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Creating a Project in a Matrix Organization

Creating a Project in a Matrix Organization

In an organization where the project manager and the functional managers share responsibilities between dividing and assigning work among the resources in the project, it is important to synchronously work together as to ensure a clear work plan. Clarizen's service enables the managers within a matrix organization to collaboratively plan and execute the project.

Each of the managers can control their own view of the project as they wish.

The following is an example of how you can view roadmaps across several sub-projects:


The example illustrates a “New Project Introduction” project, in which project manager, development and marketing departments are collaborating. Each having their own project and roadmap, allowing each to manage their own project in their own space. Project manager will have an aggregated view of all sub-projects together into a single roadmap “New Product Introduction”

How can You achieve it? 

  • Create your own project . For example: “New Product”
  • Define the key milestones you would like to track in your project, whether they are composed of actual work of the different departments or your own. For example: “Concept”, “Design”, ”Verficiation”, “Beta”, “Launch”
  •  Create a sub-project for each of the departments, assign the appropriate manager as Manager of the project (set “manager” field). For example: “Marketing” project, “Development” project
  • Next step is defining the appropriate dependencies between your project to theirs, so that progress will be accurately reflected in your milestones

Perform one of the following:

  • Define in their project the milestone you expect to receive a progress report from them For example: within the “marketing” project, define “marketing Beta deliverables” milestone that will basically represent all the marketing work that needs to be done for Beta.
  • Create a “Finish-to Finish” schedule dependency to the appropriate milestone in your plan (so that any move in the sub-project milestone will be reflected as a conflict in your plan, allowing you to control it). For example: dependency between “Beta” in your project to “Marketing Beta Deliverables” in “marketing” project
  • Define completion dependency between your milestone (in master project) to the newly created milestone in the departmental project, so that it’s progress will be immediately reflected at your project’s milestone. For example: “Beta” milestone in your project is completion dependent on “Marketing Beta deliverables” milestone in “Marketing” project
  • Define the appropriate weight to the dependency. For example: “Marketing Beta milestone” is 40% of your “Beta” milestone, because yours consists of other departments too
  • Request each of the department managers to define their milestones
  • Each Manager will create appropriate milestones in his\her own project

Once this is done, Proceed with defining the appropriate dependencies to the milestones each created into your own milestones like described above (schedule & completion dependency as well as weight)

Each of the department managers can continue and create their own milestones and plan within their project and create inter dependencies or dependencies to other milestones of other sub-projects.


Working this way also allows you to create safety buffers for each department’s delivery to assure meeting the required project deadlines.

**The result will be:

**True collaboration on plan & execution. Now, it’s not only you who has to request the planning data and input it into your plan

Multiple high-level views on the same project with an aggregated summed-up view, allowing you to understand the bottom line

Each department having their own project plan for their own work. They can continue working independently

Each work\progress or issues will be automatically reflected in all other dependent components in other projects, taking into the account defined buffers

Clarizen Team Answered

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Is there a way then for each function to view all of the sub-projects they have across a portfolio of projects?  In other words, if Marketing has a sub-project in Project 1, Project 2, and Project 3, is there a view that can pull all of the sub-projects into one location for the Marketing function to view?  

Bekah Bridges 0 votes
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Bekah, please note that this is an old post based on the old version of Clarizen. Are you trying to specifically use the Roadmap or can you view these within the Project Work Plan which will show you the Portfolio as well as Sub Projects within the Work Plan. 

Boris Krutiy 0 votes
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Given the fact that this is an old post in an old version of Clarizen (Post Dated June 13, 2013):
1) Does the same principle apply?
2) What are best practices for project manager in a matrix organization using today's Clarizen version?

Kimberly Coates 0 votes
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1 - The same principles apply currently
2 - Projects can contain a Project Manager and a Manager if you want to have more than one person manage a Project. In the near future, we will be releasing Multi-Manager functionality. This means that every Project will have a Project Manager, Owner (previously named Manager) and then a Relational Panel at the Project level named Managers. This panel will be a one to many relationship where you can specify many Managers for one Project, similar to adding resources to a task today. There is no specific date that this will be released at this time but is expected to be released in Q3 2015.
3 - I will bring this article to the attention of our documentation team and ask that it be updated as needed.

Thank you

Boris Krutiy 0 votes
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