energizing breakthrough performance

Five Not-So-Easy Pieces of Matrix Management

1.  Clarify Roles, Matrix Principles and Methods


The first question prompted by matrix implementation is this: How does the principle of a person reporting to only one supervisor get applied in a matrix? The answer is given by the Basic Matrix Role Dichotomy. The Dichotomy needs to be understood by management and staff, across the Divisions. Training and consensus-building concerning the Role Dichotomy should be an early priority. The "honeymoon period" for this organizational rearrangement will expire quickly so clarification should be quick and exact.

Vertical Leadership: Information Systems (or another Internal Service Provider, as applicable)
Standards How will the tasks be done?
Logistics Where will the task be done?
Resource Management Who will do the task?
IT Architecture How well has functional input been integrated into Business Unit efforts?
Horizontal Leadership: Business/Operations Division(s)
Need Identification What is to be done?
Project Management When will the task be done?
Business Case Why will the task be done?
Budget How much money is available?
Quality Control How well has the total effort been done?

A reconfiguration of roles and responsibilities different from that posed above could be made to work, provided that there are no "shared" responsibilities and that a consensus concerning clear role boundaries has been reached. In addition, a careful balance of role clarification and role flexibility must be achieved so that people know who is responsible for what, but all of the parties are given some "wiggle room" to adapt to change, emergencies and unique circumstances.

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