An organisation is a sum of all business units or processes. And the probability of success of any organisation is greatly enhanced if the efforts of these business units are focussed in one direction.
Which is why we have adopted systems thinking as our way of organisational analysis for optimal decision making and project management. It’s our way of creating long-term solutions and minimise unintended consequences.
Why the need for Systems Thinking?
Systems thinking takes into account all the relevant factors when implementing changes. By leveraging the relationship between different business units, it helps to identify points of intervention having the greatest impact.
In short, once you have the end-to-end picture of the business and all its interconnected elements, the efficiency of project management is enhanced exponentially.
System thinking helps businesses improve upon:
- The costs and schedule estimates by managing re-work.
- Integrity and value of delivered product & services by anticipating additional systems required for the project.
- Understanding of stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle.
How do we apply systems thinking?
We work with numerous partners having complex business structures and varying challenges. As a full-fledged digital service provider, we need to make the best use of each & every one of our resources to provide transformative results for our partners. And systems thinking makes it possible.
1. Understanding Perceptions with Causal Loop Model
The thinking can be understood using the causal loop method which considers that if A can cause B, then B can cause A simultaneously.
This methodology aims to ensure that the project’s thinking is moving towards Goal attainment. It is crucial to Identify the right moment of positive feedback that has the most impact on boosting project productivity.
A project can also be considered as a multi-loop system where strong human action can affect decision making.
2. Power of Soft System Thinking
One of the biggest challenges projects face is they are considered as closed systems which hamper innovations and creativity.
An open or soft system approach like our Agile development services allows adjustments and project complexity to be accounted for by subjectively acknowledging the problem and encouraging different perspectives from multiple stakeholders.
Not only does it boost morale, but multiple viewpoints can also uncover certain business aspect the project management hadn’t thought of.
3. Thinking across the Project Lifecycle
To apply the right systems thinking approach throughout the project, it is important to map out the entire project lifecycle.
For instance, during initial commencement it prudent to apply the soft systems methodology, during the implementation, the causal loop model ensures the right feedback at the right moment, and during the project review, the soft systems can be applied again to promote an open mindset.
4. Systems Thinking Tools
A process is incomplete without the right tools required to support it. Let’s check out some of our tools.
Brainstorming tools are designed to help us see the bigger picture of the whole system, where all facets of the project’s challenge can be explored.
Fishbone diagram is a good example of dynamic thinking tools, which represent event patterns via feedback loops and map all the aspects of the project.
A variety of graphical function diagrams are used to visualise relationships between variables. The structure-behaviour creates structure in correspondence to varying behaviour, while the policy structure diagrams depict the decision-making process that drives policies.