Reductionism, breaking larger work into smaller pieces, misses the interaction of people with people as they go about doing their work
Application to human interaction and information processes ignores conversational action
Traditional Project Management “Command and Control Model”
Management foresees future state of world (goal state)
Centralized planning is performed to articulate steps needed to take current world state to goal state.
Directives are issued to implement plan in real world.
Control is exercised by monitoring progress against plan and issuing additional directives as needed to keep to plan.
Planning Model of Activity Current State Goal State Intermediate State Intermediate State Model World Real World Plan Implementation Planning Current State Goal State Intermediate State Intermediate State Action Planning Planning Plan Implementation Plan Implementation Action Action
The work of business is making and keeping commitments. - Fernando Flores
Linguistic Acts: Grammar of Action Statement of fact. Includes an offer to provide evidence. “ All tasks were completed as promised.” Assertion Offering an opinion with or without any basis for the assessment. “ We are making good progress.” Assessment Statement of commitment to provide something specific by a specific time. “ You can have the crane at noon.” Promise Calling for a statement of commitment. “ Please deliver the submittal on Thursday.” Request Creating a space of action. ” We will put a man on the moon and bring him back safely in this decade.” Declaration Definition Example Action
Management is that process of openness, listening, and eliciting commitments, which includes concern for the articulation and activation of the network of commitments, primarily produced through promises and requests, allowing for the autonomy of the productive unit. - Fernando Flores, 1982
100 Years Later: Management as Designers of Systems of Coordination of Action
Management is that process of:
Concerned for the:
Articulation of the network of commitments
Activation of the network of commitments
Allowing for the autonomy of the productive units Fernando Flores, 1982, Berkeley, CA
Early last century, Frederick Taylor applied Newtonian physics, the science of his day, to management. One hundred years later, as Mr. Snowden, Director IBM, laments, “We haven’t yet grown out of this.” Mark Buchanan, Power Laws and the New Science of Complexity Management , Strategy+Business , Spring 2004
Periods of revolutionary change begin with anomalies that the established paradigm is unable to explain, leading eventually to the development of a competing, and ultimately victorious new paradigm. - Thomas Kuhn