Companies that need solid leadership and balance for a project employ the use of matrix organizational structure. Resources and workers are then used in a much more efficient manner. On time sensitive projects, this could be the biggest management priority to overcome.
The three type of matrix structures are weak, balanced and strong. In these formats, employees have multiple managers rather than a single project manager. This includes primary managers, project managers and sometimes team managers.
1. Communication efficiency is the biggest reason to support matrix organizational structures. The more people that are involved in a project, the harder it is to stay in sync. Resolving issues quickly requires good communication based on familiar group interactions.
2. Resources are limited, so each stage of a project can be compromised by bad decisions. Matrix organizational structure maximizes your resource usage across multiple projects. This is especially useful to companies that don’t have a lot of free resources to spare.
3. Sometimes a professional skillset doesn’t translate well into individual employee development. When you have employees with untapped potential, their development will always be tied to their assigned projects. In this situation, the right structure will highlight their best assets while training them in a functional team-oriented environment.
4. Employees are motivated when they have more autonomy during a project. Matrix organizational structure provides this without taking control away from the company. Skillsets are used correctly, and less time is wasted by putting employees in the wrong position.
A company with limited resources may spread itself too thin with matrix organizational structure. Like any good plan, it is all about the setup. There are some major strengths to the structure, but here are the most glaring weaknesses for companies that don’t prepare.
1. If the managers assigned to a project have strong personalities, they may clash. Managers that like to move at their own pace rather than at a team pace are the most susceptible to this issue. It causes employees to become conflicted with orders and slows the project down.
2. A company that has limited resources runs the risk of overworking employees. Employee effectiveness is lowered, and more mistakes are made during a project. No matter how well the project is planned, matrix organizational structure still requires good moving parts.
3. Management costs come into play with this structure. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. But several highly paid managers on a single project adds up when you’re on a tight budget.
4. When manager seniority is involved, authority is a reoccurring issue. Matrix organizational structure thrives by having multiple cooks in the same kitchen. But when one manager claims ultimate authority over the others, the structure loses its power. Companies can get around this by having meetings before, during and after the project is done.
Multiple operations depend on matrix organizational structure to get things done. Knowing the pros and cons of the structure puts it in a better position to be successful. Determine what it can do for your company, and it will be the workplace approach that gets you the most gains.