how to succeed in a matrix organization

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Using emotional intelligence to succeed in a matrix organization Interview with Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix: the Secret to Surviving and Thriving in Your Organization ubai-based Dawn Metcalfe is the Managing Director of Performance Development Services (PDS) and an experienced and qualified trainer, facilitator and coach. Usually, there are two chains of command, where project team members have two bosses or … By definition, a matrix organization is one that facilitates the horizontal flow of skills and information. The very thought of matrix structures makes some people sigh and roll their eyes. A functional structure, for example, enables individuals to remain aware of new technical developments in their respective areas of expertise, by allowing the functional groupings to concentrate their efforts and interactions in their functional areas of interest. Beth. Print your SWOT matrix in large size, and ask employees to add post-it notes in any or all of the four boxes of the SWOT matrix if … Employees in a matrix organization generally have at least two "reporting lines" or directions of responsibility. Matrix Citation (2014), "Using emotional intelligence to succeed in a matrix organization: Interview with Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix: the Secret to Surviving and Thriving in Your Organization", Human Resource Management International Digest , Vol. Some strategies to help you succeed in a matrix organization: Establish “contracts” with your matrix partners. Confusion over accountability – who is accountable for what? A management process is any that is used to get work done. Jul 15, 2013 - Find updated & relevant information related to talent acquisition, career, pre-hire solutions, HR technology at one place. The skills and experience of the leadership team, other managers, and the workforce will impact how quickly and successfully the organization can implement a matrix organizational structure. From the very beginning, all aspects of the matrix process -- from roles & … A global matrix team is one of the most complex teams to manage. E. Large organizations tend to have a _____ hierarchy and _____ specialization than small organizations. Find out what “excellent” performance looks like to them. Matrix structures pose difficult challenges for HR professionals charged with ensuring equity and fairness across the organization. The most common authority conflicts are those between functional and project managers over project priorities, administrative procedures, technical perfection versus performance trade-offs, personnel resources, cost estimates, scheduling, and personalities. The value in standard management processes is that once someone learns the step-by-step method in problem solving, it can be applied with any group of people. A matrix violates both of these deeply ingrained principles, creating problems for both the organization and its individual members. Conflict resolution, including legitimizing conflict, working with conflict resolution processes, and determining when to escalate issues. The remaining 17 percent reported to different managers in their work with different teams (supermatrixed… But they often take a toll on people by harboring ambiguity and unclear expectations. On the other side, it places the project manager in an ideal position to represent not only the interests of projects but also of the organization. Communication is always important, but in a matrix organization it is absolutely vital. Where needed for the leadership team, training should focus on developing accountability, influence and conflict resolution skills. Influence — Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behavior of someone or something. Empathy — Empathy can be defined as the intellectual identification with the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another. Thomas Sy. Simply adopting a matrix structure is no guarantee of success, and such They also continue to report on their overall performance to the head of their department whose authority flows downwards (vertically) within his or her department. DOWNLOADS Open interactive popup. At the same time, the cross-functional structure reduces the need for vertical communication by creating self-contained task teams focused on a specific, finite project. Company after company started to abandon the matrix organization, with even management gurus like Tom Peters decrying its complexity. To succeed, matrixes need to be underpinned by strong interpersonal relationships, well-defined decision making processes, and, most importantly, trust. If problems are not resolved at the level closest to the work, the matrix will be defeated. To work effectively as a functional resource manager or as a project manager in a matrix structure, leaders need: Organizational Thinking — This can be defined as having a deep understanding of the formal organization (e.g., goals, roles, processes, etc.) Each is the enemy of employee engagement. A matrix organization is one that crosses organizational boundaries. A project group was brought together to develop the parameters for a leadership program that equipped all … 44-45. Organization of the waa locus is shown. Managing in a matrix can be nuanced and even feel a little clunky. Matrix organization structures are incredibly common. By clarifying roles within a matrix organization, managers can boost both the engagement of the workforce and a company’s organizational health. A matrix makes a person or unit responsive to more than one group. (A) smaller, more (B) smaller, less (C) greater, more (D) greater, less (E) none of these. Thanks for the term; it will help provide clarity in describing part of our culture. A related communication benefit of matrix is its ability to handle increased information loads over the more traditional functional structures. An organisational structure with a matrix design is bad. There is no question that a matrix structure can offer a significant number of benefits including more efficient usage of resources and standardization of processes/working practices across different implementations. (A) centralized (B) formalized (C) bureaucratic (D) mechanistic (E) flexible. The process/product big picture is identified and all employees feel connected, Cross-functional integration, coordination, and standardization are possible, Cross-functional learning is more easily facilitated. Product managers set the direction on products offered by the company. Agility is … Without these key competencies, we see matrix organizations struggle with a number of challenges including: © 2020 Global Knowledge Training LLC. Vertical roles are the most familiar — the coach (referred to as the boss in Vertical Management or Matrix Management 1.0) and the direct report. The best way to succeed in complex environments is to look for ways to achieve success by leveraging the expertise that exists in other parts of the business. In a matrix organization an employee, whom we'll call Susan, will have two direct reports. Thriving in a Matrix Organization - Network, communicate and negotiate across multiple reporting lines; Influencing Without Authority - Master your influencing skills to push through your own ideas; Managing in Turbulent Times - Succeed under conditions of increased uncertainty and stress; Digital Fluency . The three structures listed in order of increasing influence and authority is the weak matrix, balanced matrix, and strong matrix. But with a good dose of leadership agility, you can make a matrix succeed. Challenges of Leading in a Matrix Organization. However, the matrix organization required a different way of leading and managing – and many companies simply did not lay the necessary groundwork to ensure the success of the matrix. 44-45. However, the matrix organization required a different way of leading and managing – and many companies simply did not lay the necessary groundwork to ensure the success of the matrix. Going to the theory underlying the matrix structure, the focus in goal setting is to optimize the whole rather than optimize the parts that make up the whole. Customer-Focus — Having a customer focus can be defined as outing the customer and their satisfaction at the center of all you do. 22 No. The matrix organizational structure is a combination of two or more types of organizational structures. Rather than assume you know what they want, meet with key people at least twice a year to discuss mutual expectations. The staff all report to functional managers who can help with the prioritization of projects, skills, and review the work for the employee. Thus, team members may come from various departments. More advanced processes include project management, process management, strategic planning and innovation. Emotional Intelligence: A Key Ability to Succeed in the Matrix Organization 12 05 2007. 22 No. Frequent communication of shared targets, accountabilty, results, issues, and recognition of contributions keeps everyone aligned and reduces complexity and redundant effort. How to Succeed with a matrix organization structure? The matrix structure is a proven blend of the traditional functional and projectized structures and allows management team to slide personnel around to meet needs on projects as they arise. The Secret to Matrix Organization Success. Authors: Thomas Sy. Eighty-four percent of the US employees Gallup surveyed were matrixed to some extent. Your verbal conversations and the plan in writing should turn into the reality, so as to bring forward the reaction and action of the plan to the company and also the organization. A primary advantage of the cross-functional structure is that it solves an information processing problem. Close cooperation between both the functional and project manager will go a long way in minimizing conflict and confusion; Maintain an open and strong communication channel to communicate the goals, objectives, and vision of a company to employees, supervisors, managers, and executives The good news is that the debates among team members to arrive at this integration typically result in better decisions than if there had been no debate. It improves communication among different departments and projects by forcing managers to maintain close contact with all organizational groups upon whose support they must rely for project success. Hate them? Abstract. To align an organization, you have to have something to align to. Evaluate results by measuring how effectively Leadership Agility has be developed in all leaders within the matrix organization. Tip #1: Identify Your Matrix Roles and Relationships A matrix organization operates in two dimensions —the vertical and the horizontal. organization. A Matrix organizational structure describes a management practice where organization’s human resources are deployed based on departmental functions, as well as for specific products. and applying that knowledge to make all decisions. All Rights Reserved. A key ability to succeed in the matrix. In a matrix, the boundaries of authority and responsibility are split or shared between functional and project managers. As organizations look to do more with fewer resources and leverage scarce knowledge better across their entire organization, we see lots of companies moving to matrix structures. Goal setting is the process by which you plan to achieve your purpose. When we put in a matrix for a global manufacturing company in the mid-90’s, the hierarchical mindset was very strong. Learn more about Nick at www.nickhorney.com. Accept differences and collaborate to deliver TEAM Results. It creates lateral communications channels not available in the classical bureaucratic form of organization. Projects form around specific finite tasks, such as a construction project, whereas matrix structures tend to form around ongoing tasks, such as managing an engineering consulting firm or manufacturing a complex product (e.g., aerospace companies). Since many people grow up with two bosses (i.e., parents) the idea of reporting in two directions shouldn’t seem so foreign. One global R&D pharmaceutical company that enjoys the benefits of matrix working has embraced five success factors: A pragmatic approach is essential to successful matrix working. Role confusion resulting in conflict or duplication of efforts. In a matrix, individuals find themselves working across various projects under different managers. If managing the rollout of a new CMS, for example, the project manager will have to depend on input and help from end users, the dev group, sales and marketing, and any other group that has a stake in the outcome. It’s not a kind of loud bang that demands your attention. This characteristic creates ambiguity and conflict over areas such as resources, technical issues, salaries and promotions, and personnel assignments. Define, expect, and intentionally coach behaviors needed to succeed in the matrix, … This introduction of multiple perspectives can be expected to improve decision quality. June 2004; Journal of Management Development 23(5):437-455; DOI: 10.1108/02621710410537056. Article (PDF-257KB) Matrix organizations have been around for decades, stimulating vigorous debate between supporters and detractors for nearly as long. In addition to the steps to redefine roles, accountability will also need to be redefined. Top 6 Keys to Working Successfully in a Matrix Organization As organizations look to do more with fewer resources and leverage scarce knowledge better across their entire organization, we see lots of companies moving to matrix structures. At this point, we recommend running a “brown paper exercise” with your SWOT analysis that involves everyone in your organization. Thriving in a Matrix Organization - Network, communicate and negotiate across multiple reporting lines Influencing Without Authority - Master your influencing skills to push through your own ideas Managing in Turbulent Times - Succeed under conditions of increased uncertainty and stress About Nick HorneyNick Horney, Ph.D. is The Agility Doc. The increased contact among departments allows information to "permeate" the organization, improving decision making and response time, which translates into an organization that can quickly and flexibly adapt to a dynamic situation. In the matrix organization, once process/product goals have been established they are decomposed into functional goals. Communication, above all, is the key — you must be willing to learn from others, to ask questions, have an open viewpoint, communicate, develop listening skills and empathize with those around you. In these rapidly unfolding and changing circumstances--and now, as an organizational psychologist--Nick discovered that the key ingredient separating good leaders from best leaders is agility. Global matrix teams – where individuals from different functions, countries, time zones and cultures come together to solve a common problem. They need to feel comfortable in letting go of decision-making authority and so may need training in how to coach others in decision making. Implementing a matrix organization requires change management for all administrative mechanisms, culture, and behavior. But it also involves much complexity and demands much communication so that all organizational managers--particularly the project and the functional--can effectively and efficiently work together. Two desired outcomes occur in matrix structures: There is a distinction between matrix and project structures. 3, pp. What is the best way to succeed in a matrix organizational structure Choose 1 from BUISNESS C483 at Western Governors University projects. Company after company started to abandon the matrix organization, with even management gurus like Tom Peters decrying its complexity. Potential problems in the shift to a matrix organizational structure include: In order to make the move to and operate effectively in a matrix, the leadership team should focus on developing key elements of Leadership Agility as illustrated in The AGILE Model®: Anticipate changes brought about from a matrix organization by aligning the leadership team. Going to the theory underlying the matrix structure, the focus in goal setting is to optimize the whole rather than optimize the parts that make up the whole. Self-Management — This can be defined as the ability to understand and control/manage your emotions and reactions. In a matrix or global working environment a strategic mindset is a must; and is a natural companion to a collaborative way of working. Rather than assume you know what they want, meet with key people at least twice a year to discuss mutual expectations. Leaders assume multiple roles in both dimensions. What are you experiences with matrix organizations? The skills needed for a leader to thrive in a matrix operating environment — empathy, conflict management, influence and self-awareness — can be identified, developed and honed. Jesse Lyn Stoner on August 21, 2012 at 10:29 am So glad this is helpful, Beth. The interconnected world means organizations rely less and less on traditional pyramid structures, but more on collaboration. This can be a lot to handle.…A Harvard Business Review article recently noted…that in matrix organizations, leaders are challenged…to manage cross divisional, international teams…with little formal authority.…This means you need a different skill set…to effectively manage in this kind of organization.…Let's cover a few skills you'll need to master.…First, is your ability to influence.… , salaries and promotions, and strong matrix of decision-making authority and responsibility are or. Result that an employee may belong to a functional department but actually work away from that in. Company after company started to abandon the matrix organization functional areas:,... Might be a matrix relationship creates dual accountability ) formalized ( C ) (. And fairness across the organization, your project and be willing to listen to others and. Guilds became extremely popular in the matrix organization, there is a potential cost Lyn Stoner on 21. More dimensions influence — influence is the ability to succeed in the matrix structure evolved over and! Management for all administrative mechanisms, culture, and such projects matrix is an doing! Focus on developing accountability, influence and conflict over areas such as resources technical. Boost both the organization you are a leader in a flat organization Stoner on August 21 2012... Influencers execute influence strategies in a matrix design is bad include goal setting is the Agility Doc of! You succeed in the mid-90’s, the hierarchical mindset was very strong across departments a ) centralized ( )... It creates lateral communications channels not available in the Agile community key competencies, see... Power, etc. changed, so have those of managers within organization. Relationships, well-defined decision making needs to know what the desired outcome looks.! Too, is due to the peer managers to resolve, ensured that the development of matrix structures difficult! 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