Reduction vs. Systems 1950’s the main approach to understanding was ‘reductionism’ – divide something into its parts Ludwig von Bertalnffy proposed systems thinking – discover how something interacts with its environment
General Systems Theory Science of understanding open systems theory GST provides a framework to study open systems GST is not too general nor too specific
Open Systems All living and many non-living things are open systems Systems theory gives us a way to ‘think about’ open systems Systems theory lays the foundation for the analysis and modelling of systems Systems theory provides an analytical framework for comprehending dynamic interrelated operating systems
Open System Sense Response OPEN SYSTEMENVIRONMENT
University – Open SystemPolicyApproved FundingIndustry NeedsStudents UNIVERSITY Funding Requests New Knowledge Graduates
Systems Thinking holistic approach to problem solving reflecting on how the organisation relates to its business environment and how factors in the environment can affect the organisation
Definition of ‘System’“... an identifiable, complex dynamic entity composed of discernibly different parts or subsystems that are interrelated to and interdependent on each other and the whole entity with an overall capability to maintain stability and to adapt behaviour in response to external influences” [Webster’s]
Boulding’s Explanation“Somewhere … between the specific that has no meaning and the general that has no content there must be, for each purpose and at each level of abstraction, an optimum degree of generality”
Beckett’s explanation"The trust of general systems .. is to draw attention to the study of relationships of parts to one another within the wholes”
GST Traits Systems … are Goal Seeking are Holistic have Hierarchy have Inputs and Outputs transform inputs into outputs consume and/or create Energy are affected by Entropy have Equifinality have Feedback
Goal Seeking All open systems must have goals There are two types Inner directed goals Outer directed goals Design strategies are typically “outer directed” goals Maintenance strategies are an “inner directed” goal
Holistic SU B SYSTEM SU B SYSTEM SU B Bou nd ry SU B SYSTEM SYSTEM SU B SYSTEM SU B SYSTEM SU B SYSTEM Fredrick Hagel (1770-1831) The whole is more than the sum of the parts The whole determines the sum of the parts The parts cannot be understood if considered in isolation from the whole The parts are dynamically interrelated and interdependent
Hierarchical W H OLE SYSTEM PLAN T LEVEL MOR E GEN ER AL SU B SU B SYSTEM D EPAR TMEN T LEVELSYSTEM SU B SYSTEM SYSTEMS C ELL L EVEL W OR KSTATION L EVEL SU B MOR E D ETAIL SU B SYSTEMSYSTEM PR OC ESS LEVEL SU B SYSTEM
Transform Inputs into Outputs IN PU T ER R OR FEED BAC K TR AN SFOR M IN PU T OU TPU T IN PU TS TO OU TPU TS IN PU T OU TPU T TR AN SFOR M OU TPU T IN PU TS TO OU TPU TS IN PU T STATU S FEED BAC K
Entropy A measure of the amount of disorder in a system Everything disintegrates over time Negative entropy or centropy Effects of entropy are offset by the system transforming itself continuously Maintain order through such things as repairs, maintenance and possibly growing by importing ‘energy’
Energy, Equifinality and Feedback Systems create/consume energy Physical Emotional Equifinality is the ability for systems to achieve goals in a number of ways This flexibility allows systems avoid the effects of entropy Systems have feedback - feedback can allow a system to change its direction
Conclusions Views of GST are universal GST combats ‘isolationist’ tendencies among engineers, systems analysts, business analysts, IT specialists, etc. etc. GST offers a framework for understanding all systems Benefits of GST to design of systems are significant Theory of GST lays at the foundation of much new thinking in - including ‘Learning Organisations’, ‘Structured Analysis’, ‘Sociotechnical Design’ and ‘Strategic Planning’
Boulding and the Hierarchyof Systems Complexity Kenneth Boulding, “General System Theory – The Skeleton of Science”, 1956 The existing over-specialization of science and the lack of communication between the different areas. Each studies some kind of systems, a classification is necessary if a general methodology for their study is to be developed.
Boulding and the Hierarchyof Systems Complexity  Frameworks Level of static structures and relationship Ex: the arrangement of atoms in a crystal, the anatomy of genes, the organization of the astronomical universe. Clockworks The Solar System simple dynamic system with predetermined motion Car engines and dynamos
Boulding and the Hierarchyof Systems Complexity  Cybernetic Systems Control mechanism, characterized: feedback mechanisms with transmission and interpretation of information. A thermostat with teleological behavior Cell Self-maintaining structure Open-system level
Boulding and the Hierarchyof Systems Complexity  Plant Process of the plant level take place without specialized sense organs, the reaction to changes in the environment is slow. Animal Wide range of specialized sensors convey a great amount of information via a nervous system to a brain where information can be stored and structured. Reaction to changes in the environment are more or less instantaneous.
Boulding and the Hierarchyof Systems Complexity  Human Sophisticated language capability and the use of internal symbols through which man accumulates knowledge. Social Organization The units assumed roles and these are tied together by the channel of communication. Transcendental Unknowable, presupposed exhibit systemic structure and relationship.
Boulding and the Hierarchyof Systems Complexity  Physical Scientist Category of physical and mechanical systems: framework, clockwork, cybernetics Biologist, Botanist, and zoologist cell, plant, and animal Social Scientist Human and social organization Philosophy Transcendental systems
Checkland and the SystemsTypology Peter Checkland, “Systems Thinking Systems Practice”, 1981. The absolute minimum number of systems classes necessary to describe the existing reality is four natural, human activity, designed physical, designed abstract, systems.
Checkland and the SystemsTypology  Natural Systems “they are systems which could not be other than they are, given a universe whose patterns and laws are not erratic” Human Activity Systems Have a tendency to integrate in such a way that they can be viewed as a whole. Social system Ex: agricultural, defence, trading, transportation
Checkland and the SystemsTypology  Designed Physical Systems Systems fitted with purpose of mind because a need for them in some human activity has been identified Individual tools, individual machines, other designed and fabricated material entities Designed Abstract Systems Various type of theological, philosophical or knowledge systems. Only associated with human beings.
General System Theory Kepentingannya bagi Desain Sistem InformasiKomponen-komponen dari Gambarkan komponen-komponen dan hubungan antarsuatu sistem berinteraksi mereka selama proses analisisSebuah sistem adalah suatu Yakinkan untuk merumuskan keseluruhan sistem sebelumkeseluruhan menguji sub sistemSistem dibuat untuk tujuan Apa tujuan sistem informasi yang dibangun?tertentu (goal seeking)Sistem memiliki masukan dan Tujuan utama desain adalah menentukan masukan dankeluaran keluaranSistem mengubah masukan Tugas utama desain adalah menentukan proses pengolahanuntuk menghasilkan keluaran untuk menghasilkan keluaran berdasarkan masukanSistem menunjukan adanya Pengolahan informasi adalah hal krisis bagi keberhasilanentropi suatu organisasiSistem harus dikendalikan SI membantu mengendalikan organisasi; SI harus mempunyai umpan balikSistem membentuk hirarki Disain SI merupakan tugas berhirarki; sistem terdiri dari hirarki subsistemSistem memperlihatkan SI mempunyai banyak bagian-bagian khususadanya diferensiasiSistem memperlihatkan Ada banyak cara untuk mendisain SI untuk mencapai sasaranadanya equifinality yang dikehendaki.