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Five Not-So-Easy Pieces of Matrix Management

If you are reading this, you may well have read Matrix Management: Method, not Magic, also on this website. If you haven’t read that article, we recommend that you read it prior to reading this one.

By Ronald A. Gunn, Strategic Futures principal

I have been gratified and stirred by the response to the original article not only from active clients in industries as diverse as pharmaceuticals, biotech, utilities, software development, and government, but also from B-school graduate students and corporate executives, particularly executives from American companies heading up overseas operations. Traditional models of organization, e.g., departmentation by product, customer, function, etc., are just plain running out of breath. Traditional models are increasingly out of step as more work is done in looser arrangements that are somewhat amoebic, networked and teamed. Matrix management helps organizations make an orderly and understandable transition to faster, more agile arrangements. – RG Burgeoning interest in matrix management and heightened Strategic Futures® consulting activity in this specialty, along with requests from Web site visitors, have prompted this new article. This article is informed by a recent assignment with a well-managed organization that seeks to deploy information services personnel into its business/operating units using a matrix approach. The principles discussed herein are by no means limited to information services, but are instead applicable to internal service provision in a variety of areas, ranging from human resources to legal. To an extent, some of these principles apply to any matrix organization. Please note that the article provides only a partial reflection of findings and recommendations that were provided to the client. Much of the richness of this assignment has been embargoed to protect the client’s interests and investments as well as the intellectual property of Strategic Futures®. So hang on, let’s go…


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