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This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Opinions not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Abolish the Matrix!


Don't you think it is time to get rid of the matrix at the Lab? My administrative matrix organization provides no value at all. We have no representation and I never see my matrix supervisor. For that matter I never see my Division leader either. As far as I am concerned I am better appreciated by my program than my home organization. My value never gets communicated or is even valued by my matrix organization. Anybody out there have the same experience? Oh, by the way, I am in Computation.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I concur. I did basic research but was reluctantly put in a weapons program. The managers were largely incompetent and had no idea about the work I did. This is the exact reason why private industry is more efficient than the national labs.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The matrix adds essentially no value. Other than hiring and a few minor bureaucratic tasks, I am not certain what the administrative organization actually does. There is little to no contact between supervisors and employees, and even less contact between division leaders and employees. I'm guessing that most employees do not even know the names of their DL, AD, and/or others in their management chain.

What the administrative organization does do is cost money in terms of higher overhead costs. In my 20+ years at the Laboratory, I've paid over one million dollars in overhead for the "privilege" of being in my administrative organization. And that is just me - one person. I certainly haven't received one million dollars of benefits. I've probably received less than $50K of benefit (e.g., hiring process when I was a new employee, a few training classes).

They do nothing but cost money and create unfunded work.

Anonymous said...

Matrix model seemed to maybe work in old days when Lab had more vibrant funded programs. Today it's just multiple bosses with high costs that programs pay more for. Be different perhaps if they all followed the matrix model equal and fair. Many hire their own people or hire outside for new people for fresh SKA's.

In the past if a matrix employee was bounced back managers would help place them. These days they merely become EBA and a burden on the Matrix until re-assigned to a Program where the money is. If EBA status too long, employee becomes Employee to Be on layoff A-list instead of Employee Between Assignments.

Matrix isn't a vibrant self-refreshing talent pool. New skills have to be matched to new Program requirements. It's too hard a sell when no one is buying. Big gap in re-tooled and trained. No money for that pesky detail.

Getting ranked in the Matrix is not great either. It's a campaign for the employee to have Program bosses communicate to the Matrix bosses the value the employee deliver. Too much middle-man inefficiency of he said she said, etc.

Few years back, NIF bounced back large numbers of Engineering employees. It looked and felt like an immigrant migration.

Anonymous said...

All of global security operates on this idiotic model. There are only a handful of people in that directorate but hundreds and hundreds of people who charge GS accounts full time while matrixed from other places like physics and WCI. When will they get a clue and become a real directorate?

Anonymous said...

Transition accelerated the hollowing out of the matrix. Fewer pockets of expertise can be maintained.

Anonymous said...

How much "hollowing out" occurred when EE merged with ME?

Our hierarchical organizations should be flattened out. Too many middle men and women outside of core missions contributing to excessive overhead costs.

Anonymous said...

The matrix is a good system from a certain point of view. If you are talented, then you are able to work on several projects across the lab that interest you. If you had to officially change your division each time on a new project, that would be chaotic.

Unfortunately, many lack luster employees are toured around the lab for placement because they can't keep stable work.

Which one are you?

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for computation. They developed great capabilities in hpc and applied math, but their main application/customer is a real loser (NIF). Even weapons work is stale. If LLNL had a better product, the matrix orgs might be better utilized.

Anonymous said...

Talented employees will be valuable in a system with or without a matrix. The matrix just increases their cost multiple to those actually using this talent directly for core missions. The matrix is just another layer paid for brokering the talent. The lab is not overflowing with funding. Why not "buy direct"?

Anonymous said...

"...The lab is not overflowing with funding. Why not "buy direct"?..."

Because some "brokers" that use to have secure careers in the matrix, then become the "lack luster" or non-utility employees in the core mission driven value system.
Funny how that works.

Anonymous said...

Matrixed employees often get screwed when time comes for ranking and raises, because their "home" organization doesn't understand what they are doing and can only rely on what the matrix organization tells them. Meanwhile, the matrix organization has every incentive to push the matrixed person down to make room for their own "home" employees. I was a neutral investigator for staff relations once years ago, on just such a case - it can really get messy and highly political.

Anonymous said...

Employees in a matrix supporting program XYZ outside the matrix, take back seat in ranking to matrix employees supporting matrix centered efforts.

Anonymous said...

More Scooby stealth censorship!!

Anonymous said...

I agree. The matrix model has outlived its usefulness. I too am in Computation. It used to be that the home organization managed employee career development and facilitated placement in the programs. I am not seeing that now. There are pitifully few training dollars, and many employees are on their own to find work within the programs, or, worse, are discouraged or blocked from doing so. Section leads have too many employees to rank fairly by any means, so why waste effort in the pretense.

Anonymous said...

I came from a company and we had a matrix that worked and it operates nothing like LLNL. At the company we had different groups with capabilities, computers, tech etc. Then we had the projects. The other groups contributed to the project as needed, and contributed their expertise to the other projects as needed. We did not shuttle people into different groups. That is not matrix project management. Essentially there is no matrix project management going on at LLNL. They call it a matrix but it is not project management. It is more like an inferior HR system. Move this person out of your group (for all practical purposes) but your still their boss and make compensation decisions for them. People at LLNL think they are so smart and yet do some of the stupidest things, and this is one of them. Managers think they are so smart, then lets start seeing some smart management.

Anonymous said...

Ding Ding Ding.

Otherwise known as fat in the system. Brokers beware. The game is exposed. Brush up your core mission applicable resumes or consider your other career options.

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