The Matrix activity offers opportunities to explore the effectiveness of different matrix, cell and linear reporting systems within an internal supply chain. It also offers the chance to model organisational networks and flows of information or resources around them.
Individuals within the group try to complete their personal targets for the organisation to achieve its goal according to strict rules on how the supply chain network is set up. Each individual must obtain a series of coloured links in a specific order, but can only network with those who they are physically connected with.
Sometimes individuals in organisations & complex networks will need to consider the needs of others as well as their own individual targets, and the same is true in this activity.
In Matrix, participants are connected to each other by a series of rope connections from one individual to one or more individuals. The rope connections are the ‘supply chains’ across which they can send and receive resources to complete the personal targets they have been set, and collect the correct coloured resources in the correct order.
This activity involves working within a collaborative system in which every individual has a specific target that can only be achieved through co-operation with others. The system has strictly enforced rules that must be followed at all times. Participants attempt to achieve their individual goals, whilst also supporting others within the supply chain in achieving their targets.
The activity raises questions about flows of information, channels of communication and organisational structures. As a versatile & flexible activity, it offers opportunities to explore the effectiveness of different matrix, cell and linear reporting systems.
How to run the activity:
Working in a group, up to 16 participants are placed in a supply chain network in which each person has physical connections via extended cords on belts to other people in the network.
Within the system are coloured links, representing resources or pieces of information that must be moved around the network via the existing cord connections. Each individual participant has a target card which illustrates a sequence of coloured links to be collected. There are strict rules about how and when the links can be moved.
The aim of the exercise is to ensure that the resources / information within the network are managed effectively and efficiently so that every person involved can meet their individual target. Upon completion of an individual target, the individual concerned is removed from the network and the links attached to that belt are removed. Essentially, removing the individual from the supply chain network.
Planning for individual completion and exit from the system is important, to ensure that the achievement of individual targets does not compromise the ability of the wider organisation to succeed.
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