From the Ask Tom mailbag –
At what Strata levels do details disappear, if they do?
Strata levels, as elements of Elliott Jaques model, create a visual representation of the Level of Work. Your question appears to ask about the behavioral traits of person, completing a task assignment, specifically curious about attention-to-detail as the task is completed.
Strata levels are descriptive about specific behaviors only as they relate to effectiveness in the completion of task assignments. Details never disappear. Even in longer Time Span task assignments, the devil is always in the details.
This is still an interesting question and may lend insight in describing the Level of Work in each Stratum. My answers, in the form of questions?
Level of Work – Stratum I
What details exist that will impact decision making on the pace and quality of the work?
Level of Work – Stratum II
What details exist that will impact decision making on the coordination of multiple elements, materials, equipment, people in the completion of the work, on time, within spec?
Level of Work – Stratum III
What details exist that will impact decision making in the creation of a system, so that tasks assignments are completed with predictable, consistent results, every time?
Level of Work – Stratum IV
What details exist that will impact decision making in the integration of multiple systems and sub-systems?
You see, there was an exercise described by Peter Senge in the Fifth Discipline (Stratum IV-systems thinking) called the Beer Game. The set-up of the game creates a brewery (system), two-step distribution (system) and a retail store (system). Because these systems in the simulation were not integrated, the end result typically produces the construction of an entire second brewery system. The detail, the retail store put beer on sale for one week during the simulation. The construction of the second brewery occurs NOT from market demand, but from a series of backorders put through the system in a non-integrated attempt to cover the sell-out of beer during a one-week retail sale period.
Yes, the devil is in the details, even at Stratum IV.