The Strength of the Matrix

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

In a previous article, I wrote about overcoming the weaknesses of a matrixed organization. This article now explores the positive benefits of such an organization. There are benefits that help the individual being matrixed and the organization as a whole. In the world of project management where matrixed organizations are becoming the norm rather than the exception, it is important for practitioners in the project management field to understand the benefits in order to capitalize on them--and make working on projects more enjoyable for everyone involved.

While project managers keep their eyes on the end result of the project, it is important to remember that the project will not succeed without good people. This includes everyone from the PMO to the programmers to the administrative personnel. All of them play vital roles on the project, and if their jobs are made difficult because of the underlying organization of the company it will hurt the project being executed. Matrixes exist to make organizations work better and faster. The strength of the matrix can benefit the people in the organization and in the project.

The Individual
Oftentimes in projects (especially in large organizations), the resources do not report to the project manager or to the PMO. This creates a spider web of lines on the organization chart and can make the project manager’s life very …

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"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

- Mark Twain