Many Project Managers work in matrixed organizations that require the use of human resources that do not fall directly under their supervision. Working with peers requires a different skillset than leading team members or managing stakeholders. Peer management requires working in a linear relationship, compared to the hierarchal organizational model. There are 3 Cs that need to be remembered when managing across peers in a matrixed organization.
Is the act of working together for the mutual benefit of the organization. It is important to remember that each project in the organization is important and the failure of one project could impact other areas of the organization. Remind your peers that it isn’t about “your” project, it is about the success of the organization.
Is the next step after cooperation. Collaboration is when individuals and teams share ideas and join together to create a common goal. This requires you to build your projects together or complete joint tasks.
Communicating with your peers is different than with direct reports. You can’t just direct your peers and expect them to carry out your orders. When communicating with peers, you need to remember that they have their own projects and deadlines. Be respectful and remember that your goal is to make the entire organization successful, not just your own project.
The key to project success in a matrixed organization is to remember the 3 Cs.