Systems Intervention Strategy

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SIS was developed by Mayon-White in the 1980s. Its purpose is to provide a cyclic structure for analysing business systems, but, unlike soft systems methodology, it is relatively quantitative (rather than qualitative). The strategy has three stages: diagnosis, design and implementation, each subdivided into several steps (see Mayon-White 1993: 136). Diagnosis There is a zero stage of entry, at which point it is acknowledged that change is required, and that the process may be complex. The first stage of the actual process is description, understanding the basic systems under consideration and getting points of view from participators. At the most basic level, this might involve drawing a spray diagram (see Fig. 1) to understand the…show more content…
Information collected through observation, interviews and discussions can then be incorporated into a ‘rich picture’ (see Fig. 3 overleaf). The rich picture is a diagrammatical representation of a range of issues. The example in fig. 3 considers the various internal and external influences on the business, and incorporates the views of the partners. As information emerges during this stage, the rich picture can be added to and refined, and certain aspects of it may raise issues that have not been considered. For example, the second partner refers to a ‘pool’ of experienced part-time staff in the area who might be available if a restaurant was developed. The reasons they might work for one employer rather than another may need to be explored. As information emerges, detailed rich pictures for different issues and areas of the business can be used. Naming of relevant systems The root definition is another core concept in SSM. It is a sentence that aims to encapsulate the core reasoning and purpose behind an activity, and the pneumonic CATWOE (customer, actor, transformation process, Weltanschauung or world view, owner and environmental constraints) is commonly used to help structure a root definition. For example, with the development of a stock management system, the CATWOE analysis might produce the following: Customers (i.e. all those potentially benefiting): Trade and public customers, partners, senior employees Actors: Employees Transformation Process:
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