The term matrix management is typically defined as operating in a business environment where people report to more than one boss or, in a broader sense, work across organizational functions and geographic locations to meet a company’s targets and goals.
For example, a matrix-structured environment enables project teams to operate more efficiently and effectively because they do not have to go through separate management reporting chains to obtain information. Project outcomes are typically more successful in a matrix organization because subject matter experts work together with a specific goal in mind and can collaborate without outside influence.
Matrix management is an organizational alternative to the functional silos and deep hierarchies that can adversely affect innovation and new product development.
Evidence that wasteful activities occur due to a silo mentality are heard in responses such as, “Sorry, I can’t help you. That’s not my department.” Many organizations recognize the value of restructuring their business operations to facilitate both horizontal and vertical flows of knowledge and information to capture the creativity that exists when everyone contributes and shares ownership of goals.
In many cases, implementing matrix best practices results in a more responsive and adaptive organization, able to do more with less, combining flexibility with stability and focusing on customer needs and demands. In addition, multidimensional organizations place greater importance on collaboration and contribution to the enterprise as a whole over meeting individual targets.
Regardless of your current environment, the Accenture Academy course Adopting Best Practices in a Matrix Management Environment is designed to enhance your knowledge and understanding of how the creation of multidimensional and reconfigurable organizations is based on the development of organizational capabilities over time.
Is your organization operating in a matrix environment, or does it follow a more traditional functional silo approach? Tell us in the comments below!