The essence of the efficient processes described previously arises from the right decisions being made at the right time, every time. This is true whether the decisions arise from the day to day transactions, whether they are to resolve unusual issues, or whether they are to change the very basis on which future decisions will be made.
The concept of 'Predict' is about establishing all that is required to initiate decisions at the right time, and support the right conclusion, continuously. It goes beyond measurement, to the interpretation of future consequences and the development of organisational intelligence. It is about designing the flow of information to invoke responsibility and to guide the optimum conclusion.

Ensure performance and critical process parameters are measured objectively, using trends and gap analysis to drive a disciplined
approach to solving current or potential performance issues.

A key feature in all of the foregoing aspects of systematic management has been the need for managers to make decisions:

to ensure that the purpose of the company is sufficiently aligned

to ensure that the company really is promoting the standards and behaviours that it thinks it is, and that those standards and behaviours are the ones it needs

to manage the people asset efficiently and effectively

to redesign processes to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of the business.

What information does the manager have to help him/her make these decisions? Does your current information system provide you with what you need to achieve this on a regular basis?
The fifth aspect of professional management is the development of information systems and models to predict outcomes - this includes the use of trend measurement to predict future performance, the use of problem-solving disciplines to predict the effect of successful solutions, and the use of more comprehensive models to predict the implications of decision making strategies.
Information is the lifeblood of effective management. It is difficult to dispute that some managers (very very few) successfully manage without the rigour outlined here. Intuitive management is a reality for some, but it arises from that managers ability to feel patterns that we cannot see and which they cannot explain - and it is almost impossible to teach.
Our goal is to establish competence in all our managers and that requires making those patterns more tangible through models and information systems. It is rare to employ a truly intuitive manager, and to do so makes the company vulnerable unless it can provide the frameworks by which the rest of its management system can replicate in some way the process of the intuitive manager. There will still be a place for the intuitive - but as the saying goes “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for life”. Do you want your business to be dependent on one fisherman?
There can be a role for the truly intuitive manager but there are many cases where whole companies have become vulnerable to them past the point of healthy development, and have actually stunted their growth.
The intuitive provides no basis for planned improvement. In responsible management it should be a measurable goal to achieve planned developments of the performance of your information system. Your information system should be your objective mechanism for determining the growth of responsible management within your business.

To understand more about 'Predict':

 Exploration provides an understanding of the principles that underpin this aspect of the management process
 Evaluation provides a simple scale by which you might reflect on your own organisation's progress in this area
 Tools provides a brief overview of some of the approaches that are available to support further development

Move on to 'Perfect'; Return to 'Systematic Management'


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