Continuing our series on appraisals in a matrix…..

How should we structure goals and measures of success?

Matrix organization chartMany organizations have a tradition of strong, ‘SMART’ goals and measures*. These measures were often based on clearly defined roles and functional measures.

In a matrix, we have multiple streams of leadership and competing goals and need to balance multiple priorities and calls on our time and attention.

SMART (another way of saying “simplistic”) and strict linear goals may work against people doing the right thing when their work cuts across the traditional vertical silos of function and geography. For example, a manufacturing person focusing on their scrap performance could do so by increasing the length of production runs at the expense of additional logistics and distribution costs.

It’s common in the early stages of the matrix for there to be a mismatch between what is rewarded and the behaviours we need to make the matrix successful. For example, we ask people to think globally but reward them for local performance.

In a matrix, we need metrics that support the cross functional working and collaboration style that we need.

*SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

What’s been your experience of this? what’s worked – or not worked – for you?


About the author:

Kevan Hall Kevan Hall is a CEO, author, speaker and trainer in matrix management, virtual teams and global working. He is the author of "Speed Lead - faster, simpler ways to manage people, projects and teams in complex companies, "Making the Matrix work - how matrix managers engage people and cut through complexity", and the "Life in a Matrix" podcasts, videos, cartoons and blog. He is CEO and founder of Global Integration. Company profile: .

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