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Matrix Management Wiki

6B. Relationships in a Matrix

  • 6B1. Since a matrix is a two-dimensional organization, a person needs both vertical and horizontal relationships.
  • 6B2. Since the team is the primary structural unit of the matrix, team relationships are key.
  • 6B3. There are two types of matrix relationships: authority and non-authority.
  • 6B4. Authority relationships:
    • 6B4i. An authority relationship is the direct relationship between a coach (who must be a leader) and the person who “reports to” the coach, his direct report.
    • 6B4ii. Authority relationships exist in the vertical dimension only.
    • 6B4iii. Authority relationships are represented on the organizational chart as a solid line, connecting the leader or coach with his or her direct reports.
    • 6B4iv. Figure 6.1. Diagram of authority relationships.
      chart showing that coaches have an authority relationship with professionals
    • 6B4v. The authority relationship is the sole relationship of authority in the organization.
    • 6B4vi. The authority relationship should be the only relationship reflected on the organizational chart.
  • 6B5. The purpose of the authority relationship:
    • 6B5i. To provide a single line of authority for each person in the organization.
    • 6B5ii. For more on the coach/direct report relationship, see Section 6J.
  • 6B6. Non-authority relationships:
    • 6B6i. A non-authority relationship is any relationship that isn’t a relationship between a coach and a direct report.
    • 6B6ii. Non-authority relationships exist in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions.
    • 6B6iii. Figure 6.2. Diagram of non-authority relationships.
      chart showing that coaches have authority over professionals
    • 6B6iv. The solid lines in Figure 6.2 represent authority-based relationships. Notice how Coach-6 has a vertical authority relationship with Coach-2 (C-6’s Coach) and with P-10-13 (his direct reports). Coach-6 has a non-authority relationship with everyone else in the organization, including Coach-1.
    • 6B6v. In the vertical dimension, Professional-10 has an authority relationship with Coach-6 and a non-authority relationship with C-1-5, P-7-9 and P-11-13.
  • 6B7. Horizontal relationships are non-authority relationships. These relationships include, but are not limited to, customer/supplier, team and sponsor relationships, team leader to team member, and team member to team member.
  • 6B8. Table 6.1. Authority relationship versus non-authority relationship.
Authority RelationshipNon-Authority Relationship
Used to negotiate work that will be done under the direction of a leader/coach.Used to work with anyone outside the coach/direct report relationship—particularly for customers and suppliers or team leaders and team members.
The predominate relationship for the development and allocation of resources.The predominate relationship for getting work done in the organization.
Depicted on the organizational chart with solid a line.Not shown on organizational charts. Depicted on horizontal maps as a dotted line.
  • 6B9. The purpose of non-authority relationships:
    • 6B9i. Non-authority relationships connect everyone in the organization with everyone else.
    • 6B9ii. Non-authority relationships are used to:
      • 6B9iia. Make requests to accept accountability for work
      • 6B9iib. Respond to requests for work
      • 6B9iic. Collaborate with other team members
      • 6B9iid. Work with customers and suppliers as well as stakeholders, users, and others outside the immediate team
      • 6B9iie. Enlist support for initiatives, etc.
  • 6B10. The importance of non-authority relationships:
    • 6B10i. Non-authority relationships are crucial for getting work done across the organization.
      • 6B10ia. Without non-authority relationships, the only relationships that exist are authority relationships, which means that getting something done outside the line of authority requires going up the chain of command and then back down again until you reach the resource you need to collaborate with.
      • 6B10ib. Figure 6.3. Example of using non-authority relationships.
        chart showing non-authority relationships between coaches and professionals
      • 6B10ic. In the VM 1.0 OS, if P-7 needed help from P-10, she would have had to go to Coach-4, who would go to Coach-1, who would instruct Coach-2, who would instruct Coach-6, who would tell P-10 to help P-7.
      • 6B10id. In the MM 2.0 OS, if P-7 needs help from P-10, she goes to him and asks for his help. If P-7 needs help from Coach-3, he goes directly to C-3 and asks for help. P-10 and P-3 can help or not; it’s up to them.
    • 6B10ii. Some non-authority relationships are formalized. These relationships include:
      • 6B10iia. Customer to supplier
      • 6B10iib. Team leader to team member
      • 6B10iic. Team member to team member
      • 6B10iid. Team leader or team member to stakeholder
      • 6B10iie. Sponsor to leader