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Connecting Systems Thinking Action Research Shankar Sankaran UTS Gathering 28 th April2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Connecting Systems Thinking Action Research Shankar Sankaran UTS Gathering 28 th April2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Connecting Systems Thinking Action Research Shankar Sankaran UTS Gathering 28 th April2008

2 SSM and AR Problematical situation Take purposeful action Strategic questioning Participatory Takes into consideration people affected Cyclical Fuzzy problem Take action to reflect on situation Questioning as part of the reflective process Participatory Empowerment Cyclical The difference I notice is that SSM is more structured in its intervention while action research is responsive to the situation

3 Project 1 - Context Waitemata district health board provides publicly funded primary and secondary care to a population of 450,000 Implementing a series of clinically focused ICT Systems –A single login interface to view all patient data, medical alerts, past treatment history and tests –An electronic medical document repository –A real time patient tracking system for the emergency care centre –A surgical audit system –Electronic referral status messaging and discharge summaries for primary care –Electronic signoff of laboratory results

4 Crossing the acceptance Gap. Concept Reality Foundation SAFE Projects Stepping Stone Projects You are weaving fibres together to create a beautiful rug not stacking cans in a supermarket

5 Project 2 - Context Researcher was a contractor engaged in developing software for the Singapore Technologies The project involved building a diagnostic expert system to aid defence personnel to troubleshoot army vehicles in the field Researcher initially diagnosed problems of handing over projects to client. On further analysis it was felt that the method of software development should be improved SSM was chosen as a methodology in an action research study

6 Diagnostic System Design Actual Vehicle (Problem Situation) Identified Essence Diagnostic Model(s) Test Plan 1.Immerse in reality by attending driving and system training courses. 2. Construct model(s). 3. Perform Task Analysis. 4. Execute test plan.

7 Dialectical Model of SSM 1.Between Immersion (Rich Picture) and Essence (Root Definition). Experience the problem fully and stand back and define its features 2.Between the Essence (Root Definition) and the Ideal (Conceptual Model). Find an ideal model to achieve the same transformation. 3.Between the Ideal and Reality thinking about improvement to the situation or the ideal. 4.Between Plans and Implementation where plans are implemented, monitored and improved.

8 Application to a Diagnostic Model Modeller immerses in the problem situation by getting to know a vehicle well and understands an aspect of vehicle operation Modeller forgets the real vehicle and focuses on developing a diagnostic model Modeller performs a task analysis to define all inspection and repair tasks required by the model The test plan is verified against the real vehicle This four stage inquiry is repeated until other vehicle operations are simulated.

9 Benefits of using Dialectical SSM Frequent visits to the physical situation Look at the whole A shared understanding and deep familiarity Frequent reviews and verifications

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