Matrix Organization and project management

Matrix Organization and project management
A matrix organization structure is intended to facilitate the horizontal flow of skills and information.

The matrix organization is an attempt to combine the advantages of the pure functional structure and the product organizational structure. This form is identically suited for companies, such as construction, that are “project-driven”. The figure below shows a typical Matrix organization.

In a matrix organization, each project manager reports directly to the vice president and the general manager. Since each project represents a potential profit centre, the power and authority used by the project manager come directly from the general manager.

Information sharing is mandatory in such an organization, and several people may be required for the same piece of work. However, in general, the project manager has the total responsibility and accountability for the success of the project. The functional departments, on the other hand, have functional responsibility to maintain technical excellence on the project. Each functional unit is headed by a department manager whose prime responsibility is to ensure that a unified technical base is maintained and that all available information can be exchanged for each project.

Typical Matrix organization

Sample matrix organization

The basis for the matrix organization is an endeavor to create synergism through shared responsibility between project and functional management. Other advantages of a pure matrix organizational form, to project management, include:

  • Because key people can be shared, the project cost is minimized
  • Conflicts are minimal, and those requiring hierarchical referrals are more easily resolved
  • There is a better balance between time, cost and performance
  • Authority and responsibility are shared
  • Stress is distributed among the team

Other resources

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