The Hierarchy Pattern signifies an essential property of the design of any system. It is one aspect of the more foundational Pattern, Structure. Hierarchy illustrates the ranking of levels of a system based on the number of elements in each level. The concentration of control functions with the few at the top of the triangle must be balanced with the diffusion of influence in the many at the bottom. The role of Hierarchy is to generate a gain based on supporting a concentration of control at the peak and the peak in turn disseminating the gains based on coordinated control to the supporting base.
The principle of control as service: the enduring health of any system depends on the balance and integration of the concentrated control at the peak and the more numerous, but more diffuse, supporting influence at the base.