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

PART 3 | Editor's Note & Table of Contents | Chapter 7: Finding Levels 3 and 4
Chapter 8: Level 3 - Program Management | Level 3 Management | The Apollo Example
Chapter 9: Level 4 - Program Governance | Level 4 Governance | Performance
Chapter 10: Level 5 - Public Governance | Level 5 Governance | PART  5

Chapter 7: Finding Levels 3 and 4


The DBM is a five level management model. We reduce management practice to the five nested levels or horizons. Three familiar "anchor points" in the five-level continuum are Management Science, Project Management and Program Governance, Levels 1, 2 and 5 respectively. The Level 1 management science is applicable to a production environment. The Level 2 project management practice is applicable to a construction environment. The Level 5 public management or governance is applicable to social transformations.

Within this context, interpolation enables an enhanced definition, and characterization, of the third and fourth levels — intercepting the practice appropriate for developmental programs and enterprise programs respectively.

The first consideration in levels 3 and 4 are dynamic complexity and the -s that apply.

Getting Real

By interpolation on the management hierarchy, Level 3 is an orientation based on fixed objectives, where the Methods baseline is evolutionary — a dynamic Methods baseline. The art and science of effective Level 3 management is considering the implications of a dynamically shifting methodology, knowing where, how and when to stabilize the proposition.

In this regard, Level 3 is not about building a product. It is about optimally learning adopting, adapting and repositioning the plan. Much of the decision-making in this regard is performed real time, on line. There is rarely the opportunity to "go to committee". The ability to achieve an outcome at all depends on the effective treatment of this learning process. As is often the case, the learning may lead to the reality that the quest for the outcome becomes too expensive, where cancellation becomes the prudent recourse. This result, though not what is hoped for, is not be "failure" as you would rightfully indicate in such a circumstance at Level 2. Rather, it was never meant to be within permitted funding.

Further, Level 4 is an orientation based on fixed principles, where the objective is evolutionary — a dynamic Objectives baseline. The art and science of effective Level 4 management is considering the implications of a dynamically shifting objective, knowing where, how and when to stabilize the proposition.

Level 4 is also not about building a product or incorporating a product. The product by which the initiative may be referenced is merely a catalyst in the larger transformation that the product is enabling. Through the introduction of the product, you are, in essence, "re-statusing the pond" as participants in this new functionality enjoy different rights and entitlements. Their utility to the organization is shifting in ways that will only come into focus through the roll out and, in fact, the utility of the organization is being tested. Such is the reality of external determinacy.

The project team at Level 4 is the instigator, a catalyzer in organizational transformation. They are wittingly, or unwittingly, reinventing the organization.

Editor's Note & Table of Contents  Editor's Note & Table of Contents

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