Implementing Matrix Management

Matrix management is a culture change. More than the hierarchical structures, lines of responsibilities, modes of communication and channels of decision-making, it is a concept that needs to be planned ahead and managed appropriately over time.

Implementing matrix management to any organization can be confusing. It is essential to ensure that it fits right to your business strategies, skills and competencies. With this, realizing matrix management should not be taken lightly. Careful stages should be considered, instead.

Here are the steps to proper implementation of matrix management:

Consider Your Business Context

You need to evaluate your organisation to analyse what are your development needs with regards to skills, products, services and market environment. This will help you decide on what type of matrix structure you will apply in your organisation. Consider the following questions in building up your context:

  • What is our strategy?
  • Where are the demands in our business?
  • What are the structures that our competitors currently employ?
  • What are the talents that my people possess?
  • What are other business organizations doing?

Set Your Implementation Scope

Next, you need to define the parameter and set the scope of your implementation. What area in your business do you think matrix management will successfully work? There are several things that you need to consider in setting your scope. You have to make sure that it works well with your overall business strategies, that it can be excellently communicated and easily understood. Also, you must ensure that you acquire the necessary talents and skills in the business to deliver the new system of responsibilities.

Implement the New Structure

When you have already decided what structure type you will implement, you are ready to give it a go. You will need to establish new communication channels so you can monitor the progress and receive feedback effectively.

Here?s how to apply the matrix structure:

  • Highlight your development needs
  • Define roles based on outputs and not inputs
  • Line up procedures and systems to support the structure and the behaviour that comes with it.
  • Invest in training and development
  • Support the key people in the structure by coaching them to better adapt in changes
  • Communicate regularly
  • Monitor progress and make necessary adjustments

Review the Matrix Structure, Roles and Responsibilities

Organisations that successfully implement matrix management adapt to the changes in their environment. With this, they do regular evaluations to highlight the need for changes and revisions. The review can either focus on the structure only or to the entire process as a whole. The results can alter the structure, the roles involved and the responsibilities taken.

The process of implementing matrix management follows a step-by step method. Each stage is equally important with the rest. Hence, if you plan to exploit it in your organisation, you have to recognise the purpose of each step and follow it appropriately. Balance is the key. And when you achieve stability in matrix management, amidst the complex changes in the world of business, then your organisational success is just around the corner.

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Solutions to Password Overload

If only technologists had their way, passwords and PINs would have long been replaced with more innovative (and admittedly, better) security solutions. But such is not the case. Those alternative solutions, which include biometrics, smart cards, and password fobs, effective as they may be, are just way too expensive to implement.

So although passwords and PINs may not be here to stay, they certainly won’t be going away soon either.

Why keeping passwords in memory is no longer possible

A couple of decades ago, it would have been nearly impossible to crack an eight-character password using brute force. Today, however, advancements in computing power are rendering the typical passwords of the past easily decipherable, forcing us to come up with passwords that are not only much longer, but also much more complex and hence difficult to recall.

For instance, memorable words like your favourite character (e.g. ‘skywalker’) may have been acceptable then, but not anymore. Today?s security systems will encourage you to insert numbers or even other keyboard characters as a means to once again counter brute force. Hence, ‘sk5%ywa936lker@#’ may be more acceptable.

Remembering that one alone can be pretty daunting.

To further complicate matters, the number of applications that require passwords for access is much greater than before even for a single end user. Ordinary end users have to keep track of passwords for their email account, network login, workstation login, online services, and so on.

The burden is even greater for your IT admins, who have to remember a larger collection of passwords that protect business critical systems and applications. Clearly, the team in charge of your IT security will need a way to manage all these passwords.

Password management solutions

Existing password management solutions typically come in the form of software applications that store passwords. Basically, all you need to remember are your login details for the app a.k.a. the ?master password?. Once you’ve gained access inside, you can then retrieve any password you stored there.

Some of these apps are installed in portable devices like Pocket PCs, PDAs, or smartphones, which you would normally take along with you. For as long as the device stays with you, your passwords will be in safe hands. What’s more, you can retrieve them anywhere you go.

But obviously, there’s a problem. What if the device gets misplaced or stolen? Although the person who ends up with your device may not be able to gain access into the app and your passwords, neither will you. A better solution would therefore be an app that can be accessed anywhere but is not susceptible to getting lost.

Web-based password manager

A web-based password manager fits the bill. You don’t have to take it with you, but still you can access it almost anywhere. A typical web-based password manager will have all your passwords stored in a centralised, highly secure location.

If you want, you can even use your mobile password manager along with the web-based one. Ideally, your web-based password manager would have a copy of all the end-user passwords as well as the master passwords of your organisation.

With an easy to access but highly-secure web-based password manager, you no longer have to come up with passwords that (ironically) are supposed to be easy to remember but hard to crack at the the same time.

Furthermore, password managers are ideal for keeping passwords that have to be changed every-now-and-then; a requirement that’s becoming all too common in organisations bent on enforcing more stringent controls.

Web Design and Development

The first few seconds of a first-time website visitor is very crucial. If they don’t like what they see or if they think it takes too long just to load what they’re supposed to see, chances are, that would be the last time you’d ever catch them on your site.

Therefore, striking a balance between your website’s appearance and its loading speed is important for first impressions. Once you’ve captured the visitor’s attention, the next objective is to keep them glued long enough for them to browse through your merchandise. It is at this point that the benefits of a well organised and highly intuitive graphical user interface come into play.

An excellent combination of stylish web design and sharp web development can play a major role in lowering bounce rates and increasing returning visitors. We see to it that our web designers and developers not only excel at what they do individually, but also understand the interplay between their individual creations and how it affects the overall appeal of the website.

This is what you can expect from our brand of web design and development:

  • Conversion-motivated web design. Since we understand that your primary motivation for entering into the eCommerce arena is to turn torrential web traffic into sales, we’ve put conversion as a primary consideration in our web designs.
  • SEO-friendly content. First-time visitors don’t reach your site because they entered your URL somewhere. Rather, they must have stumbled upon your links on search engine results or on other websites.
  • Engaging web content. Because excellent graphics alone can’t sell products but engaging web content can, we invest in excellent copywriters.
  • Visitor-friendly user interface. Before a visitor will ever read content on the current and succeeding pages, they’ll need to interact with your site’s UI first. We’ll make sure your user interface is visually appealing enough to invite visitors to click on your buttons.
  • Superior expertise in web development technologies. Our web developers are certified experts in web related technologies including Javascript, AJAX, SQL, PHP, CSS, Java, Silverlight, CMSes, and Magento, among others. Thus, we can offer extreme flexibility and scalability in our web development services.

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Saving Energy Step 4 – Breathing Life into the Project

Today we consider the fourth step on the road to energy saving, when we introduce key contributors who will pull it all together. We have been on quite a journey. We started by developing a management system and then followed up with practical improvements, while challenging the assumptions behind the energy bills we may have paid unchallenged in the past.

After we knock off the big-ticket savings, managing energy becomes a process of improvement characterised by smaller increments. Kaizen is the classic model and it includes everybody in the organization from the janitor to the CEO. I inverted the pyramid deliberately, because ideas deserve considering no matter where the originator parks in the company yard.

People ? our people ?are truly central to the process. Energy adds extra leverage to their efforts, keeps them warm in winter, cool in summer and powers up the ovens in the company canteen. They are brimming over with ideas because that is the nature of being human. The best managers are those who release this potential and participate in its flowering,

It is important not to threaten job security. So many savings-driven initiatives have ended in job losses that people on the shop floor automatically suspect another round. Shrinking carbon footprints is about making the world a better place for everyone. We become more effective when we turn ?increasing profit? into making the enterprise sustainable in itself.

Engaging employees is more than office circulars and speeches at the Christmas Party. Organizations are organic places where trust grows slowly but conflict can flare in a moment. Before involving your people in your energy ?kaizan? make sure your words and intentions overlap perfectly. You will be amazed at the power you unlock in your people.

The best way I know of doing this is through your health and safety structure, which then becomes your environment, health and safety structure EHS. As you explore this idea at safety committees you find these things overlap, in the sense of creating people-centric environments at work and home.

That said, there is no magic formula for achieving employee engagement. The fact that people universally want a cleaner planet is the power to tap into. One way to form a team is to create one artificially and give it a task. The other is to work together towards a shared objective. Which one do you prefer?

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