Agile & Digital

Can the matrix be agile?

Hi I am Kevan Hall CEO of Global Integration. This week I am in beautiful Bad Homberg in Germany working with a client on leading in a matrix.

A lot of our clients have used the matrix in recent years to centralise and seek global synergies. Many of them are now feeling they are not as agile as they were.

This is not really surprising, if you seek global scale and focus you will inevitably sacrifice some local flexibility and speed.

But this is not the fault or intent of the matrix, the matrix is about flexibility, it is about taking into account the global and the local, the business unit and the function. The matrix is intended to be flexible but is often not implemented this way.

As organisations pursue agility through self directed and autonomous teams they are starting to find that this can lead to a lack connectedness, with people outside of the teams not knowing what is going on and experiencing misaligned goals. In some cases agile team members are refusing to work on broader corporate needs because “it’s not on our burndown list”.

The big trick of course is how to get the benefits of being matrixed, connected and integrated whilst at the same time being agile and learning and delivering fast.

It’s not impossible and even agile pioneers like Spotify acknowledge that their autonomous squads operate within a dynamic matrix to ensure alignment and capability building.

If you need to be both connected and agile why not get in touch and see what other organisations are doing.

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