The Successive Principle, a new generation management tool

What is the Successive Principle?

The Successive Principle is a prominent example of a new generation of management and decision support methodology.

The Principle’s procedures provide proactive support for management, using efficient handling of uncertainty and key persons intelligence as central elements of the decision-making process. This is one of the last major areas of unrealised potential.

Although it has been in operation since 1980, it responds consistently to the contemporary post-industrial management principles and attitudes.

It is basically a specific risk analysis or quality assurance process. Its ability to forecast and prevent budget overruns, delays and other unpleasant surprises has set new standards of reliability.

It also generates, as a highly beneficial by-product, a top-ten list of the most promising potential areas for improvements of the actual tasks or projects. As such it functions as a strong optimisation tool. It is also lauded as an efficient team-building tool. In addition, it facilitates fast yet high-quality estimates.

The Principle has transformed the role of risk management from a ‘necessary evil’ into a positive management instrument available to non-specialists.

The Successive Principle is a systematic procedure for elucidating the anticipated future economic and other results of major new activities, plans, projects, budgets etc., combining a maximum of certainty and information value with minimal input of work.

The first stage of the procedure is a brainstorming process in a carefully composed analysis group. Potential sources of uncertainty are exposed. They are then categorised by type and evaluated by going successively and systematically into detail in the most crucial sub-areas. These successive steps of detailing are repeated until the subject has been sufficiently clarified. In tandem with the grading and ‘number crunching’, psychological experience and modern statistical principles are used to ensure realistic results.

The strength of the Successive Principle rests upon the facts that

  • it considers and handles the turbulence and uncertainty in the environment systematically, scientifically and soundly;
  • it successfully includes everything which is relevant to the result, integrating objective and subjective aspects in a logical manner;
  • it continuously identifies and focuses upon the most essential aspects, not least the greatest possibilities and threats as they emerge during the analysis process;
  • with the assistance of international senior managers and other key persons in public and private positions, it is made fully operable and reliable, as long as the ‘rules of the game’ are followed.
Steen Lichtenberg

Dr. Steen Lichtenberg

1930 - 2019 †
The Successive Principle
The Successive Principle is a prominent example of a new generation of management and decision support methodology.