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Seeing the Big Picture The Ten Principles of Systems Thinking. C. James Bacon cjamesbacon@gmail.com. Agenda (CIIT/BCS Dorset Branch Wed. 14 Nov. 2012. A quick & preliminary look at the Ten Principles: A Framework for Systems Thinking.

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slide1

Seeing the Big Picture

The Ten Principlesof

Systems Thinking

C. James Bacon

cjamesbacon@gmail.com

slide2

Agenda (CIIT/BCS Dorset Branch Wed. 14 Nov. 2012

A quick & preliminary look at the Ten Principles: A Framework for Systems Thinking.

Where the story begins: book-in-progress on “Joining Up Business-IT: A Systemic Solution”.

Why the book: (1) Make IT-in-Organisations understandable. (2) IT fails most of the time.

The book’s JUMP Model - based on Systems Thinking: A Framework for IT-in-Organisations.

Back to the Ten Principles (its another book).

A basic cause of (IT) failure: Parochial Thinking - The Queen’s Question and other examples

Agile/Lean Development: it’s the way to go but – the Parochial Thinking Risk is greater.

The first two principles: (1) See the Big Picture, (2) Everything is a system.

Systems Thinking Techniques – How to do Systems Thinking.

Soft Systems Methodology.

The Synergy Principle – how to join up Business and IT.

The Upside & Downside of Systems Thinking.

Why You should think Systemically.

Discussion

If there is time – more detail.

slide3

Seeing Everything as a Holistic System

A system is anything made upof intra-dependent partswhich act together for a purposewith some form of input, processand outputand which must, as a whole,intra-act effectively and

inter-act & adapt continuouslywith its external/contextual environmentto remain viable.

is Systems Thinking

An Open System

slide4

Some Types of System

  • You might say that my laptop and Iare two parts of a system.
  • If it does what I need andif I do what it needs,
  • - then we’re cookin’! - We’ve got synergy!
  • A business/govt. organisation.
  • A bus./govt. department
  • A football team; a football club
  • A tree; a forest.
  • A plant; a flower.
  • Rainfall & rivers.
  • The Earth; the Universe.
  • A school; a university.
  • A supermarket; shopping at.
  • The roads in/around a town.
  • But I guess there areother parts in our system,like software, data, - and maybe people!
  • And I guess we’re part ofa bigger system as well!
  • A computer information system.
  • A business process.
  • An accounting system.
  • The global financial markets.
  • A human being (body/mind/spirit).
slide5

The Ten Systems Thinking Principles: A Framework for Systems Thinking

Everything is a system and every system has its purpose or purposes.

See the Big Picture:the holistic & systemic whole.

Each part of a system is dependent uponand needs to work well with the other parts.

Every system must continuously inter-relate with and adapt to its context or external environment to remain viable.

A human organisational system must have effective communication and dialogue in working well and in adapting to internal and external change.

Synthesis before Analysis.

First look to the idealised design.

Synergy results from the actualisationof idealised intra-relationships

Every system has an optimum min/max size.

Optimal efficiency of a part in itself detracts from overall effectiveness.

slide6

The Importance of Structure in/for Understanding, Learning, and Knowledge

A Systemic Approximation of Knowledge Formation

The External: People/Things/the World

Mind & Memory (short/long-term)

ReceivedInformation

Structure/Structuring

SensesPerception

Learning

Processing

Understanding

Knowledge

Analysis/Synthesis

Thinking

(fast/slow)

Awareness & Feelings

Experience (verb/noun)Observing/Doing(passive/active)

Action

Daniel Kahneman

slide7

Socio-Economic Impact – of Business-IT Failure

Impact on privacy

Frustration, stress and ill health

Waste of people potential

Poor customer service

& value

Job losses

Higher taxes

Loss of life

Wasted time

Poor collaboration, innovation, knowledge growth

Poor public health/social services

Ineffective government

slide8

The JUMP Model

ASystemic Frameworkfor ITin Organisations

Based on:

Systems Thinking

A research method known as the Constant Comparative Method of Grounded Theory (Glaser & Strauss).

A global Delphic survey of 50 senior academics and many business managers.

Pursuit of the Null Hypothesis Principle with audiences and thought leaders in attempts to disprove the validity of the model.

Iteration & refinement.

The External Customer and -

Governance & Guidance

The (virtual) -

B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s e s

InformationSystems (IS) & Applications (Apps)

ITProfessionals

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

Information & CommunicationsTechnology

(ICT)

IT MOMSManagement Organisation Methodsand Skills

- - -

Systems Development& Support

IT Customers

InformationValue

Leadership & Culture

Management & Mgt. Processes

IT Customers

System& NetworkOperations

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

Data

P h y s i c al I n f r a s t r u c t u r e

- Business Organisation

Strategy & Structure

- Socio-Economic Environment

slide9

The JUMP 12-Part Model (part 1):

The External Customer and -

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

- Socio-Economic Environment

slide10

The JUMP Model (part 2)

The External Customer and -

Governance & Guidance

The (virtual) -

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

Leadership & Culture

Management & Mgt. Processes

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

- Business Organisation

Strategy & Structure

- Socio-Economic Environment

slide11

The JUMP Model (3 and 4)

The External Customer and -

Governance & Guidance

The (virtual) -

B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s e s

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

Leadership & Culture

Management & Mgt. Processes

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

P h y s i c a l ICT I n f r a s t r u c t u r e

- Business Organisation

Strategy & Structure

- Socio-Economic Environment

slide12

The JUMP Model (5 and 6)

The External Customer and -

Governance & Guidance

The (virtual) -

B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s e s

ITProfessionals

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

IT MOMSManagement Organisation Methodsand Skills

- - -

Systems Development& Support

Leadership & Culture

Management & Mgt. Processes

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

P h y s i c a l ICT I n f r a s t r u c t u r e

- Business Organisation

Strategy & Structure

- Socio-Economic Environment

slide13

The JUMP Model (7 and 8)

The External Customer and -

Governance & Guidance

The (virtual) -

B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s e s

ITProfessionals

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

Information & CommunicationsTechnology

(ICT)

IT MOMSManagement Organisation Methodsand Skills

- - -

Systems Development& Support

Leadership & Culture

Management & Mgt. Processes

System& NetworkOperations

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

P h y s i c a l ICT I n f r a s t r u c t u r e

- Business Organisation

Strategy & Structure

- Socio-Economic Environment

slide14

The JUMP Model (9 and 10)

The External Customer and -

Governance & Guidance

The (virtual) -

B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s e s

InformationSystems (IS) & Applications (Apps)

ITProfessionals

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

Information & CommunicationsTechnology

(ICT)

IT MOMSManagement Organisation Methodsand Skills

- - -

Systems Development& Support

Leadership & Culture

Management & Mgt. Processes

System& NetworkOperations

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

Data

P h y s i c a l ICT I n f r a s t r u c t u r e

- Business Organisation

Strategy & Structure

- Socio-Economic Environment

slide15

The JUMP Model (11)

The External Customer and -

Governance & Guidance

The (virtual) -

B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s e s

InformationSystems (IS) & Applications (Apps)

ITProfessionals

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

Information & CommunicationsTechnology

(ICT)

IT MOMSManagement Organisation Methodsand Skills

- - -

Systems Development& Support

IT Customers

Leadership & Culture

Management & Mgt. Processes

IT Customers

System& NetworkOperations

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

Data

P h y s i c a l ICT I n f r a s t r u c t u r e

- Business Organisation

Strategy & Structure

- Socio-Economic Environment

slide16

The JUMP Model – part 12

ASystemic Frameworkfor ITin Organisations

The External Customer and -

Governance & Guidance

The (virtual) -

B u s i n e s s P r o c e s s e s

InformationSystems (IS) & Applications (Apps)

ITProfessionals

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

Information & CommunicationsTechnology

(ICT)

IT MOMSManagement Organisation Methodsand Skills

- - -

Systems Development& Support

IT Customers

InformationValue

Leadership & Culture

Management & Mgt. Processes

IT Customers

System& NetworkOperations

- Including C y b e r s p a c e

Data

P h y s i c a l ICT I n f r a s t r u c t u r e

- Business Organisation

Strategy & Structure

- Socio-Economic Environment

slide17

The Agile/Lean Challenge:the IT Customer/User

Perception& Experience

Background& Context

“I don’t see that IT makes a difference to business performance”.

Never been exposed to Systems Thinking; a Parochial Thinker.

“I don’t understand IT, and don’t have the time or need to understand it”.

Needs education on theinter-connections in Bus.–IT.

What d'ya want from me;computers are not my thingand I don’t have the time!

Not aware of IT needin business strategy.

“My experience with IT has not been good”.

Not in a joined-up culture.

“Why don’t the IT people just get on and do it?”

Doesn’t see the vital role ofthe Bus.-IT savvy IT Customer.

“IT doesn’t make my job any easier”.

Doesn’t see IT leadershipor example in senior mgt.

“IT people don’t understand the business”.

Not aware of external or evencross-organisational impacts.

“IT just costs time & money”.

slide18

The Risk in Agile/Lean Development:A Parochial Thinking Perspective

  • That doesn’t affect me.
  • Forget about the general stuff; let’s get on with the job at hand!
  • We know what we need; it’s obvious!
  • My job, My skill, My department, My agenda.
  • Tick the boxes – job done!
  • The problem is obvious; it’s in the numbers!
  • Us v. Them.
  • What’s in it for me?
  • I can’t help them; it will stop me meeting my target!
  • You don’t understand me.
  • That’s not my job.
  • You should know what I need; just do it!
  • Just tell me what you want; that’s all I need to know.
  • That’s my specialisation; that’s what I do.

Boxed-In Thinking

slide19

Silo/Stovepipe Thinking – and IT

  • We naturallythink parochially (in silos): - My job, My skill, My department, My agenda, My needs, My box.
  • And this translates into the common problemfor IT in Organisations of -doing things in silos:
  • - hardware requirements
  • - patches
  • - enhancements
  • - project management
  • - systems audit
  • - data analysis
  • - development projects,
  • - user requirements
  • - spread sheets
  • - cost v. benefit

Withunintendedyetpotentiallydisastrous and/or expensiveconsequences

slide20

The Parochial Thinking Perspective:Example

Birmingham City Council's Computerised Phone SystemBaffled By Brummie Accent . Nov. 2012.

An automated phone system was flummoxed by the local Brummie accent.

The service featureda female voice witha Geordie accent.

The system cost £11 m.

The system wasde-commissioned.

slide21

Lean + Systems Thinking= Cost-Effectiveness

The Metropolitan PoliceDirectorate of Information

  • Compelling Reasons:
  • Forced to cut costs by 25% over three years.
  • Decided Lean was the only way.
  • Systems Thinking Principles:
  • Looked at Purpose.
  • Idealised design.
  • Synthesis before analysis.
        • Lean Principles:
        • Senior Management active support.
        • People Buy-In.
  • Customer Value & Value Streams.
  • Eliminate waste.
  • Customer-IT empowered teams.
slide22

The Ten Systems Thinking Principles – Some Techniques (1)

Everything is a system and every system has its purpose or purposes.

See the Big Picture:the holistic & systemic whole.

Each part of a system is dependent uponand needs to work well with the other parts.

Every system must continuously inter-relate with and adapt to its context or external environment to remain viable.

A human organisational system must have effective communication and dialogue in working well and in adapting to internal and external change.

Synthesis before Analysis.

First look to the idealised design.

Synergy results from the actualisationof idealised intra-relationships

Every system has an optimum min/max size.

Optimal efficiency of a part in itself detracts from overall effectiveness.

slide23

First Synthesise then Analyse: e.g. Looking at a Dept./Function as a System

  • 1. Identify & agree the Subject System with which we’re concerned as a systemic whole, in its Boundaries and Sub-Systems.
  • 2. Describe theContextual System within which the Subject System exists, which is the next system up, in this case the Organisation.
  • 5. Analyse the Subject system in termsof its Sub-Systems ,their intra-relationships,and their inter-relationships withthe Contextual system. & Supra System.
  • 3. Appreciate the Supra system within which the Contextual organisational system exists, which in this case is the External Customer & Socio-Economic Environment.
  • 4. IdentifyRelated systems/functions with which the Subject System inter-relates.
slide24

Systems Thinking and IT:The Seven Hats Perspective

Who wears this hat?Information Value

Management Accountant

IT Professional:Systems & Technology

Subject:A dept., function, system, process, etc in the organisational context.

CEO:Top/Overall View

Operations:Business Process& Internal Customer

Sales & Marketing: External Customer

Sociologist (HR?):People: What they do (and need to do),Why they do it, How they work,and How they interact

slide25

Help! costs

are growing

too fast!

Mortgage

Seeker

We’re separate

From the restof the Business

Accounting

Customer Service

Rich Picture: Mortgage Brokers Sales Dept. Present Context

SSM

I can get

How can IT systems

Change! Flexibility!

independent advice

help us to be more

Fast response to

and the best deal

competitive?

new rules, new ways,

new categories!

How do we automate

our business rules?

We have to compete! Our

customer service and bus. processes

need to be efficient and cost-effective!

I’m fed-up with

these guys,

they never get

our commissions

Senior Management

right!

Competitor

Brokers

Mortgage Brokers

Mortgage

FirmDirector

Sales

MortgageProvider

Agent

Dept

Associate

It makes it very

Firm

difficult to do your

job without the right

I just cannot handle

information!

all the paperwork!

Sales &

Mktg

.

Internal

Mortgage

Sales

Director

Rep

Support

Commissions

are a problem!

Staffer

Mortgage

Admin. &

Research

Finance

Regulatory

Regulator

- Markets

They blame us for bad

- Data Admin.

- Providers

information, but its

- Guidance

- Investments

Ombudsman

not our fault!

- HR

- Accounts

- Budgets

-Commissions

slide26

Causal Loop Diagramme (Simple Format):A Systemic View of Issues:Proposed New Road Around the Town

Number ofRoads

Dependenceon Cars

Cost ofPetrol

Reliability ofPublic Transport

TrafficCongestion

Cost ofPublic Transport

EnvironmentalPollution

GovernmentSubsidies

Road TrafficDeaths

Independencein/of travel

slide27

Business Root Definition: A Hospital Ward

SSM

  • 1. Purpose:To make people well and/or recover, and sustain human life within a context of patient care, dignity, and clinical excellence.
  • 2. Ownership: The trustees, the funding authority, and the public as taxpayers.
  • 3. Process: (1) GP referral, (2) initial assessment, (3) intake, (4) appropriate & effective procedures and care, (5) recovery, (6) exit (7) follow-up, (8) GP care.
  • 4. Customers: The patients.
  • 5. Stakeholders: Patients’ families, staff, trustees, the general public, the funding authority, and the government.
  • 6. Actors/Doers: Front-line caring staff, support staff, senior staff (surgeons and specialists), and admin./mgt. staff.
  • 7. Constraints: Funding levels, staffing levels, administrative overhead, government & regulatory requirements, hygiene & safety requirements.
  • 8. External Context: The Department as a whole, other wards and interfacing departments, the Hospital as a whole, and the community and general public.
slide28

Mind-Mapping

First look to the idealised design

See the Big Picture:the holistic & systemic whole

A human organisational system must have effective communication and dialogue in working well and in adapting to internal and external change

Optimal efficiency of a part in itselfdetracts from overall effectiveness

Synthesis before Analysis

Synergy results from theactualisation of idealisedintra-relationship

Every system has an optimummin/max size.

How can we apply the tenSystems Thinking Principlesto Agile/Lean Development?

Everything is a system and every system has its purpose or purposes

Every system must continuously inter-relate with and adapt to its context or external environment to remain viable.

Each part of a system is dependent uponand needs to work well with the other parts

slide29

The Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) ApproachPeter Checkland

  • 6. Changes that are systemically desirable and culturally feasible.

1. Statement of situation or issue considered problematic.

  • 7.Action to improve the problem situation.

2. Problem situation expressed using Rich Pictures and other means.

5. Comparison of idealised, conceptual model with the real world.

The Real World

4. Idealised, conceptual model of system, based on root definition, and represented in the form of simpleBusiness Activity/Process Models.

Systems Thinkingaboutthe Real World

3. Business Root Definitionof subject system.

slide30

The Synergy Principle

Everything is a system and every system has its purpose or purposes.

See the Big Picture:the holistic & systemic whole.

Each part of a system is dependent uponand needs to work well with the other parts.

Every system must continuously inter-relate with and adapt to its context or external environment to remain viable.

A human organisational system must have effective communication and dialogue in working well and in adapting to internal and external change.

Synthesis before Analysis.

First look to the idealised design.

Synergy results from the actualisationof idealised intra-relationships

Every system has an optimum min/max size.

Optimal efficiency of a part in itself detracts from overall effectiveness.

slide31

Remind me: what is Synergy?

  • When the combined effect of the different parts of a system exceeds the sum of their individual effects.
  • The product of the relationships in a system, particularly a human organisation system.
  • The added-value effect in effective collaboration or combination.

2 + 2 = 7

slide32

Business-IT Synergy Theory

How can we enhanceSynergyin the intra-relationshipsbetween the basic/intrinsic, intra-dependent areasof IT in Organisations?

- If there is Synergy between the basic/intrinsic intra-dependent areas of IT-in-Organisations- as in the JUMP Model then there isJoined-Up Business-IT !

1. Determine the Purposeof the relationship.

2. Include this Purpose in an Idealised/Synergistic Expressionof the relationship.

3. Based on the Idealised/Synergistic Expression, find Possible Actionsthat might enhance Synergyin the relationship.

5. So as to Actualisethe Idealised/Synergistic Expression.

4. Using the Possible Actions, dialogue for Payback Actions.

slide33

Seeing significant issues that would not otherwise be seen.

  • Asking important questions that would not otherwise be asked.
  • Solving if not avoiding problems that would not otherwise be seen or solved.

Systems Thinkingas Double-Edged Sword

- The Upside

- the Downside

  • Gaining in Performance.
  • Gaining in Innovation.
  • Gaining in Wisdom.
  • Being different from most other people.
  • Getting too much information, and taking too much time in getting it.
  • Not having sufficient power/authority to do much with it (Systems Thinking).

So what to do about these things?

slide34

And if you can think Systemically

Then you have

The ability to see the Big Picture and see where others do not seeand to help if not lead otherswith this wisdom

YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU

YOU

TO Think Systemically