This Guest paper was submitted for publication and is copyright to Mark A. Seely© 2016.
Published here March 2017

PART 2 | Editor's Note & Table of Contents
Chapter 4: Level 1 - Process Management | Level 1 Management | Performance
Chapter 5: Level 2 - Project Management | Level 2 Management | Performance
Chapter 6: Sociolytic Mindscaping  | Analysis of Analysis | Custom vs. the Standard Stereotype
Open System vs. a Closed System Stereotype | Governance versus Management
Level 2 in a Level 4 World - Much Simpler than Possible | Gaming Systems | PART 4

Level 1 Management

The vitality of corporate production internationally turns on this ability to set rules and repeat applications — from consumer product production to more esoteric concepts such as routine business operations. Here, actions are guided by the policy manual. You merely consult the rules and then try to fit in.

In true Taylorism, people and machine become mere tools in production. The art and science of Level 1 management includes Capacity Requirements Planning, Time and Motion Studies, Production Control, Part Control, Inventory Control, Material Requirements planning, Line balancing, Queuing Theory and the like.

In the Values to Rules continuum at the heart of the DBM, management prerogative is devolved to a line supervisor. As a true Level 1 management situation. This is a reductionist management approach — the concept is established as a set of rules, and the supervisor is there to ensure adherence to the rules.

With that established, it is important to point out that the corollary is not true. A Level 1 management practice entails production, but production does not necessarily entail Level 1 management. For example, developing the product, creating the assembly line, dealing with a situation where variation requires a rethinking of the approach, often requires a management approach beyond Level 1.

The Henry Ford Example

Henry Ford is well known for his ingenuity in the production of the automobile. His purpose was to enable mass production — establishing a rigidly defined configuration for the automobile, one that would service the interests of the average consumer, and one that could be readily produced in an assembly line. Buying components in bulk, dedicating people to tasks, enabled them to become proficient in what they do. Setting in motion the rules framework that produced many automobiles simultaneously led to an increased yield, drove the price down, enabled greater market penetration with the average consumer, and, thereby came close to positioning a Ford in every driveway.

The famous quote "you can have any color you want as long as it is black" epitomized the indifference to individual consumer needs. The intent was to focus on what the mass wanted on average from this mass production exercise, not what each particular person wanted. Particularization was the evil that would destroy the purpose. Rather, one set of rules and repetition under those drove efficiency and a huge success. Black was also the fastest drying paint, which further enabled efficiency in the production schedule.

Today, the automotive industry operates much the same way — perhaps with variants in models and options to enable some consumer choice. You can order the A package, the B package, the C package. You can have the standard model or the deluxe model and, in addition, you can now have colors!

Chapter 4: Level 1 - Process Management  Chapter 4: Level 1 - Process Management

Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Search My Site | Site Map | Top of Page