Matrix Organizations

Matrix management is a relatively new invention, coming into view in the 1960s and put into practice in the 1970s. In matrix organizations, there is a balance of power established between the functional and project managers. The project worker in a matrix organization has a multiple command system of accountability and responsibility. Although it varies from organization to organization, we can usually find several chains of command inside a matrix organization. They can be linked by function, geographic location, or project, product, or client. A typical matrix structure is illustrated in Figure 13-12.

Figure 13-12. Matrix Organization

Source: Cable, Dwayne, andJohn R. Adams. Organizing for Project Management, pp. 11-20.

Usually three types of matrix organizations are described: weak, balanced, and strong. The differences are in the relative balance of power between the functional manager and the project manager. The matrix organization is the most commonly encountered form today.

The characteristic advantages of a matrix are manifold:

• Enables project objectives to be clearly communicated;

• Permits project integration to be done across functional lines;

• Makes efficient use of resources;

• Enhances information flow within an organization;

• Retains functional disciplinary teams;

• Encourages higher morale;

• Develops project managers;

• Makes project termination less traumatic;

• Makes conflicts minimal and more easily resolved.

But the matrix is not without drawbacks:

Project personnel must report to (at least) two bosses. It is complex to monitor and control.

• Resource allocation and project priorities can conflict.

® Functional and project management may have differing priorities.

® It requires extensive efforts to establish policies and procedures that work.

• More administrative personnel are required to manage the organization. ® It creates duplication of effort across projects.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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