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Information Systems and Organisation - Essay Example

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Soft system methodology (SSM) was developed by Peter Checkland in the 1960's. The method describes a manner for approaching 'soft' problems in stages, where soft problems are those that can not be defined by specific quantitative metrics, such as corporate culture or emotional viability of management systems…
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Information Systems and Organisation
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Download file to see previous pages There is no quantitative analysis for the qualitative problem, instead, SSM at its most basic form, is the qualitative analysis that lends to a solution. Tajino and Smith (2005) describe how SSM differs from a hard quantitative approach because the problems are regarding human activity systems and the manner in which HAS are holistically related with the people in a situation. The core competency of SSM is to comprehend that the model is the human activity systems that drive conflicts and an analytical approach to qualifying the subjective information into a system of resolution. The world view of SSM is "constituted, created or constructed by the concepts we use in our observations of and statements about the world" (Christis p 11. 2005).
In Checkland and Stoles seven stage model, as described by Tajino and Smith (2005) the first stage in SSM is to visualize the situation, although this is true for most research and problem solving methods, Checkland and Stoles take this a bit farther to negotiate the empirical and subjective evidence into the secondary stage, which is the problem situation, defined according to the aforementioned evidence. The third stage leans to the actual language of the system, the manner in which the system develops to finalize a resolution, and this step is the root definition of the relevant and purposeful activity systems that are engaged in the particular problem. The root definition is where the Weltanschauung becomes understood from the root causes that transform the problems entity. Stage four is again system language invasive, this is the conceptual model of the processes named in the root definition; in short this is the stage where the perceived world is enhanced and broken into its separate but complexly interrelated parts. In stage five, the conceptual model is compared with the reality of the world, and used to compare stage four with stage two, with the effective idea to allow for a critical definition of the conceptual model that is a feasible model for human actions, and this feasibility is further explored in stage six. Stage six develops on the inherent and desirable changes that are feasible within the real domain of human interactions and human relationships.
The conclusion to SSM comes in stage seven, where actions for improvement are identified.
In the group project A, we examined ESCO Ltd and created an SSM analysis. The strategies of the application were in line with the steps, where the problem was disorganized and then identified. A CATWOE analysis the constitution of those individual elements in the system assists in developing a comprehensive root definition, and from that analysis, the root definition regarding ESCO's problems were stated as:
An ESCO owned and staffed system which is leaded by three departments understands and deals with the customer complaints; provides ongoing support and maintenance to customers through the system; provides customer and staff training program; undertakes that procedure and modify if required and discharge customers when appropriate.
Where the conceptual model when compared to the rich picture noted some concerned issues that should be highlighted.
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