You may have noticed over the years that the traditional ‘line management’ lines are blurring. Increasingly we report to several people, or at least deliver work to several places in our organisation. Often this can cause us prioritisation problems as several people demand our services. Perhaps a bigger problem though, is when we need others to do work for us. If people now deliver their output to several others, how can we ensure the work we ask for is prioritised and produced to standard?
Looking at organisational change over the past decade, I have noticed a transfer of power from those who allocate work to those who deliver it. The change from line management to matrix management structures means that the allocator of work has less institutional power. This causes he or she to often find themselves arguing with colleagues about how another person is to prioritise the work they are delivering; should it be the work I have allocated or the work my colleague has allocated?