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Matrix Management 

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Published:  May 27, 2012
 
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Slide 1: ==== ==== If you are struggling in marketing online. And you used all your money on advertising watch this free webinar about how to make blog posts for big cash in profits http://andersdakin.com/epxbody-review/ ==== ==== Matrix Management is a compelling buzzword with a tempting nirvana of shared resources and unlimited access to expertise that lies in other functional areas. But are the resources really ready to be monopolized by multiple managers in a redesign of the organizational structure? Think twice before you plug yourself into the matrix. What is Matrix Management? Matrix management is a style of organization in which people are pooled for work assignments or to concentrate on specific tasks. In a standard structured environment, employees in a department report directly to a Functional Manager or supervisor responsible for the performance of a department or business unit. However, in a matrix environment, some of these employees may be assigned with select employees from other departments to simultaneously report to a Project Manager appointed for a specific project. In the matrix organization, employees are treated as shared resources between managers and may have to work under multiple managers simultaneously. Managers may have responsibilities for employees shared on isolated projects as well as sharing manpower for several departmental functions. There Four Primary Styles of Matrix Management Organization Balanced Power Matrix In a Balanced Power Matrix organization the resources are assigned from multiple departments and power is shared equally between the Project Manager and the Functional Managers. Philosophically, this type of equality in authority empowers Project Managers to facilitate rapid results by bestowing equal power for making decisions and dictating schedules. However, more often than not, this perception of balanced authority creates conflict. A servant can not serve two masters. The employees are typically caught in a conflict between the ongoing performance requirements of existing job responsibilities with a Functional Manager and the disparate assignments dictated by a Project Manager. Over extended periods of time either the functional job or the project performance suffer. This is frequently underscored by personality conflicts that arise from inability to monopolize the time of shared resources. Strong Project Matrix In a Strong Project Matrix organization the Project Manager is primarily responsible for the project and may recruit resources from multiple business units to achieve a specific task. Functional Managers assign resources as needed to support the project. Frequently the same resources are recruited for multiple projects, creating a strain for the Functional Managers and associated
Slide 2: business unit performance. While the Project Manager may have responsibility for the attainment of a defined task, the Functional Manager is ultimately responsible for the performance and assessment of the individual contributor as an employee. In this environment the Project Manager is bestowed with authority, but lacks the balance of accountability and responsibility for the individual contributor. This creates the allure of an "accountability free zone" for Project Managers and recruited resources which eventually degrades into projects with insignificant results, lack of focus and a detriment to functional performance. Functional Matrix In a Functional Matrix organization the Project Manager maintains limited authority to oversee the cross-functional aspects of a project. Functional Managers maintain control over the manpower and assign resources according to project requirements. The Project Manager is primarily responsible for documenting the milestones and the progress of the project, communicating regularly with the Functional Managers. In this style of matrix management, the Functional Managers share in the responsibility to achieve project results and the project manager acts as a facilitator, rather than a controlling management capacity. Soft Boundaries Matrix In a Soft Boundaries Matrix organization the functional team members provides individual expertise and assign resources on an as needed basis. In this environment it is not necessary for a Project Manager or Functional Manager to oversee the assignment of resources. Individuals may contribute as necessary based on a balance of functional responsibilities and the needs of a particular project, assessing the relative importance and urgency of the day to day job responsibilities and the project tasks. This can be an effective matrix solution in a mature environment that has motivated and capable resources available to contribute as needed for projects. The Truth Behind the Myth of the Matrix Proponents of the matrix organization are allured by the concept that highly capable resources can be shared between business units to expedite important strategic projects. Typically the most vocal proponents of adopting matrix management as an organizational structure are those managers that desire to draft the expertise and resources from surrounding functional areas in an effort to compensate for shortcomings in their own functional areas. Such shortcomings are defined as strategic projects and resources are drafted from surrounding functional areas to work under the control of a Project Manager. While this style of organization trumpets the occasional notable project result, it is a mere distraction to the underlying impact of strain and diminished performance of the functional organization. Conceptually the matrix organization is designed to share expertise, knowledge and talent of each individual as needed in multiple functional areas and multiple projects. If all employees shared the same amount of expertise and responsibility in different contexts, then this would be an effective balance. In reality, turn-over of employees creates an unequal balance of experience. Expertise, intellectual capital and experience are rarely equal, so the demands for project related tasks are rarely equal. This can easily create a strain on the most valuable resources within the organization and the associated functional management structure.
Slide 3: Matrix management organizations are designed to mandate a formal structure in order to compensate for a lack of coordination and cooperation between functional areas. This can be an indication of a lack of vision, unclear or undefined strategy, conflicts or compartmentalized functional business units. If it is necessary to an independent organized management structure that is distinctly separate and equal in authority to the existing management structure, then there is probably something else broken within your business. Real Importance of Project Management Project Management is a very important and valued aspect of many organizations. Effective Project Management is typically characterized by the definitions associated with the Soft Boundary Matrix or the Functional Matrix. When associated with well defined projects that have clearly defined objectives and timelines, the role of Project Manager can be an essential element to the success of an organization. Frequently these projects are associated with implementation projects, integration or installation projects that have easily defined purpose and ends. This is distinctly different from a matrix management organization in which Project Managers exist with a goal to justify their existence by creating new projects. On the contrary, an effective Project Manager should be indistinguishable from a functional team member, sharing the responsibilities, documenting and coordinating progress toward finite goals with well defined purpose. ______________________________________________________ Words of Wisdom "So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work." - Peter Drucker "Management is too often dictated by the migration toward a good idea, rather than the practice of one." - John Mehrmann, Executive Blueprints "You can't really know how something works until you know why it doesn't work." - Art Sakaguchi ______________________________________________________ John Mehrmann is a freelance writer and President of Executive Blueprints Inc., an organization devoted to improving business practices and developing human capital John Mehrmann is an author, speaker and industry expert with Executive Blueprints Inc. http://www.ExecutiveBlueprints.com
Slide 4: Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Mehrmann

   
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