Systems Thinking

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Lillailler
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Systems Thinking

Post by Lillailler » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:30 am

I spent the weekend reading the book. What an excellent book! There is a lot of great material there - some of it I don't quite agree with, but then it is a book which makes you question your assumptions so it is unlikely anyone would agree with all of it.

I have a lot of thoughts to maybe share here, but I'll start with Systems Thinking.

On p66 and again on p90 we touch on Systems Thinking, which is something I hold in very high regard. There are three SyStems Thinking approaches I find especially useful. The first is 'Theory of Constraints'. Eli Goldratt orginally developed TOC's Thinking Processes in the context of manufacturing scheduling but they are widely applicable to other situations (Goldratt was a PhD physicist, I wonder if that is relevant). A specific connection to the book is his treatment of 'negative branches', where a change that is made to resolve some undesireable effect has itself a new undesireable effect, which needs to be addressed as well, and so on. When making changes, therefore, you need to address the negative effects of the changes you make. My experience is that this is as effective as it is unusual.

The second System Thinking System is 'TRIZ' (”теория решения изобретательских задач", "Theory of inventive problem solving"). Very broadly TRIZ offers a set of archetypal problems, a set of archetypal solutions, and a mapping showing which solution is most frequently useful in solving which problem. The idea is that you analyse the practical engineering problem you are trying to solve into one of the archetypal problems, each of which is a conflict of some sort, and then look for solutions in the space defined by the types of solution that are fruitful for that specif problem / conflict. You move the problem from the concrete and specific to the abstract and generalised, solve it in the abstract and them map the solution back to the conrete and specific. Like TOC, parts of TRIZ are applicable well outside its engineering core material.

The third one is 'Systems Archetypes', which was developed by Daniel Kim of MIT. Kim gives us a set of patterns which occur all the time in all aspects of life. Having the pictures in mind and the words to define it helps in recognising and dealing with them quickly and accurately. This is great for a management team because it really helps collective understanding and communication.


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Lillailler
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:09 am

Re: Systems Thinking

Post by Lillailler » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:24 am

Oops
I was referring to the ERE book - sorry.

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