Need a prescription for matrix management that actually works? Here's a different look at cross-functional organizations, focusing on alignment with strategic objectives and customers rather than just rearranging the organizational chart.
What this is
A discussion of the concepts behind matrix management as a customer- and strategy-focused alignment, rather than a dual-reporting reorganization. Key requirements for aligning organizations along matrix lines are explained and discussed, and the author makes a case for the matrix as a disciplined approach to management, not just a frame of mind.
Why it's useful
In many organizations, functions are king and getting work done cross-functionally is difficult at best. For years companies have tried to solve this problem by changing the culture or restructuring, but functional silos still don't necessarily cooperate with one another. Business processes are riddled with rework and long cycle times; projects are late and don't satisfy their customers. This paper by Paula Martin, who has extensive field experience with matrix organizations, discusses what it takes to make it all work, including getting alignment around goals, projects, and roles, achieving collaborative management, and what's required of individuals.
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