Price: $1,999.00

Length: 2 Days
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Multidisciplinary Approaches to Systems Thinking

There is nothing about a caterpillar that hints of a beautiful butterfly.

This aptly illustrates the systems analysis approach known as systems thinking. It’s all about emergence — the result of things interacting and coming together to produce something different.

Systems thinking is a framework for solving problems based on the premise that a component part of an entity can best be understood in the context of its relationships with other components of the entity, rather than in isolation.

Across the board, systems thinking produces results in situations where:

  • Complex problems require helping many actors see the big picture and not just their part in it.
  • Recurring problems or those problems that have been made worse by past attempts.
  • The action influences the environment surrounding the issue.

Multidisciplinary Approaches to Systems Thinking training is an innovative 2-day training course introduces multidisciplinary approaches to systems engineering processes, life cycle phases, key reviews and systems engineering techniques. The course helps you realize the value of system thinking and well-established systems engineering processes.

This course is designed for engineering, project and technical workforce, including project managers, operations, systems engineers and project personnel who seek to develop the competencies required to succeed in their systems engineering tasks.

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this training course, the attendees are able to:

  • Explain the value of systems thinking
  • Discuss systems thinking frameworks and tools
  • Describe the relationship between the structure of a system and the behavior the systems demonstrates
  • List systems definition, composition of systems, complexity and configuration of systems, and interrelationship of systems and subsystems
  • Discuss the challenges of how a singular system (subsystem) becomes integrated into a larger system, and the importance for interfaces and integrated testing.
  • Describe systems thinking as the cognitive process of studying
  • Explain systems of every kind and the focus of systems thinking is integrating information from different sources and different types of systems
  • Enhance attendees’ understanding of systems so they are better able to identify the systems’ leverage points that lead to desired outcomes
  • 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 and Taking Action through Systems

Course Topics

Overview of Systems Thinking

  • Systems Thinking key concepts
  • Systems definition
  • Composition of systems
  • Relationship between the structure and behavior of a system
  • Value of Systems Thinking
  • Systems challenges
  • Systems engineering life cycles and management
  • Thinking about the whole system and its context
  • Value and benefits of systems language
  • Holistic approach to analysis
  • Organization and management theory
  • Controlling engineering practices

Multidisciplinary Discipline Systems Engineering

  • Multidisciplinary functions
  • Systems requirements, specifications, design, failure analysis, and risk analysis building, verification and validation, operations,
  • Assessment of all the integrated elements of the optimal overall system
  • Risk management
  • System ConOps
  • System requirements
  • Functional analysis and design
  • System architectures and design
  • System implementation
  • Systems integration
  • V&V
  • Configuration management
  • Cost management
  • Total quality management
  • Reliability, maintainability, serviceability, survivability and availability
  • Concurrent engineering
  • Human supervisory control
  • Project planning and management
  • Human systems integration
  • Information technology and knowledge management

Systems Methods and Techniques

  • Three distinct phases of Systems Thinking
  • Understanding the system
  • Mapping the system
  • Taking action through systems
  • Systems Thinking methods
  • Types of systems and systems with models
  • Concepts and practices
  • Component parts of a system
  • Context of relationships with other systems
  • Systems Thinking focuses
  • Product, program and project life cycle stages
  • Methods to utilize systems thinking to solve complex engineering problems
  • System’s constituent parts interrelation
  • Systems within the context of larger systems
  • Cyclical rather than linear cause and effect
  • System linkages and interactions between its components
  • Design through the integration to the operational phase
  • Collaborative systems thinking within systems engineering teams
  • Integration of systems engineers of various experience levels to handle complex systems engineering challenges
  • Practical use of System Thinking methods and approaches

Applied Systems Thinking

  • Systems methodologies and problem contexts
  • SE behavioral competency model
  • Focusing on cyclical rather than linear cause
  • Themes and competencies
  • Leadership
  • Attitudes and attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem-Solving and Systems Thinking
  • Technical Acumen
  • Sponsors, Stakeholders and Supporters
  • Problem-solving and brainstorming activities
  • Techniques to avoid potential future problems
  • Dynamic system behavior
  • Feedback processes
  • Methods to influence that behavior
  • Limitations of systems models
  • Interpreting and influencing non-linear processes
  • Recognizing time delays between systems inputs and outputs
  • Creativity and systems
  • Creativity and metaphor
  • Creativity and paradigms
  • System dynamics, complexity theory and interactive planning
  • Soft Systems Methodology (SSM)
  • Historical development
  • Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH)
  • Total Systems Intervention (TSI)
  • Critical Systems Practice (CSP)

Collaborative System Thinking

  • The goal of processes within systems engineering
  • Problems across the system’s life cycle in a systematic way
  • Accurate prediction of cost, schedule and performance
  • Focusing on the team level
  • Creating a supportive environment for systems thinking expression and development
  • Exchange of knowledge from experienced engineers to younger engineers
  • Hands-on mentoring, parables and shared references
  • System Dynamics: The Fifth Discipline

Systems Thinking Frameworks and Tools

  • Example of frameworks and tools
  • Example of applicability
  • Problem statement
  • Complexity and configuration of systems
  • Interrelationship of systems and subsystems
  • Challenges of how a singular system (subsystem) become integrated into a larger system
  • Importance for interfaces and integrated Testing
  • Systems Thinking as a cognitive process
  • Systems’ leverage points that lead to desired outcomes
  • System verses isolation of a system

Hands-On Activities

  • Individual/small group activities
  • Systems Thinking Workshop
  • Reviewing the system
  • Evaluating the entire system and its components
  • Identifying the potential problems
  • Identifying the current issues
  • Calculating the risks
  • Identifying the reoccurring patterns and models
  • Demonstrating the elements in a system and the flows between those elements
  • Identifying all the causes and effects
  • Discussing your systems thinking strategy


Multidisciplinary Approaches to Systems Thinking

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