Exposing two misconceptions related to approaches to understanding complex problems discovered while reviewing the history of GST.
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The webinar is for software and systems engineers, project managers, quality engineers and anyone else wishing to be more successful in managing complex problems.
By exposing two major misconceptions of systems thinking and offering an alternative approach, the webinar will help you successfully address complex problems. The two major misconceptions of systems thinking discussed are:
1. Reductionism does not work; you need to use systems thinking instead.
2. “Open” and “closed” systems are different types of systems
The term “Reductionism” originated in 1925, to describe in retrospect, the methodology used throughout history, up to and including, the machine age to gain an understanding of what were then perceived as complex problems (not for solving the complex problem). Moreover, the meaning of Reductionism has evolved since then. The term “Systems Thinking” was introduced in 1950 as a result of a change in the perception of the nature of complex problems.
We will cover:
- one source of the misconception in Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s General Systems Theory (GST) and another as being due to an incomplete quote from Russell Ackoff.
- types of problems that cannot be understood using systems thinking.
- the differences between a system and a system of interest (SOI) and how the boundary of the SOI is crafted by the observer to enclose a subset of the subsystems of a system.
- Reductionism as an analysis tool for use when the SOI is inside the system boundary and Systems Thinking as an analysis tool for use when the SOI is outside the system boundary.
- how both Reductionisms and Systems Thinking can suffer from blind spots.
- how and why the concept of the understanding the parts of the system “in isolation” has a place in the process of gaining an understanding of a problem.
- why “open” and “closed” systems are not different types of systems, they are in fact two views of the same system.
- an introduction to the updated systems approach, based on the work of Simon Ramo, building on the GST to provide a methodology which minimizes blind spots and provides a universal systemic and systematic approach to identifying and remedying complex problems by combining the best of Reductionism and Systems Thinking.
- some lessons learned from the research.
About the speakers
Dr Joseph Kasser DSc, CEng2, CM, FIET, FIES, G3ZCZ from Australia
Dr Joseph Kasser was a practicing systems engineer, manager, academic, mentor and teacher for 50 years in three continents before becoming a coach and mentor. He developed and is using an EverCourse to create outstanding systems engineers, project managers and problem-solvers. He is a recipient of NASA’s Manned Space Flight Awareness Award (Silver Snoopy) for performing and directing systems engineering and many other awards and commendations from employers and customers. He is the author of seven published books on systems engineering and systems thinking and more than 50 peer reviewed journal and conference publications.
Mr Bruce Lerner M.Sc. B.Sc., SDMRM, MIEEE, MINCOSE from USA
Mr Bruce Lerner has over 40 years of experience in software engineering, systems engineering and technical management. He holds a B.Sc. of computer engineering and an M.Sc. Management of Engineering along with various professional certifications such as SDMRM trainer (1999) and Systems Engineering (2005). In addition, he was awarded two patents, in communications networking and dispatching. He has been an active member of the IEEE since 1986 and INCOSE since 1997. For the past 25 years, Bruce has contributed to the successful deployment and execution of software controls and systems engineering in a historically electro-mechanical oriented company and helped developed an integrated SE framework for the U.S. Army.
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