Determine the dimensions for successful matrix management as applied to project management

Van Vuuren, Petra J. (2003-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Matrix organizations still remain a successful competitor in a hyper networked and borderless world. Matrix organizations are a multidimensional structure that tries to maximize the strength of a functional organization and minimize the weaknesses of both the project and functional organizations. It combines the vertical hierarchical structure with a horizontal structure of an input coordinator and provides advantages in terms of creativity, innovation, integration of knowledge and responsiveness to customer needs (Stebbins, Sena & Shani, 1997: 1). Project managers in a matrix organization have control over three factors: what has to be done, when it must be done, and how much in terms of resources must be dedicated to the project. The probable risk here is that the project manager may become isolated from a technical foundation and loss the technical skills that is needed to manage the matrix organization effectively. Some of the other key issues in a matrix organization is the "two bosses" or sharing of authority, the difficult balance between the organizations need for cost effectiveness and the project manager's need to achieve perfection and the problems associated with the resources and functional managers' reluctance to give up these resources. The solution for most of these problems is that the project manager should have sufficient authority in the organization and the back up and support of top management. The project manager of the matrix organization needs the personal skills to effectively communicate and motivate the project team and allow for greater collaboration among differing functional specialties, and political skills to handle all the relevant stakeholders. The transition into a predominantly knowledge-based economy with knowledge workers manning the workstations, the need for managing interpersonal complexity at work is also driving the matrix. The discipline of matrix management, however, remains more an art than a science.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Matriks organisasies is nog steeds 'n suksesvolle mededinger in 'n wereld met netwerke sonder grense. Matriks organisasies is multi-dimensionele strukture wat probeer om die sterk punte van funksionel organisasies te maksimaliseer en die swak punte te minimaliseer van beids projek en funksionele organisasies. Dit kombineer die vertikale hierargiese strukture met die horisontale strukture van 'n koordineerder wat verantwoordelik is vir insette, en voorsien voordele in terme van kreatiwiteit, innovering, integrasie van kennis en reaksie op wat kliente benodig (Stebbins, Sena & Shani, 1997: 1 ). Projekbestuurders in 'n matriks organisasie het beheer oor drie faktore: wat moet gedoen word, wanneer moet dit gedoen word en hoeveel, in terme van hulpbronne, moet toegewys word aan die projek. Die moontlike risiko is dat die projekbestuurder geisoleer kan word van 'n tegniese grondslag en die tegniese vaardigheid, wat nodig is om die matriks organisasie effektief te bestuur, verloor. Sommige van die ander belangrike punte in 'n matriks organisasie is die "twee hoofde"of die gedeelde autoriteit, die moeilike balans tussen die organisasie se noodsaaklikheid van koste effektiwiteit en die projek bestuurder se strewe na volmaakheid, asook die probleme wat geassosieer word met die hulpbronne en die funksionele bestuurder se huiwering om dit op te gee. Die oplossing van die meeste van hierdie probleme is dat die projekbestuurder voldoende autoriteit moet hê in die organisasie en die ondersteuning van die top bestuur. Die projekbestuurder van die matriks organisasie benodig die persoonlike vaardigheid om effektief met die projekspan te kommunikeer en hul te motiveer. Groter samewerking tussen die verskillende funksionele spesialiteite moet toe gelaat word en die projek bestuurder benodig ook die politieke vaardigheid om alle relevante insethouers te hanteer. Soos die verandering plaasvind in 'n hoofsaaklike kennis gebaseerde ekonomie met opgeleide werkers wat die werkstasies beman, word die matriks ook gedryf deur die behoefte om interpersoonlike gekompliseerdheid te bestuur. Die disipline van matriksbestuur is meer 'n kuns, as 'n wetenskap.

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