July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Continuing Professional Development
Creating a matrix organizational design model, at the highest level, is a three-step process. While not difficult to understand in theory, it can be quite difficult in practice, with multiple opportunities for failure. Meaning, if done out of sequence, or steps minimalized in favor of expediency, then significant rework will occur, this at the expense of efficiency, effectiveness, and people. The first step in creating an efficient and effective matrix model is to recognize the many disciplines of the organization. In business/industry, these disciplines may be as many as 17, including engineering, HR, operations, finance, legal, and the like. Once the disciplines have been defined, the next step is to recognize each discipline has a body of knowledge. If the discipline does not have a body of knowledge, then it may be the discipline is not a discipline at all, but in fact, a subset of child activities of yet another parent discipline. If a discipline is determined to possess a body of knowledge, then that body of knowledge should be able to be expressed as a process, with seemingly sequential or recurring activities, where each activity has attendant to it one or more outputs/products. The process, then, can be defined in terms of a hierarchy of processes, procedures, methodologies, and practices. Each discipline process should have interfaces to other disciplines defined with pro-active and re-active KPIs. Once disciplines have been identified and defined, the final step is to allocate human resources to the vertically identified disciplines/functions. To avoid later significant restructuring rework and cultural upheaval, this step must occur as the final step, after Step #1 and Step #2 above. Understanding the basic building blocks of matrix organizational model design and process management is the science and increasingly the art of creating an efficient and effective matrix organizational model. As important, however to the blocking and tackling of understanding the many phases, activities, and processes, are the cultural activities related to people. Even the best at blocking and tackling, will fail if people are not fully accounted for during the change management process. Major opportunities for failure There are many opportunities for introducing inefficiencies and unnecessary cost drivers. Common mistakes are centered not only on an improper matrix model implementation, but the introduction of power and ego into the process. Below highlight mistakes commonly made, in this highly emotional experience. Failing to recognize the horizontal businesses/colleges are in fact the profit/loss centers, and the vertical functions/disciplines are support organizations. This recognizes the dog from the tail dilemma. Not fully understanding the basic blocking and tackling of organizational matrix model development. Not fully understanding the science of process management. Ignoring the people issues of change management. Overcoming leadership emotional immaturity during the highly emotional design process.
Springer, M. L., & Plemmons, K. (2021, July), An After-action Review: Creating a Matrix Organizational Design Model for Online Education at a Tier-1 Research University Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36664
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