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Systems-Thinking. Systems thinking is valuable because it can help people design smart, enduring solutions to problems. Systems thinking gives people a more accurate picture of reality so that they can work within a system’s natural forces to achieve the results they desire.

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Systems-Thinking

Systems thinking is valuable because it can help people design smart, enduring solutions to problems.

Systems thinking gives people a more accurate picture of reality so that they can work within a system’s natural forces to achieve the results they desire.

what is a system

A system is a group of interrelated components designed collectively to achieve a a desired goal.

  • Some systems are found in nature, and some are made by humans.
What is a system?
system continued

When parts of a system are missing, it may not work as planned.

  • Ex) A radio does not work when the electricity fails or a when a battery has been removed.
System Continued
system resources

Resources are the things needed to get a job done, such as tools and machines, materials, information, energy, people, capital, and time.

  • Energy transformed into power is used for all technological activities.
  • For example, a battery provides energy to power a flashlight bulb.
System Resources
technological systems ipof

Technological systems include inputs, processes, output, and at times, feedback.

  • The input consists of the resources that flow into the system.
  • The process is the systematic sequence of actions that combines resources to produce an output—encoding, reproducing, designing, or propagating, for example.
Technological Systems IPOF
ipof continued

The output is the end result, which can have either a positive or negative impact.

  • Feedback is information used to monitor or control a system.
IPOF Continued
systems

A system often includes a component that permits revising or refining the system when the feedback information suggests such action.

  • For example, the fuel level indicator of a car is a feedback system that lets the user know when the system needs additional action.
Systems
open loop system vs closed loop

An open-loop system has no feedback path and requires human intervention, while a closed-loop system uses feedback.

  • An example of an open-loop system is a microwave oven that requires a person to determine if the food has been heated to the required temperature.
  • An example of a closed-loop system is the heating system in a home, which has a thermostat to provide feedback when the system needs to be turned on and off.
Open Loop System Vs Closed Loop
technological systems can be connected to one another

Systems can be connected, with the output of one system being the input to the next system.

  • Sometimes the connection provides control of one system over another system.
Technological systems can be connected to one another.
systems1

Systems, which are the building blocks of technology, are embedded in larger technological, social, and environmental systems.

Systems
systems2

For example, a food processor is a system made up of components and subsystems.

  • At the same time, a food processor in a large food preparation system is a component of a larger system.
Systems
technological system

The stability of a technological system is influenced by all of the components in the system, especially the feedback loop.

  • (Cruise control in an automobile, for example, automatically detects and controls the speed of the car.)
Technological System
resources

Selecting resources involves trade-offs between competing values, such as availability, cost desirability, and waste.

  • Technological development involves decisions about which resources can and should be used.
  • For example, some homes are very energy efficient (Inputs), while others consume large amounts of energy.
Resources
final thought

systems thinking enhances the technological design process by emphasizing the relationships among a system’s parts, rather than the parts themselves.

Final Thought
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