Matrix Organization | Structure, Roles, Example, Working
Is it a mystery to you how large organizations with many divisions and projects manage to keep everything running smoothly? The secret lies in the matrix organizational structure.
Team members have distinct responsibilities within the functional hierarchy in a matrix organizational structure. Yet, the project manager holds a pivotal role with enhanced decision-making authority, enabling them to plan and execute projects successfully.
Why does a matrix structure work better than other types of organizations?
A matrix structure may be the way to go when you’re ready to maximize your company’s potential.
Read on to learn about the people involved, how it works, and the many advantages of this new organization design method.
Matrix Organizational Structure – What is it?
Matrix organizational structures can significantly impact businesses by providing a unique blend of functional and project management methodologies.
In a matrix organization, the functional hierarchy remains. But project managers hold more weight in decision-making. They have the authority to plan and allocate resources for their projects.
Benefits of Matrix Organizational Structures
The benefits of matrix organizational structures include:
Improves Employee Engagement
In a matrix organization structure, employees are given more autonomy over their work. This can lead to better employee engagement because people feel they control their work environment. In addition, when teams are working on different projects, it’s easier for managers to give employees more responsibility which increases their overall engagement.
Retention of Teams
When teams can choose which projects they want to work on, they’re less likely to leave the company because they have more control over their work environment and responsibilities. Employees can also choose which projects they want to receive bonuses for completing successfully — making them more motivated than ever before!
Allows Leaders to Set Clear Project Goals
Matrix organizations allow leaders to set clear goals for each project team member by defining their roles and responsibilities. This lets employees focus better on their specific tasks without worrying about other domains of the project.
Matrix organizations encourage open communication between teams because there are no hierarchical barriers between departments or managers. As such, any needed information can be easily accessed by anyone without having to go through any unnecessary red tape.
Types of Matrix Organizational Structure
Three types of matrix organizational structures exist;
Weak Matrix Organization
The weak matrix organization has no real power over the project teams operating autonomously. In a weak matrix structure, project teams act independently, free from constraints from other groups. Project managers make decisions and allocate resources for their projects.
Balanced Matrix Organization
Both sides (project managers and functional managers) have equal authority in a balanced matrix organization. A project manager leads and directs the team in a matrix organization. They make decisions impacting both the functional and project sides, taking accountability for their choices. This structure is ideal for multiple concurrent projects, as each project functions independently yet collaborates with others.
Strong Matrix Organization
This type of matrix organizational structure is just like a balanced matrix organization, except that it gives one side more power than they need while taking some away from the other side. This structure is used when multiple projects are going on at once, and each project needs to work independently from other projects.
But still, they are able to cooperate, but one project or group has more influence over another group or project than they would normally have in any matrix organizational structure.
Matrix Organization – Working
Management in a matrix organization reports to more than one higher-up. This might sound difficult at first, but team members report directly to one boss in most cases.
It’s very similar to the standard organizational structure where employees report to a department manager—for instance, team members in information technology answer to that division’s director. The vice president of the division is responsible for the IT director. There is a direct chain of command to the CEO.
In a matrix organization, however, team members report not only to the project managers but to each other as well. With so many moving parts, it’s helpful to have a dedicated project manager who can coordinate the efforts of people in areas like IT, marketing, and finance.
Example of Matrix Organization in Project Management
Here’s a case in which a marketing department successfully implemented a matrix structure. Project managers are distinct from other directors, such as those in charge of content, creativity, demand creation, and product marketing.
Team members collaborate on projects under the supervision of project managers and directors. The chief marketing officer (CMO) answers to the chief executive officer (CEO), and the CMO, in turn, answers to the director of the project manager.
Call center software is proving to be an invaluable tool for improving communication, and this organizational model may be used in other areas of any engineering firm (financial, operations, etc.).
Different Roles in Matrix Organization
The following are some key roles in a matrix organizational structure:
- Project Manager: Responsible for leading and managing projects, overseeing the project team, and ensuring project objectives are met on time and within budget.
- Functional Manager: Accountable for managing the day-to-day operations of a particular department or functional area. This includes finance, marketing, or human resources.
- Team Members: Employees assigned to work on projects report to the project manager and the functional manager. They may be specialists in a specific area of expertise or generalists who can work on multiple projects.
- Business Unit Manager: Responsible for managing the overall performance of the business unit and ensuring it meets its goals and objectives.
- Executive Sponsors: Senior leaders who provide strategic direction and project support. They may also be responsible for making important decisions and resolving conflicts that arise within the matrix structure.
The matrix organizational structure is a powerful way to manage businesses, blending traditional functional hierarchies with project-based approaches. This structure fosters collaboration, enhances decision-making, and results in better problem-solving and success.
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