Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Applying systems thinking & aligning it to systems engineering
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

Applying systems thinking & aligning it to systems engineering

364
views

Published on

This is a paper on thinking about thinking. Systems engineering is an emerging disciple in the area of defining and solving problems of (Wymore, 1993). The emerging paradigm for problem solving is …

This is a paper on thinking about thinking. Systems engineering is an emerging disciple in the area of defining and solving problems of (Wymore, 1993). The emerging paradigm for problem solving is “systems thinking”. Both systems engineering and systems thinking have recognized the need to view a system from more than one perspective. This paper proposes a set of perspectives for applying systems thinking in systems engineering and then defines a systems thinking perspective set of views for a system, the use of which will provide one way of aligning systems thinking to systems engineering and contains an example of applying the set of perspectives to the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Air Defence System and shows that not only does the set of perspectives provide a way to model the system; it also picked up two potentially fatal flaws in the system.
The paper then adapts an existing approach for measuring the application of systems thinking and concludes with some observations on the state of systems engineering from the STPs.

Published in: Business

0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
364
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
32
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Applying systems thinking &aligning it to systemsengineering Joseph Kasser Tim MackleyThe writing of this paper was funded by a grant from The Leverhulme Trust to Cranfield University.
  • 2. Contribution of paper•  There is a need for systems thinking –  little being published on how to teach it –  it is not being taught or applied very well –  Need a way to teach and apply it•  Use systems engineering to solve problem•  STPs Provide –  anchor points for systems thinking –  “Interesting” perspectives Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 2 2
  • 3. Topics•  Understanding a system•  Systems thinking•  Systems thinking perspectives (STP)•  Observations from the STPs•  Systems thinking and critical thinking•  Summary•  Conclusion•  Questions and discussion Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 3 3
  • 4. Problem solving•  What to do? –  Develop understanding of situation –  Define problem •  What to do ... –  Identify alternative solutions •  Ways how to ... –  Establish evaluation criteria •  To help determine “best” way –  Make decision –  You have solution!•  How to do it? Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 4 4
  • 5. To understand a thing•  Analysis (machine age)* •  Systems Thinking –  Take apart the thing to be (systems age)* understood; –  A thing to be understood is –  Try to understand how these conceptualized as a part of parts worked; one or more larger wholes, –  Assemble an understanding of not as a whole to be taken the parts into an apart; understanding of the whole. –  An understanding of the larger system is sought; –  The system to be understood is explained in terms of its role or function in the containing * Ackoff, 1991 system.Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 5
  • 6. Representation of a systemPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 6
  • 7. Understanding a system External Internal BlindspotsPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 7
  • 8. Perspectives & communications•  Different perspectives•  Cognitive filters•  Pages•  Wavelength External•  No anchor points Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 8 8
  • 9. Systems thinking perspectives (STP)1.  Operational2.  Functional3.  Big picture4.  Structural5.  Generic6.  Continuum7.  Temporal8.  Quantitative9.  ScientificPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 9
  • 10. Operational perspective (who)•  How things really work – not how they theoretically should work•  Use cases•  Concepts of operations•  Cause and effect – linear thinking –  Simplistic thinking –  Useful for interface analysis (closed system)•  Cycles, periods – non linear thinking•  Relationships Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 10 10
  • 11. Functional perspective (what) •  Ongoing interdependent processes •  Internal relationships •  Feedback loops •  “closed system view” –  Cause and effect –  LoopsPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 11 11
  • 12. Big picture perspective•  Environment and context•  Assumptions behind the design of the system•  Inputs and outputs•  Relationships between inputs –  As they affect the system•  Filter (abstract) out non-pertinent details•  “open system view”Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 12 12
  • 13. Big picture - 1 bbbbPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 13
  • 14. Big picture - 2 SDLC SDLC SDLC SDLC SDLC SDLCPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 14
  • 15. Common Elements of a System A component or “The environment” element A relationship Output Input (Flood and Jackson, 1991) BoundaryPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 15
  • 16. The Real World (Big picture) Output Input Other factors may have an effect on the real world, due to the arbitrary location of the system boundaryPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 16
  • 17. Structural perspective•  Structural decomposition•  Hierarchies•  Internal subsystem boundaries•  Architectures•  Physical and virtual components•  Effects on the system due to its internal structure Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 17 17
  • 18. Generic perspective•  How the system theoretically should work•  Looking for similarities with other systems in other domains –  “out of the box” perspective•  Historical perspective w.r.t. other systems•  Lessons learned from other projects•  Determination if those lessons are applicable to current project Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 18 18
  • 19. Continuum perspective•  Selection of alternatives•  Tradeoffs•  Recognising that –  Things are not necessarily “either-or” •  there may be states in between •  one size does NOT fit all (optimally) •  things are situational –  Changing conditions may cause movement along the continuum Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 19 19
  • 20. Continuum STP – Not!•  “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail” (Maslow, 1966) pages 15 and 16).•  “SE is solution to all problems” –  SOS are in Area 3G –  Column G •  Operations Research? Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 20 20
  • 21. Continuum thinking1.  Nails are the solution to one class of problems,2.  Nails might be a solution to other classes of problems (although not necessarily optimal), and3.  The rest of the classes of problems should be monitored while the systems engineer gets the correct tool to tackle that class of problem. Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 21 21
  • 22. Temporal perspectives•  How the system behaves over time –  Patterns of behaviour •  cycles •  prevention –  Availability •  Maintenance, Logistics –  Obsolescence –  Reflection on past –  Lessons learned•  Current paradigm is a step in the staircase of history –  open mind to new thoughts Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 22 22
  • 23. Quantitative perspective•  Numbers must be useful not necessarily perfect•  Numbers need not be absolute –  Relative comparisons•  Quantification rather than measurement•  Pareto principle•  Helps to understand relationships –  OSTP and FSTP•  Provides values for parameters in models and simulations –  OSTP and FSTPPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 23 23
  • 24. Scientific perspective•  Statement of the problem•  Similar to ‘trial and error’ approach to problem solving•  Hypothesis formulation and testing•  Research questions Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 24 24
  • 25. Journalist’s perspective•  Who?•  What?•  Where?•  When?•  Why? Various perspectives•  How?Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 25
  • 26. STP traceability Matrix 1   2   3   4   5   6  STP   Who?   What?   Where?   When?   Why?   How?  Operational  Functional  Active BrainstormingBig picture  Structural  Generic  Continuum  Temporal  Quantitative  Scientific   There may not be an immediate answer to every questionPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 26
  • 27. Combinations•  STPs provide Anchor Points•  Combinations are also useful –  Structural + Temporal •  Landscapes and frameworks •  Gantt charts –  Waterfall perspective –  Generic + Temporal •  Lessons learned •  TRIZ Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 27 27
  • 28. Problem solving Operational/ Temporal STP Delay Feedback Cause Delay Symptom (effect) Delay Manifestation of problem Delay Action? Attempted solutionPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 28 28
  • 29. Similarity to Big picture Direct and indirect connections bbbbPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 29
  • 30. Structural/Temporal STP provides the HKM (2D) Framework for understanding SEPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 30
  • 31. Topics•  Understanding a system•  Systems thinking•  Systems thinking perspectives (STP)•  Observations from the STPs•  Systems thinking and critical thinking•  Summary•  Conclusion•  Questions and discussion Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 31 31
  • 32. Cook’s Views Layer 5 Socio-Economic LayerSystem scale Layer 4 Supply Chain Layer Layer 3 Business Layer Traditional Systems Engineering Layer 2 System Layer Layer 1 Product Layer Life-cycle temporal focus Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 32
  • 33. Cook’s Views Layer 5 Socio-Economic LayerSystem scale Layer 4 Supply Chain Layer Information Systems Layer 3 Business Layer Layer 2 System Layer Layer 1 Product Layer Life-cycle temporal focus Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 33
  • 34. Cook’s Views Layer 5 Socio-Economic LayerSystem scale Layer 4 Supply Chain Layer Layer 3 Business Layer Military Platforms Layer 2 System Layer Layer 1 Product Layer Life-cycle temporal focus Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 34
  • 35. Cook’s Views Layer 5 Socio-Economic LayerSystem scale Layer 4 Supply Chain Layer Layer 3 Business Layer Layer 2 System Layer Contemporary T&E Layer 1 Product Layer Life-cycle temporal focus Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 35
  • 36. Cook’s Views Layer 5 Socio-Economic LayerSystem scale Layer 4 Supply Chain Layer Capability Layer 3 Business Layer Information Systems Development Military Platforms Traditional Systems Engineering Layer 2 System Layer Contemporary T&E Layer 1 Product Layer Life-cycle temporal focus Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 36
  • 37. Standards in the HKMF?499/632122015288/CMMI Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 37
  • 38. Waterfall model Requirements Design Anchor point Implement From problem to solution TestProblem Activity Answer Operate Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 38 38
  • 39. Soft Systems Methodology CATWOE   Systems Thinking Perspective  Client/customer   Big picture  Actor   Operational  Transformation   Functional and performance  Weltanschauung   Big Picture  Owner   Big Picture  Environment   Big Picture  Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 39 39
  • 40. Systems Dynamics•  System – a collection of components interacting for a purpose (Clark, 1998).•  “System dynamics is the study of processes through the use of systems and how they can be modeled, explored and explained” (Clark, 1998).•  A process consists of activities or functions.•  Hence in systems thinking, systems dynamics is a tool with which to analyse the behaviour of a system over time (functional and operational STPs). Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 40 40
  • 41. Initial mapping: DODAF and STPs All Operational Technical System View View View ViewOperational X X - XFunctional X X X XBig picture X - - XStructural X - X XGeneric - - - -Continuum - - - -Temporal - - - -Quantitative - - - xScientific - - - -Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 41
  • 42. Systems thinking & critical thinking Indicates need for Critical Systems Thinking Thinking Provides viewpoints (anchor points) for Provides rules for knowledge thinking & communicating knowledge received from the viewpointsPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 42
  • 43. You are applying systems & critical thinking when.. •  When you reason about things •  Where other’s don’t, you see –  patterns in “unrelated” things –  ambiguity •  you develop a “strange” sense of humour –  solutions instead of problems •  by changing the viewpoint of the problem •  different or combinationPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 43 43
  • 44. Summary•  Understanding a system•  Systems thinking•  Systems thinking perspectives (STP)•  Observations from the STPs•  Systems thinking and an introduction to critical thinking Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 44 44
  • 45. Conclusion•  "When people know a number of things, and one of them understands how the things are systematically categorized and related, that person has an advantage over the others who dont have the same understanding.“•  Luzato, M.C., The Way of God, about 1735. Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 45 45
  • 46. Postscript•  Applying systems thinking is difficult•  Changing your way of thinking is even more difficult•  Stuck in a discussion –  Introduce another perspective•  Use active brainstorming table•  See the Battle of Britain example in the paper Presented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 46 46
  • 47. Questions, and comments? Course Systems Systems engineering thinking Communications Examine ORP, Systems TeamHKMF each FRAT, Presentations thinking activities phase in SPARKS perspectives the SDLC Active brainstormingPresented to the INCOSE 2008 Symposium page 47 47