Systems thinking is the process of understanding how things influence one another within a whole.
It has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing "problems" as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to specific part, outcomes or events and potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences.
The exercises come in two types:
Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) and Activities.
SAQs test your understanding of the key concepts and ‘set’ answers are provided to compare your answers to.
Activities examine how you think about situations you face using those same concepts. There are no ‘set’ answers to these Activities as they are personal to you.
• Develop confidence in using systems concepts and language,
• Describe accurately the set of key systems concepts,
• Understand what is distinctive about systems thinking as opposed to other forms of thinking,
• Understand how systems thinking is useful in analyzing and improving situations,
• Understand the notion of a system as a creation of the observer,
• Identify and represent systems of interest (that are not ‘out there’).
What is systems thinking and practice? The essence of systems thinking and practice is in ‘seeing’ the world in a particular way, because how you ‘see’ things affects the way you approach situations or undertake specific tasks.
This module will help you to learn about the problems of defining a system and meet some of the key concepts used in systems theory: boundary, environment, positive and negative feedback, etc.