Editor's Note: In Appendix D, in particular, author Mark Seely discusses contracting at some length. Please note that these remarks are in the context of Canadian law and practice. Be aware that the situations in other jurisdictions may be significantly different.

Published here June 2017

PART 5 | Editor's Note & Table of Contents
Appendix B: The Performance Dashboard | Appendix C: Human Characteristics
Appendix D: Contracting Considerations | Epilogue

Appendix C: Human Characteristics

Affinity for Rules

From Hersey Blanchard's[2] studies on management style, some people have a natural affinity for a rules-based environment. The thought of not having rules, in other words, having the prerogative to create, may be too distressing. The Myers Briggs[3] orientation here would be an iSTj — introverted / Sensing / Thinking / Judgmental persona. Though it's not for everyone, corporate manufacturing thrives on the dedication of the many men and women that bring products to market under situations of high competition.

In the learning continuum identified in the figure, affinity for rules and the allegiance to these rules is essential for success.

Affinity for Methods

The tendency for humans to want to order chaos makes this archetype particularly attractive for people who are naturally organized. Myers Briggs would suggest this is an iSTp — Introverted / Sensing / Thinking / Perceptive — personality.

The calling at Level 2 entails foregoing the comfort of a proclaimed rule set, venturing into the custom world, managing parameters into a semblance of order and following the methodology in pursuit of success.

Affinity for Objectives

So what causes VIP's to enjoy the thrill of adventure — "to boldly go where no one has gone before", especially when the world looking on has a concept of reality that is simpler than it is.

Level 3 entails awareness that things won't go according to plan, VIP's plan on them not going according to plan, VIP's, with all of their tenacity, keep the "arm-chair quarterbacks" at bay, fight adversity and play to win. This is not the "organizing" challenge of Level 2. The Myers Briggs personality here is an eNTj, Extroverted / iNtuitive / Thinking / Judgmental. These are people good at ruthlessly fighting adversity — not the type of person that should be allowed to mingle with the general population.

Affinity for Principles

Unlike the tough strategic conditioning of the Level 3 field Marshal, the Level 4 champion operates on the higher plain of principle. The Project Champion is to be an exemplary emblem of the organization, able to build trust in both projects and end user domains while at the same time exercising resolve to keep the initiative on course.

As the Project Champion is often left to account for progress, this dichotomy of principled openness and tactical maneuvering creates a cognitive dissonance — a seemingly unresolvable dilemma. The Myers Briggs super hero is an eNFp — Extroverted / iNtuitive / Feeling / Perceptive.

Hopefully the warehouse has lots of them in stock as we wear them out quickly.

Affinity for Values

The person here is one that attracts and binds cultural diversity to a common interest — a world facilitator.

Matching human factors with complexity levels

So, with the foregoing human factors, there is a natural alignment with the complexity levels. Humans with a high affinity for rules align with Level 1, those with a high affinity for methods with Level 2 and so forth. Give a task to someone and watch what he or she does with it. Have a project practitioner diagnose a problem on the project. You will receive a response based on the perspective of the person.

A Level 1-inclined individual will rationalize their response based on evaluation against rules. Institutional policies and procedures are the guiding reference. This is generally the correct perspective for production environments for which the corporate rules set has been developed and "ever greened" through time.

A Level 2-inclined individual will rationalize their response based on a tactical review of methods.

This is the correct and appropriate perspective for construction-based project environments.

A Level 3-inclined individual will rationalize their response based on a strategic perspective that encompasses consideration of requirements, budget and motivations of the parties.

A Level 4-inclined individual will rationalize their response based on a principled perspective appropriate to ensuring the larger corporate interest is served potentially at the expense of the subject project initiative they are undertaking.

A Level 5-inclined individual will rationalize their response based on public Values, the altruistic pursuit of duty to others.


Common mismatches that will be used to demonstrate the point are a Level 1 regulatory perspective in a Custom Project, a Level 2 tactical perspective in a Dynamic Complexity Project, a Level 3 closed strategy perspective in an Open System.

Level 1 regulatory perspective in a Custom Project

By DBM definition, the rule set is dynamic for levels 2 through 5. Hence, making reference to institution rules, appropriately designed for the standard or routine circumstance, would not be sufficient for evaluation of a custom scenario. A classic example of this is the mismatch posed by "the corporate audit". Such audits often entail a comparison of the work to the rule set. Auditors are not at liberty to stray from the rules and, as such, findings typically are not favorable to the custom practitioners that have been required to work outside the corporate rule set for the corporate benefit.

Level 2 tactical perspective in a Dynamic Complexity Project

The desire to organize reality is the strength of the Level 2 practitioner. However, in circumstances of an evolving methods baseline, this strength often becomes an impediment to progress. With dynamic complexity, expectation that the work will conform to the tool is misguided. Rather, the tool need follow the learning process inherent in dynamic complexity.

Level 3 closed strategy perspective in an Open System

As you reflect back on closed system scenarios, there is often a strong personality at the helm — the tough, battle hardened construction chief for example. This demeanor provides for a myopic and ruthless stance — fighting adversity to realize the objective. Where, the objective is dynamic, however, where the greater benefit accrues to the larger corporate interest and the associated network of colleagues outside the project objective, the Level 3 persona may serve to undermine the common interest.

Appendix B: The Performance Dashboard  Appendix B: The Performance Dashboard

2. Hersey, P. & Blanchard, K. H., Management of Organizational Behavior — Utilizing Human Resources New Jersey/Prentice Hall, 1969.
3. Myers, Isabel Briggs with Peter B. Myers, Understanding Personality Type Davies-Black Publishing, 1980.
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