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Can we talk? – Principles of CAD Management

This entry is part 10 of 17 in the series Principles of CAD Management [1]

To recap…  Henri Fayol (1841-1925) was a French mining engineer who went on to become Director of Mines with over 1000 employees.  His company flourished and was the largest producer of steel and iron in France during his days.  In 1916 he published his perspectives in the book “Administration Industrielle et Générale”.  Included in his book are the 14 Principles of Management.  We are on number 9… number 9… number 9 (Beatles reference – hehe)

What Fayol calls “Scalar Chain” is a fancy word for the chain of communication and approval that is set up inside hierarchical leadership structures.  It is the line of people you may have to go through in order to get something approved.

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If you look at the pyramid of authority you see that each level of the structure has a superior and a subordinate.  A and Z are the bottom rung of this ladder of authority.  In some firms if A in one department wants to talk to Z in another,they have to get permission from B.  B has to ask C and C has to ask D and so one.Then the other side has to kick in V has to let W know that it is okay,then X has to weigh in as well as Y before Z can officially talk to A.

Fayol propounded that this is too restrictive and can be ineffective at times when speed is needed.

Today many organizations have connected the dots be allowing everyone to talk to everyone.  The command chain is no longer effective in many cases.  What Fayol started is commonplace now.

But does it actually work that way?  Is it okay for you to talk to whoever you want to whenever you want?  An if you do talk and make a decision, can you really put it into action?  Who has to approve what you do?  Can B talk to W?  Can X give direction to B?

The matrix style organization of today will be the topic of the next few posts.

Stay tuned…

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