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Systems Theory and Modelling

Seminars
Introduction Defining Innovation Innovation Process Understanding Goals Defining Objectives Managing Indicators Systems Theory and Modelling Creativity and Idea Generation Managing Project Portfolios Leading Innovation Teams Managing Results and Knowledge

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

This Lecture
Open Systems General Systems Theory (GST) GST Traits System Classification Systems Analysis and Modelling Activity Modelling (IDEFo)

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Reduction vs. Systems


1950s the main approach to understanding was reductionism divide something into its parts Ludwig von Bertalnffy proposed systems thinking discover how something interacts with its environment

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Open Systems
All living and many non-living things are open systems Systems theory gives us a way to think about open systems Systems theory lays the foundation for the analysis and modelling of systems Systems theory provides an analytical framework for comprehending dynamic interrelated operating systems

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Open System

Sense

OPEN SYSTEM

Response

ENVIRONMENT

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University Open System


Policy
Approved Funding Industry Needs

UNIVERSITY
Funding Requests New Knowledge Graduates

Students

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Systems Thinking
holistic approach to problem solving reflecting on how the organisation relates to its business environment and how factors in the environment can affect the organisation
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Definition of System
... an identifiable, complex dynamic entity composed of discernibly different parts or subsystems that are interrelated to and interdependent on each other and the whole entity with an overall capability to maintain stability and to adapt behaviour in response to external influences [Websters]
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General Systems Theory


Science of understanding open systems theory GST provides a framework to study open systems GST is not too general nor too specific

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Bouldings Explanation
Somewhere between the specific that has no meaning and the general that has no content there must be, for each purpose and at each level of abstraction, an optimum degree of generality

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Becketts explanation
"The trust of general systems .. is to draw attention to the study of relationships of parts to one another within the wholes

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GST Traits
Systems
are Goal Seeking are Holistic have Hierarchy have Inputs and Outputs transform inputs into outputs consume and/or create Energy are affected by Entropy have Equifinality have Feedback

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Goal Seeking
All open systems must have goals There are two types Inner directed goals Outer directed goals Design strategies are typically outer directed goals Maintenance strategies are an inner directed goal

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

SUB SYSTEM

Holistic

SUB SYSTEM SUB SYSTEM SUB SYSTEM

Boundry SUB SYSTEM

SUB SYSTEM

Fredrick Hagel (1770-1831)


The whole is more than the sum of the parts The whole determines the sum of the parts The parts cannot be understood if considered in isolation from the whole The parts are dynamically interrelated and interdependent
David OSullivan, NUI Galway

SUB SYSTEM

Hierarchical
WHOLE SYST EM PLANT LEVEL MORE GENERAL SUB SYST EM

SUB SYST EM

DEPARTMENT LEVEL

SUB SYST EM

SYST EMS

CELL LEVEL

WORKST ATI ON LEVEL SUB SYST EM

MORE DET AIL PROCESS LEVEL

SUB SYST EM

SUB SYST EM

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Transform Inputs into Outputs


INPUT ERROR FEEDBACK INPUT TRANSFORM INPUTS TO OUTPUTS OUTPUT

INPUT OUTPUT TRANSFORM INPUTS TO OUTPUTS INPUT STATUS FEEDBACK OUTPUT

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Entropy
A measure of the amount of disorder in a system Everything disintegrates over time Negative entropy or centropy Effects of entropy are offset by the system transforming itself continuously Maintain order through such things as repairs, maintenance and possibly growing by importing energy
David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Energy, Equifinality and Feedback Systems create/consume energy


Physical Emotional

Equifinality is the ability for systems to achieve goals in a number of ways This flexibility allows systems avoid the effects of entropy Systems have feedback - feedback can allow a system to change its direction
David OSullivan, NUI Galway

System Classification
Checkland's classification
Natural Systems (ecological systems, human beings) Physically Designed Systems (bridges, machines) Abstract Design Systems (Languages, Mathematics) Human Activity Systems (Politics, Banking) Transcendental Systems (Beyond knowledge or comprehension)
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Transcendental Social Oganisation Human Animal Genetic-societ al Open System Cybernetics Clockworks Frameworks

Bouldings Classification

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Bouldings Classification
Frameworks
static structures (e.g. camshaft, skeleton, formal company organisations, rock) timing mechanisms (e.g. self winding clocks) elementary closed systems with feedback (e.g. thermostats) elementary forms of life interact with their environment in order to change their behaviour exchange information with other subsystems mobility, self-awareness, and goal orientation-highly complex intelligence gives the human system the ability to think about the future, its goals, and how to reach them. organisations which have their own combined goals, needs all other systems not yet comprehended

Clockworks Cybernetics Open system Genetic-societal systems


Animal system Human system Social organisation


Transcendental,

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Conclusions
Views of GST are universal GST combats isolationist tendencies among engineers, systems analysts, business analysts, IT specialists, etc. etc. GST offers a framework for understanding all systems Benefits of GST to design of systems are significant Theory of GST lays at the foundation of much new thinking in - including Learning Organisations, Structured Analysis, Sociotechnical Design and Strategic Planning

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

5 minute break!
Open Systems General Systems Theory (GST) GST Traits System Classification Systems Analysis and Modelling Activity Modelling (IDEFo)
David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Systems Analysis and Modelling

Modelling
Represent existing and future systems Models are in-complete Various models represent different perspectives and levels of abstraction Modelling techniques should be selected to enhance communications between designers and users

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Perspectives
Managing Director Accountant Manufacturing Engineer

Manufacturing Manager

Supervisor

Software Engineer

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Techniques

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IDEFo
Background Activity Modelling Cell Modelling Hierarchical Decomposition Principles of IDEFo IDEFo Approach

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Background
IDEFo is an activity or process modelling technique Developed through US AirForce R&D Basic idea: Adopt a common language for all designers Original ideas by Ross and his SADT technique Sister languages
IDEF1x used for data structure modelling IDEF2 used for dynamic modelling (simulation) Etc.

http://www.idef.com
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Cell Modelling

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Cell Modelling

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Cell Modelling

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Hierarchical Decomposition

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Arrows

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ICOM Codes

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Boundary Arrow Correspondence

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Tunnelled Arrows

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Modelling Demonstration
Choose an activity! Choose purpose and viewpoint! Creating the A-0 diagram Creating the A0 diagram Creating the A-1 diagram

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Node Index and Tree


A0 Manufacture Product
A1 Plan For Manufacture
A11 A12 A13 A14 Identify Manufacturing Methods Estimate Requirements, Time, Cost to Develop Production Plans Develop Support Activities Plan

A2 Make and Administer Schedules and Budgets


A21 A22 A23 A24 Develop Master Schedule Develop Coordinating Schedule Estimate Costs & Make Budgets Monitor Performance To Schedule & Budget

A3 Plan Production

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Principles of IDEFo
Cell Modelling Graphic Representation
Conciseness
Boxes-and-arrows show graphically all activities in a system Two dimensional structured diagrams and text provide concise detail Simple boxes and arrows, limitation of detail, structured presentation of information

Communication

Rigor and Precision Methodology

Organisation versus Function

Step-by-step approach

Separation of organisation from function

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Rigor and Precision


Detail exposition control (no more than six boxes) Limited context (no omissions or unnecessary detail) Diagram interface inter-connectivity Data structure connectivity (through parenthesis) Uniqueness of labels and titles Syntax rules for graphics Inputs are separate from controls Data arrow labelling requirements Minimum control of function Purpose and viewpoint

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

IDEFo Methodology
Select a viewpoint and purpose Limit the subject matter Create a top level diagram (A-0, one box only) Create a context diagram (A-1, if necessary) Create AO diagram (A0, two to six boxes) Create subsequent diagrams, text and glossary Review material and check for purpose and viewpoint Additional pointers
Avoid trivial activities and flows Limit necessary detail at each level Group related arrows and activities to simplify detail Be clear, precise and consistent Think control and not flow Delay the addition of detail If in doubt incoming flows should be controls Annotate as you develop each diagram

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Sample
See course notes on 'Enterprise Modelling'

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Summary
Open Systems General Systems Theory (GST) GST Traits System Classification Systems Analysis and Modelling Activity Modelling (IDEFo)

David OSullivan, NUI Galway

Online Assignment
Develop an IDEFo model for your organisation Produce A-0, A0, and A-1 diagrams
Graphics plus Description Text

Upload model into Models web part


David OSullivan, NUI Galway