Matrix Management

En este casi FIN  de semana, la primera de marzo – que como siempre nos bienviene con lluvia -, comparto con ustedes un artículo sobre matrix management. Me pareció interesante, voy a buscar más sobre el tema pero va un adelanto.

Una mini intro, matriz management es una forma de management mediante la cual las personas reportan a varios jefes. Por lo general uno funcional y el/los otro/s, operativo/s (en funcion de distintos proyectos que se lleven adelante). Sumado a los problemas que esto puede y de hecho trae, también está el de trabajar con tus compañeros para algunas cosas en calidad de compañeros y para otras (un poryecto x por ej) en calidad de jefe/subordinado. 

 

Surviving Matrix Management

11:33 AM Thursday June 19, 2008

Tags: Leadership, Managing people, Managing teams

Gill COrkindale

 

 

Matrix management has been around for 40 years, but there have been few challenges to its efficacy and viability. Most writers and management theorists remain convinced that a matrix approach is superior to a hierarchy, but is it really the only alternative? Are there different ways to manage – for example, a truly integrated hierarchical/matrix system or do we need to think about a different system altogether?

Let’s take a look at a few fundamental questions to see if matrix systems are shaping up to the challenges of 21st century business. Here are some thoughts – drawn from my own experience and from Life in a Matrix, a great resource. Let me have your thoughts too.

Key challenges

·                                 Multiple reporting lines can reflect the interests of functions, geographical regions and product lines, but they can also cause conflict, stress and confusion among staff if managers’ interests are not aligned

·                                 Poorly defined management roles can result in turf wars or lack of accountability, which can erode organizational cultures

·                                 Self-managing teams and individuals can free up management time and allow creative and flexible approaches to work – but not everyone can make the transition to self-management

·                                 Organisations can set parallel priorities, but this does not always result in effective or efficient working

·                                 Matrix systems are vulnerable to constant reorganization, which can disrupt the relationships that make them work: knowledge, experience and organizational know-how can be lost easily

·                                 Responsive managers in a matrix can offer unparalleled opportunities for professional development, but inattentive managers can cause immense stress and over-work

·                                 It can be difficult to keep track of who is overseeing performance if project completion is the key focus for businesses

How do you lead in the matrix?

·                                 Make sure the culture is robust, supportive and you have the right values and behaviours in place

·                                 Ensure that you are a skilled communicator: networking, influencing, coaching and facilitating skills are paramount

·                                 Draw up clear goals, objectives, and performance metrics for managers and staff and see to it that they are aligned vertically and horizontally

·                                 Empower teams to make decisions and to resolve conflicts at an appropriate level

·                                 Don’t tinker with the structure, but let the networks and matrix evolve over time

·                                 Use your expertise and personal network to influence those over whom you have no formal authority

How do you work in the matrix?

·                                 Bolster your communication, networking and coaching skills

·                                 Think about who is making demands on your time and attention

·                                 Decide how much effort and attention each part of your workload requires

·                                 Work out how to manage priorities and where you can do trade-offs

·                                 Understand your managers’ situations and identify potential pressure points

·                                 Ensure that each manager is aware of your entire workload and push back against unreasonable or conflicting demands

·                                 Keep your manager informed about what you are doing and your progress

What are the possible effects of the matrix – on people and organizations?

·                                 Greater focus on short-term projects rather than long-term issues

·                                 Shorter attention spans as multiple projects are carried out simultaneously

·                                 Transactional relationships as managers and employees trade off priorities

·                                 More flexible – or more conflictual – management relationships

·                                 More open/supportive – or more political/destructive – organizational cultures

·                                 Greater uncertainty – more ability to deal with ambiguity or less accountability

·                                 More productivity, challenge and growth – or more stress, pressure and fear

What is the future for the matrix?

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