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What is a matrix project management structure?

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I hear the term "matrix structure" or "matrix PM structure" several times every day nowadays, and it is portrayed, by many, as a silver bullet when it comes to organizational structures in project management. Can someone explain to me what it is and why is it the ideal organizational structure for project managers?
asked 5 years ago by anonymous edited 5 years ago by MaplePM

1 Answer

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A matrix project structure occurs in organizations where there are groups representing both functions (e.g. accounting, IT, manufacturing) and products.  The project manager needs to draw from and manage people from both dimensions of the matrix to have a successful project team.

There are three variations of matrix projects/organizations:

Weak matrix: the functional managers maintain authority over their employees and the PM has limited authority

Balanced matrix: the functional managers and project managers share authority and power; this is ideal however the balance is often difficult to maintain when there are strong personalities involved

Strong matrix: the project manager is responsible for the project and the functional manager assigns resources as necessary
answered 5 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)

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