Multidisciplinary Approaches to Systems Thinking Training

Multidisciplinary Approaches to Systems Thinking is a special 2-day training developed for NASA KSC (NASA APPEL) and can be customized to other groups and organizations..

Training Course Objective

To describe concepts and practices within an enterprise that are based on the belief that the component parts of a system can best be understood in the context of relationships with other systems, rather than in isolation; and that Systems Thinking focuses on cyclical rather than linear cause and effect.

For complete course outline, CLICK HERE.

Learn about:

  • How do systems engineers develop the skills they need to think effectively about the
    complex systems they develop?
  • How systems thinking can enhance the understanding of a system by examining its linkages and interactions between its components that comprise the entirety of a defined system, from the design through the integration to the operational phase of the product/program/project life cycle.
  • How do people outside formal systems-engineering roles improve their ability to see connections across subsystem and organizational boundaries?
  • What can management do to facilitate the development of systems thinkers in its workforce?
  • Collaboration between systems-engineering, operations, maintenance and project management professionals to address systems engineering and design challenging questions.

The focus for  Systems Thinking training is geared toward the technical and engineering realm, and while a management discipline. The intent for Systems Thinking training is to enhance the understanding of a system by examining its linkages and interactions between its components that comprise the entirety of a defined system, from the design through the integration to the operational phase of the product/program/project life cycle.

Training Course Description

This 2-day on-site training course is designed to provide NASA engineers with a holistic approach to analysis that focuses on the way that a system’s constituent parts interrelate and how systems work over time and within the context of larger systems.

 Outline of  Topics

  • Systems Thinking frameworks and tools which provide a means of understanding the relationship between the structure of a system, and the behavior the systems demonstrates.
  • Systems definition, composition of systems, complexity and configuration of systems, and interrelationship of systems and subsystems.
  • The challenges of how a singular system (subsystem) become integrated into a larger system, and the importance for interfaces and integrated Testing.
  • To understand that Systems Thinking is the cognitive process of studying and understanding systems of every kind and the focus of Systems Thinking is integrating information from different sources and different types of systems.
  • To enhance engineers’ understanding of systems so they are better able to identify the systems’ leverage points that lead to desired outcomes.
  • To appreciate the need to work technical issues in a broader context of the total system verses isolation of a particular system and without considering the impacts the fixes on one system may have on another system.
  • To understand the habits, tools and concepts pertaining to the interdependent structures of dynamic systems.
  • To introduce the three distinct phases of Systems Thinking:
    • Understanding the System
    • Mapping the System
    • Taking Action through Systems

Additional Areas to Emphasize in Training Course:

  • To affect the cultural mindset of a singular focus on a particular system or subsystem without looking outward, and down the chain of development, of how one system integrates and supports other systems.
  • Importance of taking the overall system as well as its parts into account during design focusing on cyclical rather than linear cause and effect to avoid potentially contributing to the development of unintended consequences and the.
  • Application of Systems Thinking in a design arena, but also focusing on the operations arena (operator); the theories manifesting between design and operations; and strategies to affect the inherent problem of talking past others within these two realms.
  • Understand and appreciate the broader view of systems and not just on a singular ‘stovepipe’ system, but rather a holistic view of systems of systems thinking and the importance of thinking how one system integrates with another system during the product lifecycle.
  • Other Systems Thinking models characterized by the “patterns that connect” and the diversity and pluralism of methods and approaches to Systems Thinking.

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