Smart Thinking

The Strategic Equality Principle

The Strategic Equality Principle and why you must balance demand tensions and priorities across business functions and supply.

The Strategic Equality Principle


  • Department A is larger, has more budgetary responsibility than Department B
  • Both Departments deliver front line services of equal importance
  • A centralised support function is created which draws in previously departmentally aligned resource
  • There are varying service demands within departments, but an overall pressure to reduce cost and headcount, therefore limited elasticity of workforce
  • There is a demand tension between departments for a variety of reasons (solution architecture, integration, development work, functional enhancements, legislation and reporting changes etc.)
  • Departments operate with as much autonomy as possible, whilst respecting principles of common interest and shared services.

Strategic Equality Principle

Strategic Equality Principle

Operations Research: An Introduction

Resulting Context

  • The Principle of Strategic Equality must be applied by the central supply function (in this example an architectural / design authority function)
  • A Governance process and KPIs need to be put in place to ensure balance, whist allowing for the demand tensions and gravitational forces that will continually act on each ‘side’
  • Equality must be determined based on importance of outcome, not departmental size.

Further Reading on Operations Research and Constraint Based Planning

By Steve Nimmons

Steve is a Certified European Engineer, Chartered Engineer, Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Royal Society of Arts, Linnean Society and Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He is an Electric Circle Patron of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a Liveryman and Freeman of London and serves on numerous industry panels. He is a member of Chatham House, the Royal United Services Institute and the Chartered Institute of Journalists.