Management models: by plan or abruptly?

    We are used to dividing the world around us in half: good and evil, fast and slow, measured and soiled. The economy is also divided: planned and market. Programming is also divided: into imperative and declarative. And management is also divided: on the plan and the situational ...

    Sooner or later, we all had the question of how best to conduct our business? We tried to build a plan and almost always frustrated it. We tried to take the task abruptly and did not get what we wanted. Sooner or later, we came to some kind of a golden mean and our tasks became “just as needed” and “almost on time”.

    The thing is that sooner or later we come to a mixed management model, without realizing it. What is a mixed management model? First you need to understand what is mixed. And two models are mixed - planned and situational. To answer the question “what is a situational model”, we will have to move away from it in the direction of the planned model and summarize all the points about it. The planned model is:
    1. The presence of a list of tasks that must be solved.
    2. The availability of a deadline for their decision.
    3. The presence of forces and means.
    4. Priorities and priorities of tasks, dependencies.
    5. Understanding the estimation error and the availability of time and resources.

    According to the planned model, it is easy to build a critical path and quite realistically stick to it.

    The planned model has all the advantages, except for one thing - real life and the world around you do not live according to the plan, but according to events, according to the situation. In fact, some events that we could not predict in advance, wedge into our plan and interrupt work to solve more urgent and priority tasks. Often, with inexperienced management or lack of time and money, the schedule of scheduled activities is halved or triple due to unexpected problems, tasks and incidents. It is enough to observe from the outside for any construction site (for example, at the neighbor’s cottage), or for the repair of your car in the service (how many times it happened that there is no necessary spare part).

    Do you know how the police department works? The usual department of the interior, where there is a call center, investigator, district police and patrol service. Such a department works according to a mixed management model. In normal times, everyone works according to plan and the planned management model is fully implemented: district police officers visit dysfunctional alcoholics and sometimes help investigators. Investigators conduct business and refer them to the prosecutor and the court. PPSniki drive around the area entrusted to them for calls and for patrol affairs. The call center poisons jokes and answers the phone.

    But at a certain moment, information about the “situation” comes to the call center. The situation requires an immediate response and a PPS outfit leaves for the place. The outfit evaluates the situation and causes cordon, the investigator, and the condition. Investigators begin to work at the scene of the incident, an inquiry is organized, clarification of the circumstances. Precinct interviewing eyewitnesses.

    Not many of us have seen such situations, but all of us have heard of raids on collectors, hostage-taking, and other situations requiring immediate resolution.

    The situational model is much simpler than the planned one:
    1. The main goal: to solve the situation and return to the planned model
    2. All possible (and reasonable) forces and means are used for maximum decision speed.
    3. Planned things are thrown and all planned activity is taken out in the background.

    This model is not designed to solve everyday problems, but for that it solves the problem quickly. Then the situation arose almost does not disrupt the plan, but only takes a little time from the “reserved just in case”.

    When managers learned to work with a situational model, they began to separate situations according to “similarity”. Schemes and instructions were developed to solve standard situations. They trained special people to solve non-standard situations. Later, the leaders divided the people engaged in planned work and situational - so the power was divided into two branches: legislative and executive. Inside, each branch was also divided in two, and such a division went all the way to the bottom, to the police station. Where there are faculty and non-departmental - constantly working according to the situation and able to solve standard problems. Where there is an investigator, 90% of the time working according to plan. SOBR is not needed in each department, but these people who know how to work in an unstandard new situation are always there.

    We are building IT and really love the planned models: scrum, kanban and other models working on the principle of "you need to do this ... then that." We all don’t like bugs on a living system, we don’t like when an urgent marketing task from the management comes to us. This is because these urgent, essentially the situation wedges into our planned measured process, disrupt it, lower the performance of the department and our personal ones. This is because we did not divide people into two groups - planned and situational, because our team does not have an IT-SOBR ready to shut up any leak quickly.

    In my project, I divided everything into 3 categories:
    • Planned
    • Situational
    • "Nobody except us"

    I solve the problems of the last category myself - I know the architecture, code, servers and can shut up the flow even at night with a drunk.

    Tasks of a situational nature are solved by a team of two people - the front-end and the system administrator. This combination is not without reason: a lot of sudden tasks - either marketing, or "something has broken." In order not to hire another backend developer, we wrote the entire marketing backend on NodeJs and it is easily managed by the front-end developer (we have a good one). The marketing release is separate from the planned releases of the application and can be done at any time.

    Our planned tasks are solved by kanban by a team of developers.

    In the end: there is a result and satisfied people (everyone likes their own mode and style of work).

    PS This was an introductory post about management models, I want to devote a series of articles to this and tell in detail something new and useful about each.

    PPS And here we are developing the Note Space service , which is just designed to manage your time in any form: planned or situational.

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