Matrix Management: How To Achieve Organizational Success

Matrix Management: How To Achieve Organizational Success

A company is only as successful as the sum of its individual parts. For this reason, a matrix management system is one of the best ways to ensure that all employees are contributing to the organization’s success.

Matrix management is a system where employees are organized into teams that work on specific projects, reporting to multiple bosses. This system allows for better communication and coordination between teams, and it ensures that all employees are contributing to the organization’s success.

So, how can you achieve organizational success with matrix management? In this article, we will discuss the benefits of matrix management and provide tips on how to make it work for your organization.

Matrix management: what is it?

In the business world, matrix management is a system of organization in which employees are organized into teams that report to both a functional manager and a project manager. The goal of matrix management is to create an environment in which employees can be more effective and efficient by having multiple managers responsible for their work.

Matrix management is a fairly simple concept once you understand the basics. Essentially, matrix management allows for more fluid communication between different parts of an organization. This is done by organizing employees into teams that are responsible for both a functional manager and a project manager.

The idea behind matrix management is that it allows for better communication and coordination between different parts of an organization. This can be especially helpful when different parts of an organization need to work together on a project.

Matrix management is not without its challenges, however. One of the biggest challenges is that it can be difficult to balance the demands of different managers. Employees can often find themselves pulled in multiple directions, which can lead to confusion and frustration.

Another challenge is that matrix management can be difficult to implement effectively. It takes time and effort to create a well-functioning matrix management system, and not everyone is successful in doing so.

Despite its challenges, matrix management is a popular system of organization for good reason. When implemented effectively, it can be a powerful tool for achieving organizational success.

four people standing while discussing matrix management

The benefits of using matrix management

There’s no denying that matrix management is slightly more complicated than traditional hierarchical management, but the benefits of using matrix management in your organization can be significant.

In a matrix organization, employees have multiple bosses, and work is divided among project teams rather than departments. This allows for more flexibility and creativity, as well as better communication and coordination.

Some of the main benefits you can expect from using this management structure are:

Increased efficiency

Matrix management can help you optimize your resources by allowing employees to work on multiple projects simultaneously. This reduces overlap and duplication of effort and allows for faster completion of tasks.

Improved communication

In a matrix organization, communication is more streamlined as employees are able to easily communicate with those who report to them, as well as with other team members. This can lead to faster decision-making and improved team productivity.

Enhanced creativity and innovation

With employees working on multiple projects simultaneously, they are exposed to a variety of different ideas and approaches. This can lead to more innovative solutions and better problem-solving.

Increased flexibility

In a matrix organization, employees are able to move between projects more easily, which can be beneficial if there is a change in priorities or if new opportunities arise. This also allows for more specialization, as employees can focus on their strengths and develop their skills in specific areas.

Improved employee satisfaction

Matrix management can lead to a more flexible and egalitarian work environment, which can be motivating for employees. Additionally, it allows employees to have more control over their own work and increases their sense of ownership and responsibility.

The benefits are numerous, that much is clear — but matrix management is only as effective as the amount of effort you put into it. So, how can you set up this management system for organizational success?

a person with curly hair and a purple coat, holding a white paper while grinning

Setting up your matrix management system

Of course, before you can work on achieving organizational success, you need to understand exactly how to set up your matrix management structure. To use this structure, you will need to arrange the following:

  • Vertical lines of communication between the managers and employees who will be working in the matrix
  • Horizontal lines of communication between team leaders and their teams
  • A way to measure results so that everyone can see how they are contributing to the team’s overall success

There are a few different ways to set up your matrix management system. You can either use a functional approach, which is when managers are responsible for specific functions within the company, or you can use a product-based approach, which is when teams are organized around products or services.

Whichever way you choose to set it up, the most important thing is that the lines of communication are clear. You also need to make sure that everyone understands their role in the organization and how they contribute to overall success.

Setup tips

There are a few things to keep in mind when setting up your matrix management system:

  1. Define the lines of communication and reporting structures. This is key to ensuring that everyone knows who they need to communicate with and report to in order to get their work done.
  2. Assign specific managers to specific projects. This will help to ensure that each project has a clear leader and that everyone understands their role in the project.
  3. Establish guidelines for how matrix managers should work together. This way, everyone will be working towards the same goal, and conflicts between managers will be avoided.
  4. Define the roles and responsibilities of matrix managers. This will help to ensure that everyone is clear on their duties and that no one is overstepping their boundaries.
five people having a meeting on matrix management

Achieving organizational success

Once you have your matrix structure set up, it’s time to focus on making the most of your new structure.


First up is the key to success: communication. Communication is essential in a matrix organization because of the multiple reporting relationships and lack of direct authority lines.

In order for everyone to be on the same page, you’ll need to have clear and effective communication mechanisms in place.

Some tips for improving communication in a matrix organization include:

  • Establishing clear lines of communication between managers and employees. This includes communicating expectations, goals, and objectives both up and down the chain of command.
  • Holding regular team meetings to ensure everyone is up to date on what’s happening in the organization, what projects they are working on, and what their next steps are.
  • Encouraging open communication among employees. This includes sharing information, asking for help when needed, openly appreciating hardworking employees, and raising concerns or problems as they arise.
  • Using technology to improve communication. This could include tools like instant messaging, video conferencing, and online collaboration software.
  • Promoting a culture of communication. This includes setting the expectation that everyone is expected to communicate openly and effectively, and reinforcing this behavior through training and management support.

Trust and cooperation

When it comes to your matrix management system, trust and cooperation are absolutely vital. You need to have a system where everyone trusts that their colleagues are doing their job and that they will be able to work together effectively. This means having good communication and working towards common goals.

To foster a culture of shared trust and cooperation, you need to:

  • Set clear expectations and goals. This might look like having weekly team meetings to touch base on everyone’s progress and ensuring that everyone is aware of what their goals are.
  • Encourage open communication. This means having a workplace where people feel comfortable raising questions and voicing concerns. It also means being responsive to feedback.
  • Celebrate successes together. When everyone works together to achieve a goal, it’s important to celebrate that success. This can be something as simple as sending out a team-wide email highlighting the victory.
five people putting their hands together in the air

Roles and responsibilities

After focusing on communication and trust, the next factor to prioritize in your matrix management is clarity of roles and responsibilities. This will help to ensure that everyone understands their specific tasks and what is expected of them. As with communication, it’s important to document these so that everyone has a reference point.

For example, who is responsible for what within the matrix? Who makes decisions and who implements them? What are the reporting lines? These questions need to be answered clearly and concisely so that everyone understands their role and can work together effectively.

Some of the main roles and responsibilities you need to define are:

The decision-maker(s): Who makes the final call on decisions?

The implementer: Who is responsible for putting decisions into action?

The coordinator: Who coordinates different team members and tasks?

The communicator: Who keeps everyone up to date with what’s happening?

The team member: Who does the actual work?

By clearly defining roles and responsibilities, you can help to avoid confusion and conflict. And, by establishing reporting lines, you can ensure that everyone has a direct line of communication to the people they need to speak with in order to get their work done.

Bottom line

Matrix management can be a challenge, but with careful planning and communication, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards organizational success. The setup may take some effort at first, but the benefits far outweigh the effort required!