Checkland Soft System Methodology

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The idea of thinking about a system as a whole, which is something much more than the parts that are involved in the development of a system, dates back to the times of ancient Greeks. However, only in the 1940s, there has been a timid move toward the study of systems associated with the names of the biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy and mathematician Norbert Wiener, was interested in the problems of management and information (see Bertalanffy, L., and Wiener, N. ). In 1968, Bertalanffy created a "general systems theory" to study the laws of behaviour of systems of any type, and even earlier, in 1948, Wiener developed a framework for the study of cybernetics, management processes, "living creatures and mechanisms." In the depths of these scientific fields have developed two pairs of concepts, which ensured P. Checkland (1981) conceptual framework of systems thinking:

Emergence and hierarchy

Information and management

Together, these concepts led to the creation of a new concept of an integrated system having the properties of self-development and adaptation to environmental changes. Checkland P. (1981) used the metaphor of "adaptive integrated system" in order to offer more advanced in comparison with the traditional scientific management, a way to solve management problems (Checkland, P., & Scholes, 1999).

For several decades after the birth of the movement for the study of systems, this new discipline has developed in several directions. P. Checkland was given directions to promote the application of systemic ideas to solve practical problems. Among the major problems he saw three: problem solving for the "hard" systems, such as the design of real systems, the development of the system of ideas that are used to aid in decision making, such as systems analysis used Corporation RAND; problem solving for the "soft" systems For example, developing his own ideas on the SSM. To understand the real AP Checkland scientific input is important for us to know how he defined the difference between their work on the system design (SP) and system analysis (SA). In fact, for Checkland P. (1981), SP and CA are supported by the same theoretical position. Its meaning lies in the fact that all real-world problems can be formulated as follows:

The desired state is denoted as S 1;

The current state is denoted as S 0;

There are alternatives to reduce S 0 - S 1;

The problem is to determine S 1, S 0 and the choice of ways to reduce the differences between them.

This "systematic" approach is seen as the embodiment of P. Checkland "distressed" model of striving for goals, which focus on "how it should be done." Requires the same systematic methodology that can operate in situations of decision "soft" issues, which define the goals and methods of achieving them, is problematic (Checkland, P. and Scholes, pp. 56-89, 1991).

In this paper we are going to show you an example of the implementation of Checkland's soft system methodology in a construction project.


Analysis of soft system methodology

Soft Systems Methodology was introduced ...
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