpy Road that Led Man to
the Moon (The Washington Post, July 15, 1979); and Brooks,
Grimwood and Swenson, Chariots for Apollo, p. 365.
18. James J. Haggerty, Spinoff 1982 (Washington, D.C.: NASA, Office
of External Affairs, Technology Utilization and Industrial
Affairs Division, April 1982), pp. 66-67.
19. Ibid., p. 87, 93 and 109.
20. Peter F. Drucker, Management Tasks, Responsibilities. Tasks
(New York: Harper & Row, 1974), p. 135.
21. National Science Foundation. An Analysis of Federal R&D Spending
by Budget Function (NSF 7-1-25), p. I.
22. James E. Webb, Reflection on Government Service (first of three
lectures presented In the McKinsey Lecture Series at the Graduate
School of Business, Columbia University, May 2, 1968), p. 5.
23. Ibid., p. 26.
24. Alison Griffith. The National Aeronautics and Space Act: A Study
of the Development of Pub Iic Policy (Washington, D.C.: Public
Affairs Press, 1962).
25. Rosholt, An Administrative History, pp. 43-48.
26. Ibid., p. 44.
27. Wesley L. Hjornevik, Guiding Work Relationships Among Scientific
Engineering, and Administrative Professionals (Houston, TX Manned
Spacecraft Center Study, Nov. 7, 1968), p. 2.
28. Ibid., pp. 83-84.
Arthur L. Levine, The Future of the U.S. Space Program (New York:
Praeger Publishers, 1975), p. 33.
30. A S. Levine, An Administrative History of NASA, 1963-1969,
(unpublished manuscript, comment edition, NASA History Office,
August 23, 1977), p. 18.
31. Hjornevik, Guiding Work Relationships, p. 5.
32. H. Erick Frank, Organization Structuring. (New York: McGraw-
Hill, 1971), pp. 22-23.
33. Harold Stieglitz, ''Concepts of Organization Planning" from
Organization Planning: Basic Concepts & Emerging Trends, A
Research Digest containing the first two sections of Corporate
Organization Structures (National Industrial Conference
Board, Inc., 1962).
35. Frank, Organization Structuring, pp. 30-31.
36. See for example Arthur G. Bedeian, Organizations: Theory and
Analysis (Hinsdale, III.: The Dryden Press, 1980), p. 54.
37. H. I. Ansoff and JR. G. Brandenburg, "A Language for Organiza-
tional Design: Part II," Management Science 1971, pp. 717-731.
38. Henry L. Tosi and Stephen J. Carroll, Management: Contingencies.
Structure, and Process (Chicago, III., St. Clair Press, 1976),
39. Frederick Taylor, Scientific Management (New York: Harper &
Brothers, 1911), p. 99.
40. Victor A. Thompson, Modern Organization (New York: Alfred A.
Knopf, 1964), p. 86, 90.
41. Herbert A. Simon, Administrative Behavior, 2d. ed. (New York:
the MacMillan Company, 1957), pp. 2-3.
42. Victor Thompson, Modern Organization, p. 93.
43. P. Selznick, TVA and the Grass Roots: A. Study in the Sociology
of Formal Organizations (Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1949), pp. 155-179.
44. Adapted from S. M. David, "Two Models of Organization: Unity
of Command Versus Balance of Power," Sloan Management Review
VoI. 16, No. I ( 1974), p. 29.
45. Robert H. Waterman, Jr., Thomas J. Peters, and Julien R.
Phillips, "Structure is not Organization," Business Horizons
June 1980, p. 19.
46. Bedeian. Organizations: Theory and Analysis, pp. 55-56.
47. Henry J. Anna and George H. Frederickson, Project Management and
the Organization, Part I (Working Paper No. 20 completed on NASA
Research Grant NGL 33-022-090, Syracuse University, August 1979),
48. John Kenneth Galbraith, The New Industrial State (The New Ameri-
can Library, New York, 1968), pp. 25-28.
49. Russell D. Archibald, Managing High-Technology Programs and Pro-
jects. (New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1976), pp. iii-iv.
50. Leonard R. Sayles and Margaret K. Chandler, Managing Large Pro-
grams. (New York, Harper & Row Publ., 1971), p. 132.
51. Charles C. Martin, Project Management (New York: AMACOM, A
Division of American Management Association, 1976), pp. 1-3.
52. W. J. Taylor and T. F. Wat I ing. Successful Project Management
(New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1973), p. 17.
53. Harold Kerzner, Project Management: A Systems Approach to
Scheduling and Controlling (New York: Van Nostrand Re in ho Id
Co., 1979), p. 13.
54. Jay R. Galbraith, Designing Complex Organizations (Reading,
Mass.: Addison-WesIey Publishing Company, 1973).
55. Leonard R. Sayles and Margaret K. Chandler, Managing Large
Systems Organizations for the Future, (New York: Harper & Row
Publ ishers: 1971).
56. A matrix organization is any organization that employs a multiple
command system that includes not only a multiple command struc-
ture but also related support mechanisms and an associated organ-
zational culture and behavior pattern.
57. Drucker, The Practice of Management, p. 209.
58. David I. Cl el and and William R. King, Systems Analysis and Pro-
ject Management (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1968),
59. John Stanley Baumgartner, Project Management (Homewood, I hi.,
Richard D. Irwin, Inc., 1963), p. 8.
60. W. J. Taylor and T. F. Watling. Successful Project Management
(New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1973), p. 3.
61. Kerzner, Project Management, p. 13.
62. Draft NASA Handbook 7I20.2A, "Planning & Implementing NASA Pro-
jects," unpublished document primarily based on a draft NMI
produced as part of the Second NASA Colloquium on Project Man-
agement held at Wallops Island on May 17-19, 1982, pp. 1-2.
63. Richard L. Chapman, Project Management in NASA: .The Systems
and the Men (Scientific & Technical Information Office, NASA,
1973), p. 10.
64. Harold Kerzner, Project Management, A Systems Approach to
Planning, Scheduling and Controlling (New York: Van Nostrand
Re inhold Company, 1979), p. 24.
65. Waterman, Peters & Phillips, "Structure is Not Organization,"
66. Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., Strategy & Structure (Cambridge: MIT
67. Douglas S. Sherwin, "Management by Objectives," Harvard Business
Review May-June 1976), p. 106.
*68. Ibid., p. 107.
69. Ibid., p. III.
70. Ibid., p. 108.
71. Ibid., p. I 10.
72. Peter F. Drucker, The Practice of Management, (New York: Harper
and Brothers Publishers, 1954), p. 205.
73. Herbert Kaufman, "Administrative Decentralization and Political
Power," from Public Administration Review Vol. 29 (Jan.-Feb.
1969), pp. 3-15.
74. Drucker, The Practice of Management, pp. 214-216.
75. Henry Mintzberg, The Structuring of Organizations, A Synthesis
of the Research, (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, 1979),
76. Alvin Toffler, Future Shock (New York, National General Co.,
(1970), pp. 124-151.
77. Warren G. Bennis, Beyond Bureaucracy: Essays-in the Development
& Evolution of Human Organization (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973)
78. Peter F. Drucker, "New Templates for Today's Organization"
(Harvard Business Review, January-February, 1974), p. 49.
79. Peter F. Drucker, "Management Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices
(New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1973), pp. 11-36.
80. H. Fayol, General and Industrial Management, C. Storrs. (Trans.)
Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1949).
81. Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., My Years with General Motors (Doubleday,
82. Drucker, "New Templates," p. 49.
83. Ibid., p. 49.
84. Ibid., p. 49.
85. Peter F. Drucker, The Practice of Management (Harper & Brothers:
New York, 1954), p. 193-201.
86. House Subcommittee on Space Science & Applications, United States
Civilian Space Programs, 1958-1978, Volume I, January 1981.
87. Charles C. Martin, Project Management, How to Make it Work (New
York: AMACOM, 1976), pp. 63-100.
88. Richard A. Johnson, Fremont E. Kost and James E. Rosenzweig,
The Theory and Management of Systems (New York: McGraw-Hill
Book Co., 1967), p. 157.
89. Russel I D. Archibald, Managing High-Technology Programs and
Projects (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1976), p. 80.
90. A. C. Filley, R. J. House & S. Kerr, Managerial Process and
Organizational Behavior 2d. ed. (Glenview, III.: Scott Foresman,
1976), pp. 387-391.
91. Fremont E. Kast and James E. Rosenzweig, Organization and
Management, A Systems Approach (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970),
92. Ibid., p. 178.
93. Filley, House and Kerr, Managerial Process, p. 389.
94. R. C. Carzo and J. N. Tanouzas, Formal Organization: A Systems
Approach (Homewood, III.: Richard D. Irwin, 1967), p. 45.
95. Leonard R. Sayles, "Matrix Management, The Structure with a
Future," in Organizational Dynamics Autumn 1976, pp. 2-17.
96. Ibid., p. 3.
97. Ibid., p. 5.
98. Ernest Dale, Planning and Developing Company Organization Struc-
ture (American Management Association Research Paper Nov. 20,
99. Waterman, Peters and Phillips, "Structure is not Organization."
100. Richard Tanner Pascale and Anthony G. Athos, The Art of Japanese
Management (New York: Warner Books, 1981), pp. 16-17.
101. Robert Waterman and Thomas J. Peters, In Search of Excellence
(New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1982), Unpublished Manu-
scr i pt.
102. There is a substantial Iiterature on organizational values
(superordinate goals). See Henry Mintzberg, The Nature of
Managerial Work (New York: Harper & Row, 1973), p. 73; Michel
Crozier, The Bureaucratic Phenomenon (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1964), pp. 180f; Thomas J. Peters, "The Case
for Getting Things Done," unpublished paper, May 5, 1976, pp.
16-21; Phillip Selznik, TVA and the Grass Roots (Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1949); Philip Selznick,
Leadership in Administration (New York: Harper 4 Row, 1957),
103. Pascale and Athos, Japanese Management, p. 786.
104. Thomas Watson, Jr., "A Business and Its Bel iefs," McKinsey
Foundation Lecture (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963).
105. Pascale and Athos, Japanese Management, p. 126.
106. Harold Koontz and Cyril O'Donnell, Management: A Systems and
Contingency Analysis of Managerial Functions (New York: McGraw-
Hill Book Co., 1976), pp. 171-173; Paul R. Lawrence and Jay W.
Lorsch, Organization and Environment (Boston, Mass., Harvard
University Press, 1967).
107. Gary L. Warns ley and Mayer N. Zald, The Political Economy of
Public Organizations (Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books: 1973),
pp. 20-2 I.
108. Ibid., p. 27.
109. C. I. Barnard, The Functions of the Executive (Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard University Press, 1938), pp. 202-203; Peter F. Drucker,
Management, -Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices (New York:
Harper & Row, published 1974), pp. 103-129; Koontz and
O'Donnell, Management, pp. 233-251; Mintzberg, Structuring of
Organ izations, pp. 25-26, 60-61, 447-4.
Pascale and Athos, Japanese Management, p. 123-51.
111. Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., Strategy and Structure, (Garden City,
N.Y.: Doubleday and Co., Inc. 1962), p. 13.
112. Tosi and Carroll, Management, pp. 69-70.
113. Charles C. Martin, Project Management. How to Make it Work (New
York, AMACOM, A Division of American Management Association,
1976), pp. 178-179.
114. Pascale and Athos, Japanese Management, p. 49.
115. Ibid., pp. 49-50.
116. Drucker. Management, pp. 615-617; W. J. Redd in, "3-D Management
Style Theory A Typology Based on Task and Relationships
Orientations" Chapter 14 in H. Erick Frank, Organization
Structuring (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1971), pp.
117. Waterman, Peters, and Phillips, "Structure is not Organization."
118. Pascale and Athos, Japanese Management, pp. 12 and 124.
119. Sayles and Chandler, Managing Large Systems, pp. 161-203;
H. Eric Frank, Organization Structuring (New York: McGraw-
Hill Book Company, 1971).
120. Ibid., p. 123-125.
121. Chandler. Strategy and Structure, pp. 16-17.
122. Warren G. Bennis, Kenneth D. Berre, Robert Chin and Kenneth E.
Corey, The Planning of Change 3rd. ed. (New York, Holt, Rine-
hart and Winston, 1976).
123. Gordon L. Lippitt, Organization Renewal. Achieving Viability
in a Changing World. (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1969).
124. Barbara W. Tuchman, Practicing History: Selected Essays (New
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981), p. 56, Tuchmap's comments are
taken from her essay "The Historian's Opportunity," pp. 51-64.
125. Jules R. Benjamin, A Student's Guide to History, Second Edition
New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979), p. 7.
126. It Is realized that there Is a very real potential that obser-
vations documented in this dissertation may reveal a personal
bias of the author. However, in order to maintain a clarity
of direction, an analytical model has been developed for the
purpose of filtering out personal bias distortions from this
127. Stephen Isaac, and William B. Michael, Handbook in Research &
Evaluation (San Diego, California, Edits. Pub I 1971), p. 17*
128. Stephen Isaac and William B. Michael, Handbook in Research and
Evaluation (San Diego, California, Edits. Publ. 1971), p. 17.
129. Ibid., p. 18.
130. The NASA RECON (Remote Console) System is a computer data based
system which provides access to the NASA historical files.
These files are retained in the NASA Scientific and Technical
Information Facility, Baltimore International Airport, P. 0. Box
8757, Baltimore, MD 21240.
131. The Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports (STAR) are a hard
copy printout of selected data items included in the NASA RECON
System. These reports are provided bimonthly with a semi-annual
index of available materials.
132. International Aerospace Abstracts (IAA) are published bimonthly
for NASA by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astro-
nautics (AIAA). These reports are available through the AIAA,
555 W. 57th Street, NY, NY 10019.
133. International Aerospace Abstracts are Defense Department histor-
ical documents available from the Defense Technical Information
Center, Cameron Station, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.
134. The Project Management Research Series: Studies of Project
Management and Management Systems. These studies were supported
by a grant from the NASA to Syracuse University No. NGL-33-022-
090. They were prepared by professors and graduate students
from the following fields: Business Admin., Engineering,
Political Science and Sociology.
135. Henry J. Anna and H. George Frederickson, Project Management and
the Organization, Part I, Working Paper No. 20 completed on NASA
Research Grant NGL-33-022-090 (Syracuse University, August
136. Henry J. Anna and H. George Frederickson, Project Management and
the Organization, Part II, Working Paper No. 22 completed on
- NASA Research Grant NGL-33-022-090 (Syracuse University, August
137. David L. Wilemon, Project Management as a Transferable Manage-
ment System, Working Paper No. 21 completed on NASA Research
Grant NGL-33-022-090 (Syracuse University, August 1969).
138. Eugene E. Drucker, William S. Pooler, David L. Wilemona and
Bernard D. Wood, Project Management in the Apollo Program: An
Interd i sci pIi nary Study, Final Report on NASA Research Grant
NGL-33-022-090 (Syracuse University 1972).
139. Arnold S. Levine, An Administrative History of NASA 1963-1969,
Working Paper for NASA History Office, August 1977.
140. Courses that have been developed and taught concerning the
history of the space agency provided clues to useful source ma-
terials in support of this research work. One course, in par-
ticular, taught at Yale University by Professor Alex Roland
generated a very helpful bibliography. Roland's course traces
the history of the American civiI ian space program from the
cold war politics and technology of Sputnik to the current
concentration on science, earth applications and the space
shuttle. The focus of this course was on NASA as an agency;
how and why the agency was formed; its relationship with the
Congress, the executive branch, industry, the scientific
community, and the public at home as well as the management
of large scale technology. Alex Roland, "NASA and the Post-
Sputnik Era," Yale University Course Syllabus, Fall, I960.
See also Alex Roland, A Guide to Research in NASA History,
141. David A. Nadler, Feedback and Organization Development: Using
Data-Based Methods (Reading, Mass.: Addison-WesIey Publishing
142. Fred N. Kerlinger, Foundation of Behavioral Research, Second
Edition (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1973),
143. C. SelIitz, et a I, Research Methods in Social Relations, Rev.
Ed. (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1959).
CHAPTER I I
PROJECT MANAGEMENT IMPLEMENTATION
Having established a theoretical foundation of project manage-
ment concepts in Chapter I, some consideration must be given to those
factors that enter into the utilization of project management con-
cepts. Therefore, this chapter will discuss project management from
three quite different but very critical perspectives. First a discus-
sion of contrasting project managment organization alternatives will
be provided along with a criteria which may be useful in the organiza-
tional selection process. A second area that must be assessed is the
human factors dimension of project management. There has been con-
siderable discussion in the literature as to when an organization
should utilize project management concepts. Consequently, this
chapter will review several of the more significant Issues of project
As Kerzner has noted, modern organizations have become so
complex as to preclude effective management using traditional organi-
zational structure and relationships. For this reason, project
management has matured as an outgrowth of the need to develop and
produce complex and/or large projects in the shortest possible time,
within anticipated costs, and with required reliability and perfor-
mance. .Although there are no uniform guidelines, researchers have
determined that the use of project management concepts is warranted
when certain organizational characteristics are present. The follow-
ing section will review several of the more significant considerations
for utilization of project management concepts:
Project Management Selection Criteria
From previous discussion, project management has been defined
as being applicable to a one-time undertaking that is definable in
in terms of a single, specific end result and bigger than the organi-
zation had previously undertaken successfully. Thus, the scope of a
project is bounded by its own definition and must end at an objective
point in time. An undertaking is not a project, in the common use
of the term, unless it Is a unique or infrequent effort by the
existing management group. Lack of familiarity or lack of precedent
usually leads to disagreement or uncertainty as to how the effort
should be managed. In such a situation, people at the lower management
levels need precise direction, while senior executives are justifiably
troubled by a greater than usual sense of uncertainty about the real-
ism of initial cost estimates, time commitments or both.
Frequently the decisive criterion of a project is the degree
of interdependence among tasks. If a given task depends on the com-
pletion of other assignments In other functional areas, and if it
will. In turn, affect the cost or timing of subsequent tasks, project
management is probably called for. A final criterion that may tip
... / '
the scales in favor of project management is the organization's stake
in the outcome of the undertaking. Would failure to finish a particu-
lar program effort on schedule or within certain cost limits entail
serious penalties for the organization? In such instances, the case
for project management is strong.
In essence, the criteria for utilizing project management de-
pends greatly upon the complexity of the project; the degree of un-
familiarity with the problems involved; the importance placed on
mobilizing critical organizational resources; and the degree of con-
trol necessary to manage the project's cost, schedule and performance
objectives. These criteria do not necessarily limit project manage-
ment to one-time large undertakings; however, the large and complex
one-time task remains the most common appl icat ion of project manage-
Project Structural Alternatives
Numerous organizational designs have been devised to cope with
complex management problems. From a project management perspective,
these range in size from one manager organizations to those that vir-
tually involve everyone within the organization. Just as each organi-
zational design has its own unique characteristic advantages and
disadvantages, each project organization is designed to accomplish
the particular objectives established for that design. Once a
group of tasks is selected and considered to be a project, then one
must define the type of project that should be pursued. There are
several types of organizational alternatives, including individual,
staff, special and matrix or aggregate projects. These types of
projects are summarized as follows:
Individual Projects. Short duration projects are
normally assigned to a single individual who may be
acting as both a project manager and a functional
Staff Projects. These are projects which can be
accomplished by one organizational unit. A staff
or task force is developed from each section in-
volved. This works best if only one functional
unit is involved.
Special Projects. These projects occur when cer-
tain primary functions and/or authority are assigned
temporarily to other individuals or units. This
works best for short duration projects.
Matrix or Aggregate Projects. These projects re-
quire input from a large number of functional units
and usually involve control over vast resources.
Although there are some common characteristics with each of
these structural alternatives, there are some very distinct features
which are unique to each project organizational alternative. For
example, each of these categories of projects can require different
management and work responsibilities, job descriptions, work policies
and procedures. The most significant project management organiza-
tional concepts along with those characteristics that establish their
uniqueness are discussed in the following sections.
Internal Functional Model (Direct Authority)
The Internal Functional Model is utilized in differing author-
ity structures and for this reason application of the internal func-
tional model in both the direct and indirect authority structure will
be reviewed. The organizational arrangement with direct authority
is usually found within an existing functional-type department.
Generally, the project manager is directly responsible for the part
of the functional-type organization which is assigned to the project
manager. This arrangement gives a direct point of accountability for
the project. One of its prime advantages is that it is usually lo-
cated within a major functional division and can draw upon the re-
sources of that division effectively. Providing the project manager
has good relations with superiors, a strong position can be estab-
lished within the functional unit.
If most of the major problems occur within the confines of
the division disci piine,-this model is usually quite effective. Care,
however, must be taken if the project requires inputs and contribu-
tions from several divisions. If the project requires diverse divi-
sional inputs, then the project manager must build alliances, as well
as negotiate and. make trade-offs with these divisions to secure the
necessary resources. An example of this model is illustrated in
in Figure ll-l. The contrasting Internal Functional Model is that
organizational concept where project authority is of an indirect
nature, discussed in the next section.
Internal Functional Model (Indirect Authority)
Internal functional models with an indirect authority rela-
tionship to the project participants are similar in many respects to
the previous model. One similarity with other organizational models
is that the project is again located within a major functional area of
am organization. In the functional model, with indirect authority
lines, the project manager has "project authority" over the units
SOURCE: ALLAN JANGER, "ANATOMY OF THE PROJECT ORGANIZATION. BUSINESS MANAGEMENT RECORD
NOVEMBER, 1963, p. 14. USED COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE BOARD
AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT RECORD
INTERNAL FUNCTIONAL MODEL
performing work on the project, but not the usual type of "line"
authority. This particular model is frequently employed when an ob-
jective of establishing direct responsibility for controlling the
progress of the project is desired. Such an organizational concept
allows the manager of the particular functional area to retain line
control over the project, if and when needed. Problems occur in this
model when conflicts develop between the manager of the functional
area and the project manager. In one sense, the project participants
report to two superiors using two different types of authority. It
is imperative for the project manager in this case to establish good
working relationships with both subordinates and superiors. The
Internal Functional Model with indirect authority is illustrated in
Figure 11-2. When organizational concept provides for the assign-
ment of ail required functional resources to the project manager,
this is known as the multi-functional project and will be discussed
in the next section.
Multi-Functional Project Model (Line Authority)
The multi-functional type of project organization is an
organizational concept where the project manager is required to
coordinate several functional areas, but all of these functional re-
sources are assigned directly to the project manager. Normally,
such an. organization is used for complex, large-scale undertakings
which utilize inputs from across the organization. In this model,
depending upon the charter given the project manager, several poten-
tial conflicts may develop between the functional managers and the
SOURCE: ALLAN JANGER, ANATOMY OF THE PROJECT ORGANIZATION", BUSINESS MANAGEMENT RECORD
NOVEMBER, 1963, P. 13. USED COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE BOARD AND
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT RECORD
INTERNAL FUNCTIONAL MODEL