Smart

Systems

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In my 30+ years of working as a Systems Analyst in a variety of settings and industries, I have learned some critical lessons about how organizations work (and often don't!).

Organizations are made up of people, sure, but they are also an aggregation of systems-within-systems-within-systems. 

As a student of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, I have learned how to implement his theories in very practical, work-a-day solutions in the real world. 

Wave

Understanding

Systems

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When thinking about systems in the abstract, it is easy to get lost in esoterica. The practical value of systems thinking, however, is powerful. Consider these statements:

  • Costs are out of control! I want you all to find ways to reduce costs! Start by buying less expensive supplies and materials and cut down on travel expenses!

  • Reshaping this piece will cost us money! I don't care if it would make it easier and cause less breakage for the people in assembly! We won't do it!

  • To improve sales during these last four weeks of the quarter, I am offering a free 36-inch television to anyone who sells 25 per cent above his or her quota!

Systems thinking will help us avoid overly simplistic interpretations and solutions to complex problems. In an age of sound bites and bumper stickers, we are encouraged to look for slogans and scapegoats, not the deep, system-based explanations of what is happening and why. If we want to run a business and improve our daily work, we must understand systems.

Scholtes, The Leader's Handbook, page 24.

Applying

Systems

Thinking

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Systems

Analysis

An Article I Wrote Years Ago:

What Does a Systems Analyst Do?

My Current Business Systems Analyst Resume

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The Universal

System

Diagram

Courtesy of Dr. W. Edwards Deming

3 Stages of Program Development

  • Functional
  • Bulletproof
  • Idiot-proof