When Matrices were easy to understand

Like my son I am a math person and understand completely the workings of matrices.  They are simple to explain!  Except when it comes the application in business!

In business  matrices allow the hierarchical organisation to work horizontally within a project content.  Simple you would say, except if you start creating matrix within matrix within matrix to end up in situations where you report to your boss and your boss reports to you…  Even better you both report to some one else above you and next to you.  Just trying to visualize the links for one person in the organization leads to web of reporting lines.

The ultimate question becomes who is reponsible for what and that leads to inertia and lack decision taking within an organizations.  Everyone wants to have their say but is able to push the ball forward.

So my point is: let’s kill the matrix organisation and go back to a strong hierarchical structure in these times of crisis where responsibility and authority are clear.  So when the decision makers fail, we point to the problem.  Let the real leaders shine!

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One Response to “When Matrices were easy to understand”

  1. Jan Stevens Says:

    Indeed the concept of matrix structures as a solution for effective organizations is long gone. As are the classical hierarchical structures.

    Process based and process driven organizations are the real solution and should become the new paradigm.

    The difficulty however is for companies to understand ‘processes’ and then to make the transition. CHANGE that organisation, but do it bottom um.

    Rethink the bottom of your organization: that is where the action is. Build processes based on what the customers expect the actions to deliver. Create an exhaustive process map of your organization.

    Build the company structures ans systems to support those processes and the whole organization will become customer oriented !

    It is the custome who assures and pays for the company’s welfare.

    So everybody’s boss will be the customer! All the rest is there to support the customer oriented processes, not to be boss.

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