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I'm curious to know how to decide on whether a matrix organization is appropriate or whether a restructure should happen to align the manager with the project lead.

Based on the table below as a simplification of my organization, at what point would you go to "Future State", having once been a non-matrix organization (Previous State) and nox being a semi-matrix one (Current State)? And a closely related, at what point would you say the semi-matrix is the right one? Some things that jump to my mind are:

  • alignment is better than matrix where possible
  • people's careers need continuity and changing managers breaks that continuity
  • some matrix organizations are necessary, like when they're is a team that sits outside of projects and comes in only when a team needs their skillset for a task or period of time (in the podcast, architects are the stated example)

 

  Previous State Current State Future State
Manager A
  • Lead on projects A (3 directs) and B (2 directs)
  • 5 directs
  • Lead on project A (3 directs)
  • Project B complete
  • 5 directs
  • Lead on project A (3 directs)
  • 3 directs
Manager B
  • Lead on project C (3 directs)
  • 3 directs
  • Lead on project C (3 directs + 2 manager A's directs)
  • 3 directs
  • Lead on project C (5 directs)
  • 5 directs