Essays on Systems Thinking for Managers Assignment

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Generally speaking, the paper "Systems Thinking for Managers" is an outstanding example of a management assignment. In most organizations, the management always faces massive delays and cost excesses in spite of the great application of techniques and expertise to improve on the results (Forrester, 2011). The dynamics of the external environment that include changes in the consumer tastes and preferences, delays in the procurement processes and the availability of resources are some of the factors that cause cost overruns as well as problems in scheduling. To correct the cost overruns and scheduling problems, the reaction of most project managers would be to increase pressure on employees by making them work overtime, hiring more workers and the reduction of quality in a bid to reduce the cost of production.

These are the causes of project failures where the performance of the project goes down more and more. On the other hand, the level of production decreases due to lawsuits that result from breach of contracts as consumers seek litigation (De Marco and Rafele 2012). Project managers in the past using traditional approaches such as PERT that were not very effective.

New approaches have however been developed such as those based on system dynamic models that focus on the organization of the project, concentrate on the behavior, and its relationship with the strategy managers as well as the corrective actions that control the outcomes of the project. The systems dynamics models refer to an approach based on a holistic view of the process of management of a project and put an emphasis on the feedback process that takes place in the system of the project.

The system is a complex model that includes the elements of the organization the environmental factors and the elements of the project work (De Marco and Rafele, 2012). 2 - Describe and analyze the system or problem under investigation, unpacking the dynamics involved, exploring how events are linked and the emergent meanings or themes using diagrams where appropriate (max 1000 words) – 25 marks A system dynamics model is an approach used in framing, understanding and the discussion of complex issues in the project management process. The approach involves the dynamic definition of problems using graphs over time.

The model that was originally developed by Forrester who stressed the need to have a continuous approach, although the modern models have a mixture of distinct equations and the continuous differential or integration equations (Zawadzki, 2009). Some of the users of this system have utilized the use of mathematical structures that includes the use of computer-based simulations, simplifying, and analyzing systems, optimization of policies and complex dynamics (Zawadzki 2009). The system dynamic model is created for the stakeholders to have an understanding of the factors that create a problem in the project and how they persist.

For one to have a meaningful systems model there has to be a problem underlying to the project that makes it necessary to seek more knowledge and the understanding of the system. After making a choice on the problem to deal with, the project manager making use of the systems dynamic model needs to collect the relevant information and define the focus of the model. The relevant information, in this case, should not only focus on the quantitative forms of data but also the knowledge that is gathered from those people that are familiar with the systems being analyzed.

The systems dynamics models refer to an approach that is based on a holistic view of the process of project management and puts an emphasis on the feedback process that takes place in the system of the project. The system is a complex model that includes the elements of the organization the environmental factors and the elements of the project work (Toole 2007).

Bibliography

De Marco, A and Rafele, C 2012, Using System Dynamics To Understand Project Performance, Retrieved 20th May from http://prunum.org/static/diplomka/Understanding%20project%20performance%20thru%20system%20dynamics.pdf

Forrester, J.W 2011, ‘On The History, The Present, And the Future of System Dynamics’, System Dynamics, vol. 1, p. 1-5.

Love, P., Holt, G., Shen, L., Li, H. and Irani, Z., 2002, Using Systems Dynamics to Better Understand Change and Rework in Engineering Project Management Systems, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 20, No. 6, pp. 425-436.

Lisse, S.D 2012, ‘System dynamics applied to Outsourcing engineering services in design build- projects’, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Retrieved from https://cmaanet.org/files/slideshow/SDOutsourcingEngineeringInDBProjects082912.pdf

Maani K and Cavana R 2007, Systems Thinking, System Dynamics, 2nd Edition, Pearson Education New Zealand.

Ocak, Z 2012, ‘Systems dynamics application in project management’, Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Istanbul, Turkey, July 3 – 6, 2012, pp. 1225-1233. Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey

Pruyt, E and Kwakkel, J 2012, ‘A bright future for system dynamics: From art to computational science and beyond’. Retrieved 20th May from http://www.systemdynamics.org/conferences/2012/proceed/papers/P1394.pdf

Richardson, G.P 1999, ‘Reflections for the future of system dynamics’, The Journal of the Operational Research Society, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 440–449. doi: 10.2307/3010465.

Toole, M.T 2007, ‘A Project Management Causal Loop Diagram’, Accepted for the 2005 ARCOM Conference, London, UK, Sep 5-7.

Zawadzki, T 2009, ‘Applying system dynamics modeling to IT project management’, IFAC Proceedings Volumes, 42(13), pp. 152–157. doi: 10.3182/20090819-3-PL-3002.00027.

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