About Science Based Management

Vertical Layering

Vertical LayeringVertical Layering in employment organizations is about the pattern of roles needed to manage the work and the people of the organization – and to unleash creativity and innovation.

The topics below establish how the principles of Requisite Organization inform the structuring of the organization to achieve effective and innovative productivity from the CEO and down through to the shop and office floor – the levels of delivery of products and services to your customers …


Time-span of discretion and Levels of Work – The Science behind the RO total management system


Requisite Organization is the first and only managerial system to be based on precise measurement of the level of work in a role using the time-span of discretion measurement instrument. Just as a level is an essential tool for carpenters to use while working on any building project to ensure the various surfaces align, time-span of discretion is used to ensure that the roles are aligned properly in relation to one another, and are paid and staffed accordingly.


There are other models that draw on the idea that there are different levels of work, and may purport to use Jaques' stratified systems theory, but fail to use the time-span of discretion instrument to define the boundaries of those levels, validate those levels, and consequently, accurately measure the level of work in roles. Like a novice woodworker who rather than using a level to make sure all the surfaces align, eyeballs the surfaces and hopes the alignment is good enough, the models which don't apply the time-span of discretion instrument, cannot reliably construct a sustainable trust-inducing management system. We strongly encourage readers to become sufficiently informed to understand and appreciate the meaning of this discrepancy in methodology. Not using time-span of discretion to measure the level of work in a role skews the foundation of the organizational system.


Level of Work (LoW) in Role: weight of responsibility felt in roles as a result of the complexity of the work (use of judgment and discretion) in the role. The level of work in any role can be measured by the time-span of discretion of the longest task in that role. See work. See time-span of discretion.


Time-Span of Discretion (TSD): the target completion time (T) of the longest task or task sequence in a role. Time span of discretion (TSD) measures the level of work complexity in a role. See work. See level of work


Work: an individual's exercise of judgment and discretion in making decisions in carrying out goal directed activities.



Readings in Jaques' Requisite Organization, A Total System … for the 21st Century, second edition [ISBN 1-886436-04-5], see The Underlying Pattern of Organization Strata of the MAH [Managerial Accountability Hierarchy], pp 37-40.

See Also: Functional Alignment

Visit our Library for more information, and visit the Cason Hall & Co. Publishers Store to purchase the works of Elliott Jaques as well as implementation support tools.


Functional Alignment

A clear rationale of business functions and their common and unique interactions is often overlooked or not sufficiently clarified and aligned. The misalignment of business functions can typically be the primary source of serious organizational dysfunction, often creating free-license to engage in: realms of silos, autocratic pronouncements, snubbing, interference without sufficient knowledge of circumstances or accountability for results, kingdom building, out of control expenditures based on obscure gains … you name it. The impact this has on effective productivity is often overlooked and thus is not factored into potential productivity gains.


Attention to the purpose of the business functions and their necessary interactions can increase effective productivity by 10-20% ….



when it is clear who can do what to whom and why,



when it is clear that all functions which are not Mainstream Operational are dedicated to supporting the Mainstream Operational functions,



then, a very different attitude prevails, releasing the supporting and mainstream operational functions to work effectively together to achieve the goals of the organization.


Alignment of Functions: process of getting the right functions at the right level of work in the organization. See also cross functional working relationships.


Role Relationships: The accountability and the authority obtaining between any two roles in a social system. The seven cross-functional task initiating role relationships are: collateral, advisory, service-getting, monitoring, coordinative, auditing, and prescribing.



Readings in Jaques' Requisite Organization, A Total System … for the 21st Century, second edition [ISBN 1-886436-04-5], see Functional Alignment, pp 43-45, 49.

Visit our Library for more information and free downloads, and visit the Cason Hall & Co. Publishers Store to purchase the works of Elliott Jaques as well as implementation support tools.