Matrix Management

Managing People in Projects

When you spread your subject experts onto important projects, reporting lines get blurred. You’ll notice the collapsing of reporting line as the structure becomes chaotic. Whilst the Matrix looks great on paper, the biggest downfall of the matrix system is the confusion it causes. Petty conflicts arise as peers with no authority over one another jostle for power.

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    Key learning outcomes


    • Clarify roles
    • Delegate authority seamlessly
    • Establish an effective matrix model
    • Manage diverse and complex reporting lines
    • Remove the #1 cause of matrix conflict
    • Motivate teams to solve conflict themselves rather than seeking solutions outside the matrix
    • Resolve inter and intra group conflict
    • Conduct an appreciative inquiry on the ideal matrix
    • Deal with difficult people within the matrix
    • Identify and manage stakeholders

    Course Description

    Managers often report they’re frustrated when the same reporting problems keep reoccurring. Quite often it’s the same issue being delivered by the same person on a different day. The #1 cause of workplace conflict is role ambiguity and roles are further complicated within the matrix framework. Traditional reporting lines are scrambled, tensions build as deadlines get tighter and confusion can reign over who was meant to do what!

    Smart managers don’t accept that matrix mayhem is inevitable. Instead, they fence off and solve the problems that will occur within the matrix beforehand. Forward matrix planning is a proven productivity tool. This breakthrough course will provide you and your staff with the skills and knowledge to manage and perform within the matrix.


    Matrix management is a structure that uses specialist staff from different functional areas to work on projects or assignments being led by project managers. Staff in the matrix structure have two managers – their functional manager and their project manager. The functional manager maintains the line of authority over the day to day issues such as work allocation, performance, sign offs, etc while the project manager has authority over the issues related to the project.

    Marketing Information Technology (IT) Human Resources (HR) Sales & Service (S&S)
    Project 1 — Tony Jim — Marketing Jane — IT Steve — HR TIna — S&S
    Project 2 — Simon Sally — Marketing Mario — IT Jenny — HR Marc — S&S
    Project 3 — Kate Stefan —Marketing Deb — IT Carrie — HR Bruce — S&S
    Project 4 — Naomi Renae — Marketing Greg — IT Dom — HR Ali — S&S


    Matrix management allows greater flexibility across organisations as staff from all departments and areas are working on different projects rather than being confined to their own functional area. It provides staff with variety and the opportunity to apply their specialist knowledge. Perhaps the greatest advantage is that staff can be chosen to suit the requirements of the project. Another advantage of matrix management is that it can break down silos because staff have to work and share information with other staff from other areas.


    The figure below shows an example of a basic matrix structure. Across the top are the typical organisational functions of marketing, information technology, human resources and sales & service. Down the left hand side are the various projects being undertaken by the firm. Each project has a project leader and is staffed by a people from each of the functional areas.

    A unique dynamic of matrix management is that it creates a dual line of command as the project team leaders report to their functional manager as well as their project manager. Jim from Marketing is part of Project 1 so his project manager is Tony however, he still reports to his functional manager. Our matrix management course enables participants to effectively work in matrix-managed teams with a matrix reporting structure.


    The disadvantages of matrix management are caused by the dual line of command and this typically plays out as a conflict around resource allocation between the line or functional manager and the project manager. Staff then find themselves lost in the matrix as their functional manager is demanding or refusing one thing while their project manager is demanding something else. The challenge for matrix management is to work through the role clarity issues and providing staff and managers with clear guidelines to address role ambiguity.

    “Matrix management is a structure that uses specialist staff from different functional areas to work on projects or assignments being led by project managers.”

    This program can be conducted as in house training at your offices.


    Group Size: An ideal group size is 6 – 10 participants.

    Venue: For your convenience, you can choose to conduct this program at your offices. Alternatively, we can provide a training venue at a small additional cost.

    Duration: Each course can be tailored to your timeframe.

    Cost: Upon request.

    Target Audience: Project Managers, Project Leads, Stream Leads and Line Managers.

    A program outline:

    • a bio of a proposed trainer
    • training cost
    • possible training dates (if requested)

    Want to know more about our matrix training? Look at what you receive within 24 hours at no cost:

    If you would like more information on this training program, please contact: Deborah Dear on 1300 323 752 or email: or contact us online today.

    Matrix Management 4.4 out of 5 based on 48 user ratings.
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    Australia-wide training courses and workshops

    At Preferred Training Networks, we provide both in-person and online training programs for a wide range of organisations across Australia. Our Matrix Management is run by experienced, qualified experts and tailored to the needs of your business and your employees. Our leadership and management education courses are designed to help your team thrive and develop valuable skills that can transform your workplace.

    With programs available in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and other areas of Australia, we’re able to help businesses across the country create lasting behavioural change and provide them with the tools they need to reach new heights. If you think your business would benefit from Matrix Management and the help of our professional coaching network, take the first step and contact our team today. Wherever you are in Australia, our coaching program can either come to your organisation or we organise a venue for your convenience. Find out what our training, workshops and skills courses can do for your business and reap the benefits for years to come.

    Get your free online quote right now or give us a call on 1300 323 752 to find out more about Preferred Training Networks and discuss your requirements with us.

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