From the Ask Tom mailbag – Part 4 of 4
- S-I (1 day – 3 months) Declarative (Concrete)
- S-II (3 months to 12 months) Cumulative (Concrete)
- S-III (1 year to 2 years) Serial (Concrete)
- S-IV (2 years to 5 years) Parallel (Concrete)
And then the serial thinker wakes up one morning to discover the predictable output of their genius system is impacted by the output of another system. To understand what is happening requires a parallel state of thinking.
Peter Senge, Fifth Discipline, explains how one reinforcing system can be impacted by a distinctly separate balancing system. The output of your sales system will eventually be impacted by the capacity of your fulfillment system.
Parallel thinking must consider the dependency, inter-dependency, contingency and bottle-necks that occur as multiple systems sit side by side. The goal at this parallel level of work is to integrate our multiple systems and sub-systems into a whole system. This requires optimizing the output of one system relative to the capacity of another system, and shaping the hand-off of work product from one system to the next system as work travels horizontally across the organization. To be effective at this level of work requires systems analysis, a parallel state of thinking. -Tom