Working in a matrix should be empowering, agile and developmental. So why am I finding it confusing, hard and messy?
Put simply, matrix management is about dual reporting lines. Someone based in a regional office might report to the regional manager – the geographical line – and to the head of their department who’s based elsewhere – the functional line. Matrix management is also growing more popular as organisations increasingly move to project working. A project team is put together by pulling in people and expertise from across the organisation. During the lifetime of the project each individual is then reporting to both the project manager and their departmental line manager. A matrix structure can be formally recognised or informally de facto.
Here’s a typical example of the concern some feel about the system:
If this is sounding uncomfortably familiar, help is at hand. We’ve put together five top tips to help you turn your matrix working from messy to meaningful. These tips come from our own experience, our expertise in leadership and management, and discussions we’ve had with people from across the sector:
You might not be able to do this all in one go, but by addressing these key areas you should find that working in a matrix can be hugely rewarding. And if you’re a manager, have a look at our top tips on managing in a matrix too.
We can help you and your team navigate your matrix in a range of ways – from consultancy, to team away days, to skills development programmes. Contact us online or call us on 020 7978 1516 to discuss how we can help you and your teams sort out your matrix.
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Clare Segal, Director