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

PART 4 | Editor's Note & Table of Contents
Chapter 11: Dynamic Baseline Model (DBM) Implementation
Establishing a Realistic Performance Expectation | Managing Performance at each Level - Section 1
Level  4: Enter the Challenge of Risk | Bringing it to Ground | Measuring Performance at each Level
Seeking Opportunities for Improvement  | Chapter 12: Conclusion | The DBM Ten Commandments
Appendix A: DBM Complexity Diagnostic | PART 6

Bringing it to Ground

Bringing it to ground refers to the adjustment in the DBM level through the life span of the initiative. Regardless of initial level, initiatives that succeed all eventual end up in a Level 1, the operational state.

Level 1
A Level 1 is already at an operational level.

Level 2
A Level 2 initiative will transition through baseline control at the point where the construction is completed, accepted and turned over to operators for operation and maintenance.

Level 3
A Level 3 initiative will transition to Level 2 once the bulk of the dynamic complexity associated with innovation has been addressed and a functional specification has been stabilized. In highly developmental scenarios, however, the spiral of evolutionary prototyping and the "evergreening" of functionality is the better approach. Where there are a number of items to be produced as with, for example, a fleet of war ships or a series of sophisticated aircraft, obviously, with due regard to money and time constraints, Level 3 management is focused on the prototype or first in class. Once the developmental component as stabilized, the project should transition to Level 2 for repeat builds and then to Level 1 at in-service acceptances.

Level 4
Here, with the extent of the dynamics at play, there is no credible baseline for the outcome at the outset, though one may be presented nonetheless for good form. It is essential that the product nested within the initiative be of proven technology — in other words a Level 4 initiative with a nested Level 2 product is acceptable, a nested Level 3 product will likely push the boundaries of the initiative beyond the art of the possible. Introducing the product, which is likely to be less functionally robust than the legacy, will require time for the project team to acquaint end users with this reality and secure some hedge room to move forward. The message is: "it will get worse, before it gets better".

Level 5
Unlike Level 4, Level 5 is not a captive audience. Here you are left to market the appeal of the new approach in terms that the public will understand and appreciate. Bring Level 5's to ground is the job of the elected officials — the project team can do the work, but not clear the path.

Level 4: Enter the Challenge of Risk  Level 4: Enter the Challenge of Risk

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