However, a larger number of people felt that their time was being wasted and would have preferred leaving the decisions to the most informed people. The engineers, in particular, complained that the time they were spending in meetings was robbing them of opportunities to strengthen their special competence and identities. As well as noting these personal reactions, senior managers reported a general disappointment with the speed and flexibility of organizational responses. In business organizations that operate with a balance of power form, there is a constant tendency toward imbalance. As long as each group or dimension in an organization tries to maximize its own advantage vis-à-vis others, there will be a continual balancing struggle for dominant power. A power struggle in a matrix is qualitatively different from that in a traditionally structured hierarchy because in the latter it is clearly illegitimate. In the matrix, however, power struggles are inevitable; the boundaries of authority and responsibility overlap prompting people to maximize their own advantage.
This keeps communication open between everyone in leadership roles and allows the project to move forward smoothly. There are three types of matrix management, with each type giving more or less authority to the project manager. You can visualize these management types on a scale with the project manager on one end and the department manager on the other. A matrix organization https://online-accounting.net/ differs from this classic structure since team members report to both a project manager and a department lead. In the guide below, we’ll discuss what a matrix organization is and how you can use one for complex projects. If employees work on multiple project teams with different managers, that multiplies the potential for miscommunication, excess work and management conflict.
Disadvantages of matrix structure
Creating a communication plan can keep communication from getting lost in a weak matrix. If individual department heads can accomplish everything the company needs using the resources in their own silos, there’s no need for a matrix.
Another key element in stopping power struggles before they get out of hand and destroy the balance is the top level superior to whom the duelling managers report. The identifying feature of a matrix organization is that some managers report to two bosses rather than to the traditional single boss; there is a dual rather than a single chain of command. The overlapping reporting relationships can lead to power struggles for resources. There may also be delayed reaction time when responding to market changes due to the number of people who have to be involved in the decision. Organizations should foster close cooperation between the project manager and the functional manager to avoid confusion and conflict. An authority conflict may arise between the project manager and the functional manager.
Mismatch of goals in the workplace
There is a new chain of command for every new supervisor appointed to a project in a matrix organizational structure. It is difficult to figure out who is in control when there are several supervisors making demands on a worker’s time and attention. As a result, it may be challenging to determine which leader has the last word in making key choices. When everything goes according to plan, the matrix organizational structure will place the best employees in critical positions. The reality is that managers often keep their most talented employees confined so they cannot work for other teams.
The matrix organization is an organizational structure in which the work is divided in projects. Alternatively, the project manager can attract employees by finding out what’s important to them. Even if working on the project team doesn’t bring raises, it can bring a higher profile in the organization, more praise or a chance to learn new skills. This can happen because the functional manager has bigger rewards to offer, such as pay increases and future promotions within the department. If the company doesn’t back the project manager’s authority, that authority may be very limited in practice.
Matrix Organizational Structure
Ultimately, if you choose to utilize a matrix structure, you should establish expectations and clear manager roles to reduce any conflict among people and teams. Challenges for authority and deciding which manager has the final say on a decision. Say Matrix Organization: The Advantages And The Disadvantages a project team built a new software feature or a customer engagement campaign. The project manager might view it as one of their responsibilities, but maybe the director of product or a customer success manager believes the decision is theirs.
On the one hand, the company must maintain current operations and make money. Large companies with multiple projects may also adopt this structure. Giant companies such as multinationals generally adopt a matrix structure. Headquarters establishes policies for subsidiaries while granting them a great deal of autonomy. Thus, management in the subsidiaries has independent operation and control over operations and production in their respective areas.
Exposure to various job duties and responsibilities can increase employee development and enhance their professional skills. It is perceived that matrix organizations have more managers than required, which increases overhead costs.
A well-conceptualized matrix is bound to be less complex and easier to manage than one that is illogically organized. Treatment—Before matrix management can run smoothly, it must be in the proper location. As often as not, when a matrix sinks, it may simply be experiencing a healthy adjustment, and ought to be thought of as settling rather than as sinking. Settling is likely to occur during the early stages of a matrix’s evolution and leads to manageable matrix units.
Advantages & Disadvantages of a Vertical & Horizontal Organization
While team members must remember to relay information in a hierarchical system, the matrix makes information flow a requirement. Reporting information to multiple leaders may seem tedious, but with the right project management system in place, it requires little or no extra work from team members. Organizational leaders also need to take a role in managing managers.
- This issue with a matrix organizational structure can lead to a loss of clarity on who becomes responsible for each employee’s performance evaluation.
- In some way, each of these divisions helps improve the customer service experience.
- I am Mohammad Fahad Usmani, B.E. PMP, PMI-RMP. I have been blogging on project management topics since 2011.
- In a matrix organization, project managers pull the members they need for their team.
- Prevention and treatment—The best remedies for uncontrolled layering are careful task analysis and reduced power struggles.
Since projects are temporary, businesses cannot keep project management staff permanently. Power struggle.Project managers and functional managers compete for power and influence. Project managers claim employees should prioritize work for the project. In contrast, functional managers ask employees to prioritize work in functional areas. This structure can create control problems because employees are accountable to more than one boss. Say, they may neglect their functional responsibilities and place more importance on the project.