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Matrix management (doesn't work at B+L)

Discussion in 'Bausch & Lomb' started by Anonymous, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:44 AM.

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  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    If there is one word that describes why products take so long to develop at this company it is Matrix management. Matrix management does not work at this company. The reasons for this are:

    1. People lack focus on goals. They work on so many different projects and managers they do not know what is priority or how to focus on completing an individual task. Because of this confusion each task takes much longer than it should.

    2. Matix management leads to a pecking order of which tasks get done first. The manager that has the most prestige in the company gets their tasks done first where lowly project managers have to wait for their tasks as the other manager gets priority. This pecking order may have nothing to do with what is priority for the company. It is based solely on favoritism or perceived prestige of each manager.

    3. There is a Director or Manager of a function that has his/her own priorities for work that many times has nothing to do with the projects that are being managed by project management. Since most Directors and Managers of a function have goals that are more about their individual accomplishments than their employees success they have goals that many times compete with the goals for resources of the project teams. The employee must decide where to spend their energy and it is always for the Director of the Function and the Project Manager (always) gets short changed.

    4. Matrix management is a great excuse for employees or Directors to hide work that is not focused on company priorities. Because so many projects are being worked on it is easy to hide a few none project related work projects (usually a Directors goal and objective that is not a project related goal) in among all of the various projects their employees are working on.

    A. Separating the work force by function Pharma people report only to Pharma managers/Directors, Vision Care only to Vision Care managers, Surgical only to Surgical managers would be a good first step. At least you are matrixed to work on at least projects within the same product category.

    B. Limit the number of managers an individual can be matrixed too.

    C. If their function is limited increase the goals of each individual to broader responsibilities
    within each project. This will decrease the number of team members needed on each team and increase the employees focus on completing the project team goals rather than little pieces of many projects.

    D. Eliminate Functional Managers where ever possible. Most of the time Functional Managers are competing for resources with the project managers and therefore are more of a problem than a solution for getting work done.

    E. Reward or promote solely based on whether a project gets FDA approval and then reward based on the success (sales) of the project after approval. Especially for the Vice presidents. if their strategy for a particular project works (profits) they should be rewarded. If it does not they should be replaced. (Look at how many people in this organization were rewarded or promoted based on products that did not succeed in the marketplace and you see an organization that rewards failure (or bullshiters) rather than promoting the best talent.

    If you think I am wrong on any of the items listed above please comment. It would make for an interesting debate on matrix management at B+L.
     
  2. Ron Z

    Ron Z Guest

    Is that why there was a recent round of "promotions" (i.e., title changes , rather than financial rewards) to keep people at B+L even though output (i.e., new, industry leading, FDA-approved products) was low?
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    In a Matrix you can have all kinds of meaningless promotions because one employee can "create" 20 managers/directors that tell him/her what to do. In reality the manager/director may not actually be anyone's real manager as they are just a matrix manager or matrix director.
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I work in one Division and Matrix to a Director that is primarily responsible for projects in another division. It sucks. The Director does not care anything about my projects. I would much rather report to a Director that actually is responsible for my Division's success. There is no match between the priorities set by the project managers in my Division that I work for and the priorities of my Director.
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    A Matrix creates way too many high paid VPs and Directors that are not worth it. This company could be run with 1/4 the number of VPs and Directors if it was organized differently.
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Matrix management is a way for VP/Directors to take credit for things they really did not work on much and a way to deflect the blame if something goes wrong with the projects they are working on. You just have to play the strings on the Matrix like a harp to make it sound the way you want it to regardless of the results.
     
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    In the movie the Matrix is a world of simulated reality. This is a good word to describe the current state of B+L.
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    The best salesman take something that is not worth very much and sell it for much more than it is worth. The simulation right now is to project the potential of this company for maiking huge profilts in the future to a potential buyer.

    The simulation here is a much more rosey outlook for the company than the reality.
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Matrix management systems don't work that well for most businesses. Generally Matrix systems are the Lazy man's system for managing and organization. If a job needs to be done it is hoped that someone in the system will get tagged with the task and the Matrix will get it done. Takes very little management but the inefficiency of everyone trying to tag their colleague with work they do not want to do is extreme.

    Too much politics and too many meetings to find out who to tag with each task that comes up in an organization. If you do not play the politics right you get tagged often with some really bad tasks.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Nice observation. Completely correct!
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest


    So what you are saying is that Matrix management is like an adult version of the kids game "your it" . It is amazing how childhood games model what happens in adulthood. Kids have very good insights into what is going on in the world.
     
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    As the former matrix manager of teams of systems engineers I was accountable for the results yet had no real authority over the team members (who were my peers). This is why you see jobs in a matrix management role requiring "excellent persuasive skills," they have to negotiate with their "reports" to get anything done.

    From my experience people prefer clear lines of authority and things get done much more efficiently with a top-down management structure.
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Get rid of functional managers and have everyone report directly to Project managers. How can you be in charge of people who can tell you where to put it when you need something done. The functional managers just muck everything up.