A Tight Matrix is used to describe a Project Team that is c o l l o c a t e d.
Communication is easier because people can physically move to the coworker’s office or meet for a less formal discussion near the coffee machine.
Furthermore, communication within the team is more respectful (even if we do not live in an ideal world).
It is also easier for the team to collaborate, to synchronize project information, help each other, and create synergy.
A team that is not collocated is a Virtual team.
In practive : when I arrive in the office in the morning, I usually take a coffee and chat with the team members. We talk about personal topics to know each other, to relax. Then I take updated information about the progress of some works. This is an opportunity for everyone to listen, to ask questions, to synchronize on the priority tasks of the day. It takes me about twenty minutes because these members of my team are c o l l o c a t e d. This is much more complicated when some are homeworking or work in another company headquarters in another city (v i r t u a l_t e a m). Indeed, it is much more difficult to translate the nonverbal messages of my interlocutor (stress level, psychological and physical well-being, distraction, …). Even with the use of tools like Microsoft Skype. This is ultimately an additional risk factor for my projects that I take very seriously. The only way to avoid the risk of misunderstanding is to communicate, communicate and communicate !
The situation can be even more complicated if I work with subcontractors whose culture is different from ours. In some of my projects, I work with Canadians, Indians, French, Belgians, English, Scottish, ..). Because in this case, even if the team is c o l l o c a t e d, we must adapt and be sure that our messages are well understood. This represents an additional energy expenditure during the working day and also a risk factor to the project.