Achieving Project Excellence in a Matrix Organization and What Utilities Are Missing

The list of challenges and “must-needed changes” the utility industry is facing keeps growing. How can utilities deliver successful projects in an overwhelming environment where priorities are constantly shifting? Find out in this whitepaper focused on achieving process excellence in a matrix organization and what utilities are missing.

Below is an excerpt from the whitepaper…


Utilities, like many other longstanding industries, are complex organization. For the most part they have a matrix organizational structure with multiple functional departments serving one line of business. Which means that their employees might work on multiple teams everyday reporting to the same, or different managers. Matrix organizations have been around for decades and have been criticized and praised throughout their history. A matrixed structure can be exceptionally good at focusing employees on a unified mission, vision, and purpose. A 2018 Gallup1 survey highlights that employees who are part of highly matrixed teams are more engaged than non-matrixed workers. At the same time, the survey indicates that poorly implemented or poorly managed matrix environment can introduce new challenges such as:

  • Poor definition of expectations
  • Lack of standardization (multiple initiatives or processes addressing the same issues) Gaps in communication
  • A constant competition for resources and establishing priorities


Over the past fifteen years working with a variety of utilities across the country, Motive Power has observed those issues manifesting into lack of accountability and undefined roles and responsibilities; which defeats the benefits the organization intended to gain.