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Groups and teamwork
Groups and teamwork

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2.3.3 The matrix team

In a matrix team, staff report to different managers for different aspects of their work. Matrix structures are often, but not exclusively, found in projects. Staff will be responsible to the project manager for their work on the project while their functional line manager will be responsible for other aspects of their work such as appraisal, training and career development, and 'routine' tasks. This matrix project structure is represented in Figure 2.

Figure 2
Figure 2 A matrix project structure

In this form of organisation, staff from various functional areas (such as design, software development, manufacturing or marketing) are loaned or seconded to work on a particular project. Such staff may work full or part time on the project. The project manager thus has a recognisable team and is responsible for controlling and monitoring its work on the project.

However, many of the project staff will still have other duties to perform in their normal functional departments. The functional line managers they report to will retain responsibility for this work and for the professional standards of their work on the project, as well as for their training and career development. It is important to overcome the problems staff might have with the dual reporting lines (the 'two-boss' problem). This requires building good interpersonal relationships with the team members and regular, effective communication.