Keys to Successful Matrix Management

Matrix management, in itself, is a breakthrough concept. In fact, there are a lot of organizations today that became successful when they implemented this management technique. However, there are also organizations that started it but failed. And eventually abandoned it in the end.

Looking at these scenarios, we can say that when you implement matrix management in your organization, two things can happen – you either succeed or fail. And there’s nothing in between. The truth is, the effectiveness of matrix management lies in your hands and in your implementation. To ensure that you achieve your desired results, recognize these essential keys to successful matrix management.

Establish Performance Goals and Metrics

This should be done as soon as the team is formed, at the beginning of the year or during the process of setting organizational objectives. Whenever it is, the most important thing is that each team player understands the objectives and metrics to which their performances will be evaluated. This ensures that everyone is looking at the same set of objectives as they carry out their individual tasks.

Define Roles and Responsibilities

One pitfall of matrix management is its internal complexity. Awareness of this limitation teaches you to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the team players up front. Basically, there are three principal sets of roles that should be explained vividly – the matrix leader, matrix managers and the matrixed employees. It is important to discuss all the possible details on these roles, as well as their specific responsibilities, to keep track of each other’s participation in the projects of the organization

One effective tool to facilitate this discussion is through the RACI chart – Who is Responsible? Who is Accountable? Who should be Consulted? Who will Implement? With this, clarification of roles and responsibilities would be more efficient.

When roles are already clearly defined, each participant should review their job descriptions and key performance metrics. This is to make sure that the roles and responsibilities expected of you integrates consistently with your job in the organization, as a whole.

Manage Deadlines

In matrix management, the employees report to several managers. They will likely have multiple deadlines to attend to and accomplish. There might even be conflicts from one deadline to another. Hence, each should learn how to schedule and prioritize their tasks. Time management and action programs should be incorporated to keep the grace under pressure.

Deliver Clear Communication

Another pitfall of matrix management is heightened conflict. To avoid unrealistic expectations, the matrix leaders and managers should communicate decisions and information clearly to their subordinates, vice versa. It would help if everyone will find time to meet regularly or send timely reports on progress.

Empower Diversity

Knowledge, working styles, opinions, skills and talents are diverse in a matrix organization. Knowing this fact, each should understand, appreciate and empower the learning opportunities that this diversity presents. Trust is important. Respect to each other’s opinions is vital. And acknowledgment of differing viewpoints is crucial.

The impetus of matrix management is the same – mobilize the organization’s resources and skills to cope with the fast-paced changes in the environment. So, maximize the benefits of matrix management as you consider these essential keys to its successful implementation.

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IT Transformation Defined

IT transformationBusinesses depend on IT to effectively manage business processes and to provide products and services to clients. As IT technologies advance, it is crucial that businesses update their hardware to remain competitive. But businesses should do more than simply upgrade their servers and should really strive to effect IT transformation.

What is IT Transformation?

IT transformation is the ongoing process of changing the way that a company uses IT to better align it with current business goals. Through the IT transformation process, businesses try to determine whether they are meeting mission-critical benchmarks through the incorporation of new IT technologies for corporate transformation.

For example, if one of the current business concerns is whether the company can improve customer service, the IT system will need to evolve in such a way that improves customer service in a measurable way.

Successfully Aligning the Technology to Business Goals

In order to successfully align the IT system with business goals, it is important to understand the newly integrated technologies to understand how they can change business processes. If a new feature is intended to make the server more secure, the management should know exactly how the feature will improve the security of the server and whether the new implementation is redundant.

Once the business objectives have been identified, IT transformation is carried out by changing both the software and hardware used by the company. An example would be the growing trend of server migration to the cloud. Cloud computing is the growing trend of making files and data accessible from anywhere. If an organization believes that it can improve productivity through a server cloud migration, it will need a way to test this.

The IT Transformation Process

Given that IT transformation is directly related to the core business, the IT transformation process must begin by identifying which aspects of the company must be changed. Then, the company must determine IT services that could potentially be integrated into the business in a way that will help the company achieve benchmarks. After the key decision-makers understand the IT network well enough to effectively implement it, the company must efficiently manage the transformation process. Then, after the IT has been integrated, the company must have a system in place to measure business transformation in a numerical way.

For example, when assessing customer satisfaction, one effective strategy would be to distribute customer satisfaction surveys that ask customers to rate their experiences on a scale of one to ten. The company can then measure the results of the customer satisfaction survey to determine whether the new IT implementations are accomplishing their intended goals.

If the expected benchmarks are not being met, the next step in the IT transformation process is to determine if there is a specific reason for that. Is there a way that the feature can be better integrated to achieve desired business objectives? Are there other features that can help the company better achieve its goals?

Upgrading a network can be an expensive process and it is important to identify early on which options are the most likely to benefit the company’s bottom line.

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