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A Viable System Model Approach to the 
Organisational Structure of the 
Information Technology Association 
Zeyd GÜLESİN 
...
Overview 
• Introduction 
• System Thinking 
• Cybernetics 
• Tools of Cybernetics 
• Viable System Methodology 
• What is...
Introduction 
• The study is about modelling the organization structure of the 
Information Technology Association with he...
System Thinking 
• The most known conventional method to study systems is known as 
reductionism. 
• Reductionism was dete...
Cybernetics 
• Cybernetics is about the science of communication and control in 
systems 
• Stafford Beer redefined cybern...
Tools of Cybernetics 
• The Black Box Technique: Organisations, firms, and their environments are 
exceedingly complex sys...
Viable System Methodology 
• VSM is one of the system methodologies that provides solutions which have complex unitary 
co...
What is the difference with VSM?
How the VSM Works? 
• All organisations have three basic 
elements 
• Elements whic do things 
Operations 
• Elements whic...
Systems of VSM 
• System 5: Policy of Leadership, responsible for the 
direction of the whole enterprise 
• System 4: Stra...
The Information Technology Association 
(www.bt.org.tr) 
• The Information Technology Association was founded in 
2012. 
•...
Current Situation of the Organisation 
• Many activities held by the Assosiation since the establishment in 
2012, for exa...
Problems and Requirements 
• Still in the «storming» phase of the Project Team Development 
phases that Forming-> Storming...
Proposed Viable System Model for the 
Information Technology Association 
Implementation of VSM 
• System Identification 
...
System Identification 
• In a regular meeting of the board, the main purposes of the Information Technology 
Association i...
Recursion Levels 
Information Technology 
Association, www.bt.org.tr 
… 
… 
Civil Society Organizations 
in Turkey 
… 
… 
...
System Diagnosis 
System 1 
• Environment, operations, localized managements 
• According to main operations performed by ...
System 2 
• System 2 is dealing with the coordination issue which halts harmonization and 
coordination of System 1 elemen...
System 3 
• In order to perform resource allocations, create synergy, ensure policies are being followed and 
control the ...
System 4 
• S4 is the intelligence function, gets the information from the environment 
of the organization and transmits ...
System 5 
• The Board Members will perform the S5 functions. 
• Each Board Member in the IT Association is an expert at le...
VSM Diagram of the 
Information Technology 
Association
Conclusion 
• The aim of the study is to get an understanding about system thinking 
and design an organisation according ...
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A Viable System Model Approach to the Organisational Structure of the Information Technology Association

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System Thinking, Information Technology Association, Stafford Beer, Viable System Model, Bilişim Teknolojileri Derneği

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A Viable System Model Approach to the Organisational Structure of the Information Technology Association

  1. 1. A Viable System Model Approach to the Organisational Structure of the Information Technology Association Zeyd GÜLESİN 23.05.2014
  2. 2. Overview • Introduction • System Thinking • Cybernetics • Tools of Cybernetics • Viable System Methodology • What is the difference with VSM • How does it Works? • Systems of VSM • The Information Technology Association (www.bt.org.tr) • Current situation of the organization • Problems and Requirements • Proposed Viable System Model for the Information Technology Association • System Identification • System Diagnosis • Conclusion
  3. 3. Introduction • The study is about modelling the organization structure of the Information Technology Association with help of Viable System Methodology as a cybernetic tool • In the research, a brief introduction to system thinking, cybernetics and VSM is given • Another section is about the establishment of the IT Association and its goals, its problems and necessity of the new organisational structure. • Then the implementation phases of the VSM to the IT Association is studied.
  4. 4. System Thinking • The most known conventional method to study systems is known as reductionism. • Reductionism was determined as dividing the problems into parts and starting to solve firstly these smal parts. • However complex problems include many interconnected parts and dividing the orgnanised structure will not helpful to solve problems. • Morgan explores the metaphor of organizations as organisms that view organizations as living or open systems. The main strengths of the mataphor are its acknowledgement of relationship between environment and organizations. • The brain metaphor, deriving directly from cybernetics, emphasized active learning. The organization having decided on its purposes must be designed as a complex system to respond to environmental disturbances relevant to those purposes.
  5. 5. Cybernetics • Cybernetics is about the science of communication and control in systems • Stafford Beer redefined cybernetics as «the science of effective organization» • In cybernetics viewpoint, a system should be structured in a way that it can control itself. • Cybernetics offers three concepts, which can help define, operate, enable self-control and self-organization,: Black Box, Variety Engineering, Negative Feedback
  6. 6. Tools of Cybernetics • The Black Box Technique: Organisations, firms, and their environments are exceedingly complex systems and can be defined as black boxes. By doing input manipulation, output classification and monitoring, the black box become understandable withoud being confused in details of the compex organisational problems. • Variety Engineering: Managers that are trying to control their organisations and make them adaptive to their environments must command as much variety as these systems themselves demonstrate. In order to cope with the massive variety, managers have to either increase their own variety (variety amplification) or decrease the environmental variety (variety reduction). • Negative Feedback: This mechanism is used to provide self-regulation of a system… Characterised by closed loop structure. Based on the continuous information flow about organisational output, regularities are made about inputs of the system to obtain desired output then compared to the predetermined goals.
  7. 7. Viable System Methodology • VSM is one of the system methodologies that provides solutions which have complex unitary contexts. • He thinks in order to understand viability the best and richest model is human nervous system. • Small viable systems come together to form a new larger viable whole • Beer was looking with cybernetic eyes at the way any viable system adapts to survive and attain its goal in the context of a changeable environment. • Beer dveloped the VSM deriving ideas from cybernetics and neurophysiology • VSM is a method for innovative design of the organisational system and also a tool that enables you to diagnose problems and come up with solutions Viable System Environment
  8. 8. What is the difference with VSM?
  9. 9. How the VSM Works? • All organisations have three basic elements • Elements whic do things Operations • Elements which control the doers Management • Surroundings in which they function Environment • VSM has a recursive structure • Every viable systems are composed of smaller viable systems and embedded in larger viable systems • You can see the seperate levels of recursion The school-> Regional educational system-> National educational system
  10. 10. Systems of VSM • System 5: Policy of Leadership, responsible for the direction of the whole enterprise • System 4: Strategic Direction, development and intelligence, responsible for outside and the future. Observes the environment and to gain experince from it and to allow strategies to be developed for the future. • System 3: Optimization, ensures policies are being followed and creates synergy • System 2: Coordination, regulatory direction; all the activities and resources involved in the coordination between operative units • System 1: Operations, consists of the various parts of the organization concerned with carrying out the tasks directly
  11. 11. The Information Technology Association (www.bt.org.tr) • The Information Technology Association was founded in 2012. • In our country, the number of çivil society organisations which operates in the IT field are very small. • Many of them do not show any activity. • The IT industry has a rapidly changing environment. • The organisation must respond to changes on timely manner in terms of preparing news letter, legislative prooposals, cogress programs etc. • Seminar programs for sivil societies and especially for students is needed in in terms of using the IT conciously manner. • The Association of Information Technology was established for this purpose.
  12. 12. Current Situation of the Organisation • Many activities held by the Assosiation since the establishment in 2012, for example: • The Panel on Technical and Social Aspect of Mobile Technologies • Seminars about Social Media and Secure Internet • IT Academy for Manager, Auditors and End Users Project • The Board Of Members is the only organisational unit and the only periodic meetings are held by this unit.
  13. 13. Problems and Requirements • Still in the «storming» phase of the Project Team Development phases that Forming-> Storming-> Norming-> Performing-> Adjourning • The board of members deal with operational businesses • There is no unit to follow the technological developments. So the assosiation can’t produce quick responses • The membership mechanism doesn’t work properly • There is no clear methodology of working • An effective governance structure is needed.
  14. 14. Proposed Viable System Model for the Information Technology Association Implementation of VSM • System Identification • The purposes of the IT Association • Recursion Leveles are portrayed • System Diagnosis • IT Association, the system in focus of the study is designed according to VSM • All systems, 1 to 5, are defined and the problems that may damage the viability of the organisation are solved. • Why VSM? • The IT Associaton have operations in a highly dynamic IT industry in which businesses and govenrmantal elements are being performend • The dynamic industry is very important that the Assıciation should follow-up and evoluate • The association should have interactive relationships with other çivil society organization and the government as well. • VSM is used for anlysing the structure of the organisation to ensure its viability and effectiveness
  15. 15. System Identification • In a regular meeting of the board, the main purposes of the Information Technology Association is reviewed again. • Recursion levels are identified, the relevant system for achieving the purposes is decided • Level 1 : Information Technology Association (www.bt.org.tr) • Level 0 : Civil society organizations of the IT in Turkey • In order to reduce variety, unfolding complexity; • The viable parts of System 1 that are at recursion level 2, are identified. • According to main operations performed by the IT Association, 5 operational elements are defined. 1. Research Centers • Research Center for Mobile Technologies • Research Center for E- Commerce • Research Center for Information Security 2. IT Academy 3. Membership Relations 4. Communications 5. Financial Affairs
  16. 16. Recursion Levels Information Technology Association, www.bt.org.tr … … Civil Society Organizations in Turkey … … Research Centers IT Academy Membership Relations Communication Financial Affairs Level 0 Level 1 Level 2
  17. 17. System Diagnosis System 1 • Environment, operations, localized managements • According to main operations performed by the IT Association, 5 main operational elements are defined. • System 1a is the Research Centers • Research Center for Mobile Technologies • Research Center for E- Commerce • Research Center for Information Security • System 1b: the IT Academy • System 1c: Membership Relations • Individual Memberships • Corporate Membership • System 1d: Financial Affairs • System 1e:Communications
  18. 18. System 2 • System 2 is dealing with the coordination issue which halts harmonization and coordination of System 1 elements • Some possible sources of conflicts: • In order to organize seminars, education programs etc the Research Centers and IT Academy may communicate to the outside organizations without informing of Communications unit. • Each local unit may manage their own web site and social media accounts unaware of The Association’s main strategy or goals • IT Academy may acquire outsider experts on mobile Technologies for its education program, altough Mobile Technology Research Center has already many • Each local units may try to do their own membership management • In order to ensure the autonomy of S1 elements periodic coordination meetings should be organized by the Local Management of System 1 units • This coordination meetings as System 2 function, will prevent the possibble conflicts
  19. 19. System 3 • In order to perform resource allocations, create synergy, ensure policies are being followed and control the operational parts; • Firstly Research Center Directory unit is needed that will coordinate the research centers and relations with the other administrative unit. • Secondly an Administrative Affairs Directory unit is needed for the coordination of the units Communication, Membership Relations and Financial Affairs • The main duty of the S3 is controlling and according to internal information that comes from S2 and s3* and external information that is sourced from S4, the interpretation of the policy decision is made by S3 • Resource allocation to the parts of S1 and controlling of policy implementation in S1 accordance with data that comes from S2 and S3* is other roles of S3. • System 3 will have three information channels. • S3 receives goals from S5, interprets them for S1’s activities and transmits them to down. In order to transmit essential informations to the boards of members another channel is needed. • S3 is able to monitor S1s’ works through the auditing channel System 3* as well.
  20. 20. System 4 • S4 is the intelligence function, gets the information from the environment of the organization and transmits the filtered information downward and upward. • This function will be fulfilled by the General Secretary, Research Centers Director and Administrative Affairs Directory • These units should arrange periodic coordination meetings in order to provide the information flow • Monitoring the external events of the environment, following the technology of the mainly will be done by help of the Reserch Centers Director • For the external events related with the other civil society organizations and government, Administrative Affairs Directory’s help will be asked. •
  21. 21. System 5 • The Board Members will perform the S5 functions. • Each Board Member in the IT Association is an expert at least one area of S1 function, this brings some advantages to the Board Members (S5) about doing the future plans and policies. • As The General Secratery of the Association (S4) is also a member of the board, S5 will have a better understanding of organisational goal. • The balance between external and internal demand will be harmonised by S5 by monitoring the S3 and S4. • The Board Members meets 2 times per month. So the policies will be made periodically by the S5
  22. 22. VSM Diagram of the Information Technology Association
  23. 23. Conclusion • The aim of the study is to get an understanding about system thinking and design an organisation according to VSM • In order to understand the subject better, system thinking, organism metaphore, cybernetics and the problem contexts which lead to use VSM. • In the implementation part, VSM is applied to newly established Information Technology Association. • Performance evaluation of the proposed model can be done as a future research

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