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IS 788 [Process] Change Management. Lecture: Change management: People issues in BPR, 2 of 3 – Soft systems methodology Presentation and Discussion – “Using Soft Systems Methodology to Examine Communication Difficulties” . Soft-Systems Methodology.

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is 788 process change management
IS 788[Process] Change Management
  • Lecture: Change management: People issues in BPR, 2 of 3 – Soft systems methodology
  • Presentation and Discussion – “Using Soft Systems Methodology to Examine Communication Difficulties”

IS 788 14.1

soft systems methodology
Soft-Systems Methodology
  • Can I have a show of hands of those who believe that with sufficient exercise of logic all process related issues are amenable to objective, quantitative solutions.
  • YOU ARE BEYOND HOPE. PLEASE LEAVE THE CLASSROOM NOW.

IS 788 14.1

some situations are inherently messy political and confused
Some situations are inherently messy, political and confused.
  • SSM is a tool for dealing with such situations – where decision making entails dealing not only with planning, but also with political and social entities.
  • HSM is concerned with achieving objectives
  • SSM is a learning and managing process

IS 788 14.1

paradigms of inquiry say wha
Paradigms of inquiry (say wha?)
  • There are multiple, commonly used ways of viewing and learning about the world.
  • In a psychologically demonstrable way (as opposed to a touchy-feeley way) the mode of inquiry creates perceived reality.

IS 788 14.1

ssm seeks to reconcile different realities
SSM seeks to reconcile different realities
  • HSM: the system or process is engineered to achieve objectives
    • Useful at the operational level, particularly when consensus exists on goal and objectives and means to achieve them
  • SSM: acknowledges HSM as one (of many) possible perspectives. Assumes common goals and methods are to be discovered – that they are not obvious.

IS 788 14.1

hsm stalls when
HSM stalls when:
  • There are multiple realities and each is unacknowledged by the other
  • When the problem is over-constrained – too complex and attempting to serve too many objectives at the same time
  • Many soft problems can masquerade as objective issues when social realities are ignored!

IS 788 14.1

human activity systems
Human activity systems
  • Any process not completely automated – including automated inputs and automated customers – is a human activity system
  • SSM explores and surfaces the “crucial element of subjectivity embedded in all human activity systems.”

IS 788 14.1

ssm how
SSM: How?
  • Begin by identifying six key elements
    • Customers – victims or beneficiaries of the system (process)
    • Actors – perform the activities of the process
    • Transformation – the process itself
    • Weltanschauung – the worldview that sees T as important
    • Owner – who could stop the process
    • Environment – external constraints, i.e. laws, culture

IS 788 14.1

similarities and differences to existing analysis methods
Similarities and differences to existing analysis methods
  • Other enlightened process analysis methodologies investigate T- the process, C – the customer, A – the actors and even E – the environment.
  • Only SSM surfaces the deep, frequently unstated assumptions in multipleWeltanschauung (one for each group)and makes political issues explicit with Owners

IS 788 14.1

ssm how 2
SSM: How? (2)
  • Rich pictures are one proven way of beginning to identify Weltanschauung
  • A rich picture is a concept map of the entire situation – with emotions deliberately left attached to issues
  • http://www.sprint.gov.uk/docs/toolkit_rich1.htm

IS 788 14.1

w eltanschauung are key
Weltanschauung are key
  • The SSM ‘investigator’ is responsible for bridging multiple worldviews
  • But before this can happen -
    • How many Weltanschauung are there in the situation?
    • What are the assumptions of each? They can be radically different.
      • Freedom fighter or terrorist
      • Serving patients or ease of reimbursement

IS 788 14.1

the analysis process
The analysis process

From real world (I and

II) to idealized system

description (III and IV)

and back again (V, VI,

and VII)

CATWOE

IS 788 14.1

from catwoe to root definitions rd s
From CATWOE to root definitions (RD’s)
  • Identifying the CATWOE for each group gives the vocabulary – the terms in which the group thinks about itself – for expressing the root definitions of each group:
    • RD’s “express the core intention of a purposeful activity system [process].
    • RD’s are structured into
      • What?
      • How?
      • Why? (frequently omitted, but highly significant)
    • RD’s are idealized expressions of what a group wants, hopes or believes its activities are about

IS 788 14.1

from rd s to conceptual models
From RD’s to conceptual models
  • RD’s are typically expressed in natural language: one or more paragraphs defining a group’s activities in the language of the group CATWOE. Verbs are stressed.
  • A graphical relationship between activities can be created from the RD – the conceptual model

IS 788 14.1

back to the real world
Back to the real world

Determine

CATWOE

Compare what you want with what you’ve got

Generate

RD

Generate

conceptual

model

IS 788 14.1

a final word from donald schon one of the most respected management scientists of our time
A final word from Donald Schon, one of the most respected management scientists of our time:
  • “In the swampy lowland [a metaphor] messy, confusing problems defy technical solution. . . The practitioner must choose. Shall he remain on the high ground where he can solve the relatively unimportant problems according to prevailing standards of rigor, or shall he descend to the swamp of important problems and non-rigorous inquiry?”

IS 788 14.1

leadership in cas o e ch 2
Leadership in CAS (O & E Ch. 2)
  • Leader as facilitator – foster interactions, don’t try to control them
  • CAS are massively entangled
    • Example – the university
      • Academics typically have interaction with Federal and State governments
      • Students
      • Other COBA departments (committees)
      • Other colleges (committees)
      • Industry (advisory boards, consulting)
      • University administration
      • Other universities, some in other countries
      • Ex. The ad-hoc committee on process knowledge in the curriculum

IS 788 14.1

massive entanglement implies
Massive entanglement implies
  • Traditional change strategies involving a single change agent (or agency) i.e. leader, champion – won’t work
  • In a complex organization no one participant can override the multiple messages from other system agents. (Yes, the CEO can fire you, but that still doesn’t change the organization in any meaningful way.)

IS 788 14.1

cas are messy but
CAS are messy, but
  • Things run just fine even if -
    • You don’t have a single coherent view of (or within) the workgroup
    • There is no single source of power
    • Differences in approach and style are a benefit
  • “If you create an environment where people truly participate, you don’t need control. They know what needs to be done and they do it.” Chairman, Southwest Airlines

IS 788 14.1

in a cas formal leaders have three jobs
In a CAS formal leaders have three jobs:
  • 1. Set the container (the boundaries, both physical and procedural, of the system)
    • Set the minimum specifications
    • Provide resources and get out of the way
    • Stretch or shrink boundaries to optimize energy – prevent stasis or over-extension
    • Set general direction
  • Which of the above are traditional and which are rarely found?

IS 788 14.1

leader s jobs continued
Leader’s jobs (continued)
  • 2. Exploit diverse viewpoints
    • Explore contradictory views of the group and its process
    • Accept contention and adversity – absence of conflict indicates stasis
  • 3. Facilitate interactions
    • Encourage feedback
    • Link communities of practice
    • Encourage learning

IS 788 14.1

summary
Summary:
  • Tightly controlled, homogenous, hierarchical organizations can be controlled by traditional methods
  • Such organizations are not competitive in a global economy – they move too slowly
  • Influencing people with incentive$ achieves movement, but by itself, does not achieve lasting change.
  • In CAS (most agile organizations) change comes bottom-up.

IS 788 14.1

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