Blog Post Image

5 Advantages Or Disadvantages Of A Martix Organisation

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 2nd May 2013

This is a gift question, it askes for five advantages or disadvantages, most PM have no problem with htis question. Post your answers below and I will give you feedback.

  1. Paul says:

    Tom and Paul

    Thank you for both having a go at this question. Both your answers are very similar in structure, but Paul you will get more marks just because you have explained yourself a bit more detail. Tom you just need to meet the 2-3 sentences requirement the APM have for each paragraph. For example I would re-do

    2) Staff are well utilised across the business as usual activities and in project work. This should ensure their is no under utilisation of staff.


    2) One advantage of a matrix is that staff can work on both business as usual activities and project work. This provides the organisation with considerable flexibility to deliver projects and also maximises the utilisation of staff. This contrasts with a project organisation in which the staff are dedicated to the project. This could easily lead to under utilisation and less flexibility to stop and start projects.

    yes get the idea, I am sure you know your stuff, but you can’t get the marks if you don’t write it down.

    Try another question and let me have a look.

  2. Student says:

    OK here goes;

    2 Advantages of a matrix organisation are;

    1) They provide a good variety of work for staff members who both have their functional role in business as usual and are engaged in project work. An example may be that of an accounts clarke who is asked to manage project accounts too.

    2) Staff are well utilised across the business as usuall activities and in project work. This should ensure their is no under utilisation of staff.

    3 Disadvantages are;
    1) To make them work they need a complex resource management system to ensure staff are allocated to appropriately and efficiently across the business as usual activities and the project work.

    2) Staff working within these organisations may have conflicting priorities whereby they work to both a functional manager and a project manager. Where a conflic in priorities does occur the staff member is likely to favour the priorities of their functional manager which is at a cost to the project. This can also be stressful for staff members.

    3) Project Managers need to be good communicators and influencers to gain the support of their team members who’s priorities may be elsewhere. Project Managers also need to be able to broker the best and most appropriate team members into their project.

    Perhaps a bit short??

  3. Student says:

    Hi Paul,
    Here’s my attempt. It took about 18 mins. I wasn’t able to work any specific examples into the text though. Please let me know what you think or if there’s any obvious omissions…
    Many thanks in Advance

    A matrix organisation is where a project team is drawn from the functions which exist within the organisation with the intents of undertaking the project work and staying together for the duration of the project.

    The advantages and disadvantage of a matrix environment are :

    1. Resource Visibility – an advantage of matrix, is the resources available within the structure are visible and available for usage across all projects. This allows the PM to identify the ideal resources for sourcing the project, which in turn makes planning and estimating easier. Unfortunately, it can have the converse effect of the PM not being able to get the resources that they would actually like to use. To overcome this issue, the PM can use negotiation and influencing skills to try and secure the required preferred resources.

    2. Conflict – A distinct disadvantage of the matrix structure is conflict. The Functional manager may have conflicting ideas of the amount of time the resources should be using on the allocated project, which will ultimately lead to conflict is the required project work is not undertaken. Conflict can also be evident from the resource side too, in trying to establish priorities and fulfilling work expectations from the functional manager and project manager. This can be rectified by having a defined plan of resource utilisation with buy-in and agreement from all parties involved.

    3. Resource Management System – the matrix organisation will require a dedicated management system to profile resource usage overtime. This will allow efficient utilisation of resources without overloading them and without leaving large amounts of time when they are under utilised. For periods without project work, the resources will be reallocated work from the functional department. This results in efficient usage of resources and also improves the morale and motivation as the resources will have a variety of managed work to undertake.

    4. Defined Authority – The matrix organisation has the advantage over a functional environment in that the PM has a defined authority over the resources on the project. Compared to a functional structure where the PM is a co-ordinator of project work, the PM will be able to exert more influence over the resource utilisation, which will result in the resources achieving the expected output of work.

    5. Retained Skills – The matrix organisation has the advantage over the project environment in that the core skills and specialities are retained within the organisation and are available for usage on project. Lessons learned after the project will also be retained and can be utilised. Starting project will be easier and cheaper as the resources can be sourced direct from the functional departments and will come with extensive knowledge and experience which can potentially assist the project.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.