Modern management is based upon a Systems Approach to the organisation. The systems approach views an organisation as a set of interrelated sub-systems in which variables are mutually dependent. A system can be prescribed as having:
Some components, functions and the processors performed by these various components, relationships among the components that uniquely bind them together into a conceptual assembly which is called a system and an organizing principle that gives it a purpose.
The organizing system has five basic parts, which are interdependent. They are:
The individual, the Formal and Informal Organisation, Patterns of behavior arising out of role demands of the organisation, The physical environment in which individuals work.
The interrelationship of the sub-systems within an organisation is is fundamental to the systems approach. The different components of the organisation have to operate in a coordinated manner to attain common organizational goals. This results in synergistic effects. The terms synergy means that when different sub-systems work together they tend to be more efficient than if they work in isolation. Thus, the output of a system with well integrated sub-systems would be much more than the sum of the outputs of the independent sub-systems working in isolation.
System Approach Theory Education For Any Organisation
The systems approach provides a total view of the organisation. It enables analysis of an organisation in a scientific manner, so that operating management systems can be developed and an appropriate MIS designed.
By providing the required information, an MIS can help interrelate, coordinate and integrate different sub-systems with an organisation, thus facilities and increasing coordinated working of the sub-systems, with consequent synergism. The interaction between different components of the organisation depends upon integration, Communication and Decision Making. Together they create a linking process in the organisation.
Integration ensures that different sub-systems work towards the common goal. Coordination and integration are useful controlling mechanisms which ensures smooth functioning in the organisation, particularly as organisations become large and increasingly complex. As organisations face environmental complexity, diversity and change, they need more and more internal differentiation, and specialization becomes complex and diverse. The need for integration also increases as structure dimensions increase.
Communication integrates different sub-systems (specialized units) at different levels in an organisation. It is thus a basic element of the organisational structure necessary for achieving the organisation’s goals.
The systems approach to problem solving used a systems orientation to define problems and opportunities and develop solutions. Studying a problem and formulating a solution involve the following interrelated activities:
Recognize and define a problem or opportunity using systems thinking, Develop and evaluate alternative system solutions, select the system solution that best meets your requirements, design the selected system solution, Implement and calculate the success of the designed system.
Defining Problems and Opportunities Using Systems Thinking
Problems and opportunities are identified in the first step of the systems approach. A problem can be defined as a basic condition that is causing undesirable results. An opportunity is a basic condition that presents the potential for desirable results. Symptoms must be separated from problems. Symptoms are merely signals of an underlying cause or problem.
Example: Symptom: Sales of a Company’s Productsare defining.
Problem: Sales persons are losing orders because they cannot get current information on product prices and availability.
Opportunity: We could increase sales significantly if sales persons could receive instant responses to requests for Price Quotations and Product Availability.
System thinking is to try to find systems, subsystems and components of systems in any situation you are studying. This viewpoint ensures that important factors and their interrelationships are considered. This is also known as using a systems context, or having a systemic view of a situation.
Example: The sales function of a business can be viewed as a system. You could then asl: Is poor sales performance (output) caused by inadequate selling effort (input), out of date sales procedures (processing), incorrect sales information (Feedback), or inadequate sales management.
Development Alternative Solutions
There are usually different ways to solve any problem or pursue any opportunity, Jumping immediately from problem definition to a single solution is not a good idea. It limits your options and robs you of the chance to consider the advantages and disadvantages of several alternatives. You also lose the chance to combine the best points of several alternative solutions.
From where alternative solutions do come from? For that experience is good source. The solutions that have worked, or at least considered in the past, should be considered again. Another good source of solutions is the advice of others, including the recommendations of consultants and the suggestions of expert systems. You should also use your intuition and ingenuity to come up with a number of creative realistic alternatives that recognize the limited financial, personnel, and other resources of most organisations could be developed.
Also, decision support software packages can be used to develop and manipulate financial, marketing, and other business operations. This simulation process can help you generate a variety of alternative solutions. Finally, do not forget that “doing nothing” about a problem or opportunity is a legitimate solution, with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Evaluating Alternative Solutions
Once, alternative solutions have been developed, they must be evaluated so that the best solution can be identified. The goal of evaluation is to determine how well each alternative solution meets your business and personnel requirements. These requirements are key characteristics and capabilities that you feed are necessary for your personnel or business success.
Example: If you were the sales manager of a company, you might develop very specific requirements for solving the sales-related information problems of your salespeople. You would probably insist that any computer-based solution for your sales force be very reliable and easy to use. You night also require that any proposed solution have low start-up costs, or have minimal operating costs compared to present sales processing methods.
Then you would develop evaluation criteria you develop will reflect how you previously defined business and personal requirements. For example, you will probably develop criteria for such factors as start-up costs, operating costs, operating system, ease of use, and reliability. Criteria may be ranked or weighted, based on their importance in meeting your requirements.
Selecting the Best Solution
Once all alternative solutions have been evaluated, you can being the process of selecting the best solution. Alternative solutions can be compared to each other because they have been evaluated using the same criteria.
Example: Alternatives with a low accuracy evaluation (an accuracy score less than 10), or a low overall evaluation B for sales data entry is rejected, and alternative A, the use of laptop computers by sales reps, is selected.
Designing and Implementing a Solution
Once a solution has been selected, it must be designed and implemented. You may have to depend on other business end users technical staff to help you develop design specifications and an implementation plan. Typically, design specifications might describe the detailed characteristics and capabilities of the people, hardware, software, and Data Resource and Information System Activitiesneeded by a new system.
An implementation plan specifies the resources, activities, and timing needed for proper implementation. For example, the following items might be included in the design specifications and implementation plan for a computer-based sales support system:
Types and sources of computer hardware, and software to be acquired for sales reps, Operating procedures for the new sales support system, training of sales reps and other personnel, Conversion procedures and timetable for final implementation.
Post Implementation Review : Education
The final step of the systems approach recognizes that an implemented solution can fail to solve the problem for which it was developed. The real world has a way of confounding even the well-designed solutions. Therefore, the Results of Implementing a Solution should be monitored and evalated. This is called a post-implemented. The focus of this step is to determine if the implemented solution has indeed helped the firm and selected subsystems meet their system objectives. If not, the systems approach assumes you will cycle back to a previous step and make another attempt to find a workable solution.