Soft Systems Methodology
Unit 1: Soft Systems Methodology
This is a possible unit in a Module on Problem Structuring Methods. These methods assume that the hardest part of solving a problem is getting agreement on what the problem actually is. Another aspect to problem structuring is to realise that you can describe the problem as being part of a system. Distinctions are normally made between hard and soft systems. Soft systems include the human element.
What is a system?
A good example is a living organism. If you dissect a mouse it cannot function as a living system anymore. A system is more than just its parts.
Why Soft Systems?
Different kinds of systems. Hard and soft. Different kinds of problems. Hard problems, messes. Complex versus complexity versus chaos. Refer here to the overview in the book by Rosenhead.
- Rosenhead, J. and Mingers, J (eds) (2001).Rational Analysis for a Problematic World: Problem Structuring Methods for Complexity, Uncertainty and Conflict, 2nd Edition. Wiley: London. ISBN 978-0471495239