Belgian royal conservatory's dome, interior with sun. (c) E. Forrest Christian

Hierarchy versus Emergence in Organizations

E. Forrest Christian Organizations 5 Comments

Hierarchies are emergent phenomena. One of the things that has bothered me with the several “postmodern” discussions about organizational life has been the disregard for hierarchies often expressed by them. Flat oranizations are superior to hierarchical ones, they say, because inforrmation and knowledge flows more freely between equals. I agree that information and knowledge flows better between equals but I …

The April 12 launch at Pad 39A of STS-1, just seconds past 7 a.m., carries astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen into an Earth orbital mission (STS-1. 1981). NASA

You Need All Levels of People For Success

E. Forrest Christian Project Management 3 Comments

People who can see the whole complexity of the project “need to be paired with people that can deal with the details at other levels,” says Jack Vinson. Absolutely. Looking back on what I have written, I haven’t made that entirely clear. Everyone is important and necessary for the group to succeed. We need each other, each of us working …

Stack of golden George Washington dollar coins,. (c) 2007 Bill Koslosky, MD (CC BY 2.5)

Simplifying Project Costing & Staffing with Requisite Organization’s Time Span of Discretion

E. Forrest Christian Computers/IT, Project Management 2 Comments

I don’t think that I am going out on a limb when I say that short time horizons of project managers, sponsors and planners is the leading cause to the disastrous failure rate of IT projects… As Michelle says, “you want a consultant whose current capability at least equals that called for by the entire project, not just the time span of the planning phase.””

Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Branden Powell keeps track of aircraft using a SPN-43 radar screen during routine flight operations on board amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1). Tarawa is participating in a composite unit training exercise with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit off the coast of Southern California. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bryan Niegel (RELEASED)

Using Time Span of Discretion to Price Consulting Services?

E. Forrest Christian Managing, Project Management 5 Comments

The issue of how to price consulting services perennially agitates IT consulting companies. The issue of market price never quite seems to fulfill the need: what a client will bear is often as close to free as they can get. All too often, customers get shafted with a too-high price for twenty-somethings but can’t see the value of the older, …

Belgian royal conservatory's dome, interior with sun. (c) E. Forrest Christian

It All Comes Together

E. Forrest Christian Knowledge, Organizations Leave a Comment

Mètis — “practical intelligence, using conjectural and oblique knowledge, which anticipates, modifies and influences the fate of events in adversity and ambiguity” according to Baumbard — has reminded me of something that I read some time back. This led me to see some connections between knowledge management, Elliott Jaques’s Requisite Organization and wisdom. (And thanks to jmmj for conversation on …