How to clarify roles in a matrix setup?

07/18/2019

How to clarify roles in a matrix setup?

Open world economy and the availability of “Growth Opportunities” outside of their backyards are forcing companies to think “Global” and participate in the “Global Economic Development”. Local companies are increasingly being seen as setting up their bases / acquiring companies outside to the home country and contributing in the growth of the country thereby growing in the process. How to clarify roles in a matrix setup?

This definitely is good for the consumers, the company and the economy overall, however this throws multiple complex challenges for HR including that of working in a “Global Matrix Setup”.

Its challenging to work in the Global Matrix Setup, but the challenges can be minimized or we can even overcome these challenges by focusing on the following:

The Role Expectations Matrix is a team forming activity that aims to map out the expectations among team members. It helps team members to best define their roles and avoid future conflicts due to hidden or unknown expectations.

Running the activity:

  1. Create list of all the team members’ roles.
  2. Using the list, create a matrix with the list of roles along both the horizontal and vertical axes. Label the vertical axis as “from” and the horizontal axis as “to.”
  3. Ask the team members to write down (on separate post it) their expectations each of the roles. These notes should go on the cells on a horizontal line for the team member role.

How to clarify roles in a matrix setup?

For example, consider the Role Expedition matrix below. If John is a Dev, he should place his notes with expectations for another Dev on the (Dev, Dev) cell; the notes with expectations for QAs on the (Dev, QA) cell; then the notes with expectations for PM on the (Dev, PM) cell; and so forth.

The goal in completing the matrix is to find the most complete picture of team members’ expectations on each other.

Group conversation for the whole matrix. We recommend selecting one “from” role (a matrix vertical line) and then each person reads his/her expectation notes for that role. Then repeat for all roles.

How to clarify roles in a matrix setup?

The 6 fundamental rules for creating the activity

  1. There should always be at least one person responsible for each activity in a process
  2. Similarly, there must always be at least one accountable person for each task.
  3. On the other hand, there can be no more than one accountable person for the same process activity.
  4. The person responsible for an activity may also be accountable.
  5. In the same activity there may be several people consulted and informed.
  6. Ideally you should have only one person responsible for each activity. This avoids parallel processes or duplicity. But if it is really necessary to define more than one responsible person, the division of tasks for each one must be clear and very well defined.

Do you use the matrix in your company? Did you already know about the matrix? What did you think of it? Do you want to use it in your business?

Tell us about your experience with this tool in the comments.

Let’s share this knowledge!