Each level in Elliott’s level-of-work schema corresponds to a macro organizational function.
S-I corresponds to production work, timespan 1 day to 3 months.
S-II corresponds to supervisory work, to make sure production gets done, timespan 3 to 12 months.
S-III corresponds to system work (single serial system), timespan 1-2 years.
S-IV corresponds to system integration work (multiple systems and sub-systems), timespan 2-5 years.
Integration is a fancy word, what does it mean?
As the organization matures, grows larger and more complex, distinct functions emerge. These started as single roles, but grew into teams. Here is the quick list –
-Project Management (or Account Management)
-Quality Assurance (QA/QC)
-Research and Development
There are a ton more, depending on the business model, but you get the drift.
Each of these functions begins internally focused, mostly because we said so. We told each function they had to efficient, internally profitable, no waste, prudent use of internal resources. We told them to be internally focused.
As we stack more functions next to each other, we can see the problem we created. The problem presents itself as a communication breakdown, sometimes a personality conflict. Each function competes for budget, prestige and managerial attention. This is the silo effect.
And we have all been told to get rid of our silos. Not so. We put those silos in place for very specific reasons. It is not a matter of getting rid of our silos, it is a matter of integrating them together.
Integration is a fancy word. What does it mean?