Accession Number : ADP006917

Title :   A Soft Systems Model for Continuous Improvement,

Corporate Author : AIR FORCE ACADEMY COLORADO SPRINGS CO

Personal Author(s) : Stricker, Andrew G. ; McCloy, Thomas

Report Date : 17 APR 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 5

Abstract : This paper outlines a model to continuously improve a soft system. The authors take a systemic approach in the examination of soft systems. A systemic view emphasizes connections within and between systems and processes of communication and control (Archibald, 1989). We use the term ,soft system to refer to systems which involve people and machines (Checkland, 1981). The approach we outline in this paper illustrates a multi-causal model for improving soft systems. It is unlike a uni-causal model which would treat practical problems like technical problems. The model we suggest in this paper offers tools to examine practical problems from multiple perspectives. Furthermore, the model offers considerable advantages over more traditional experimental-laboratory models which are exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to apply outside a controlled laboratory environment. Under classical experimental models, involving full factorial designs, it becomes nearly impossible to examine complex soft systems. Attempts to do so have involved taking apart the system and analyzing components in manageable chunks and then reassembling the separate analyses to construct a complete picture of the system.

Descriptors :   *PROBLEM SOLVING, *COMPUTER PROGRAMS, ENVIRONMENTS, LABORATORIES, MODELS, PAPER, PICTURES, TOOLS, COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT, COMMAND AND CONTROL SYSTEMS.

Subject Categories : Computer Programming and Software
      Psychology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE