System thinking is a fashionable word we hear it on a daily basis. First of all what is system thinking and how it does have an impact over agile implementation is the critical one to understand. Let us discuss how an agile approach initiative gets impacted in a system thinking and what can be the solution from system thinking’s perspective here. To know more about CSM Certification in Pune please visit StarAgile site.
What is System’s thinking?
To understand system thinking, we first should know about the system. When you say Milky Way system, it includes moon, planets, sky, stars, sun etc. likewise when you say ecosystem, it does not only say about a thing. It means about water, air, plants, rivers, trees, building, and earth etc. I mean a system is not a piece of information. It is a group of many pieces which makes a system.
Likewise when you say a methodology, Business part acts as an ecosystem and design & development phase of any products considered as a part of a system which makes the system complete. Likewise, an organisation consists of different structures & patterns, events & process, people which is a system which makes that organisation success or failure. After all, we wish or not, only interrelated pieces which interact themselves make a system. Like we humans interact with family, office and society.
Hence System thinking is a structure to see anything like a system and not as pieces and it is a deep study of how all pieces grouped together to compose a system and how well all pieces of it do a good job to make a perfect system. Many get confused with the term collection and system. When Consider something is not intractable, interrelated that can be a collection. Say you have a group of different vegetables in a bowl. Different types of vegetables make a collection since those are not related to each other. If you take at a molecular level it all has an interconnection. So this can be considered as a system.
Characteristics of System Thinking:
The system is a bundle of multiple pieces which should be seen as a unified one instead of multiple parts. It should have the following characteristics which can be taken into account for agile practice too.
- Each system has its own motive.
- A system should have all needy parts to serve its purpose.
- Complete system and slice pieces are related concepts to each other. The complete system is more of the total available pieces.
- All parts must be arranged in a certain order. All pieces have their own places to fit otherwise the whole system will collapse.
- The system has to be checked for stability.
- Based on the feedback we get, there will be changes in the vision of seeing things too which may or may not redefine the system.
The better way of explanation about system thinking:
If you consider the above example, he thinks he is safe without understanding the effect. This easily conveys the message that the whole system should be aware of the impact. The action of making the best should be at a global level rather than the local level.
We can consider another example of this. Brand A is for two-wheeler and Mr.X says the two-wheeler does not have good mileage and pick up hence they should not go for the same brand A two-wheeler in future. Wife of X denies the fact he says as it cannot be concluded as two wheeler’s fault. It can be the fault of any damaged parts/machine oil/ petrol/ or any wrong service provided. We can’t blame the whole system Brand X as the fault can be the fault of any local pieces. So this level of thinking is indeed for system thinking.
Why System Thinking is considered as important:
As explained above, it is essential to understand the system based on the business view.
It is primary to know in which way any additions or modifications affect the overall system’s performance. In a positive side or negative? Deep level of system thinking is a must for this.
How System thinking has impacted over Agile?
Before jumping into the ideas which are applicable from system thinking into agile, three terms to be noted. Sample, episode and finally integral fundamental view. The sample is the basic level which is followed by an episode and complete integral system part. It is a kind of hierarchical structure. Multiple samples make an episode and multiple-episode make an integrated system.
Impacts of System thinking in agile makes a system more stable by finding the improvements and make it fit at the right point to improve the overall performance of the system. Following the right steps below will make agile practice a great success.
- Take a complete integral view of the system.
- Keenly note the subject which needs more attention. Take a particular subject and make the needful changes.
- Find the right point when and where the fit should be done. Regarding the updates, even the fit is very small, it should be highly beneficial in the end result in terms of improvement or performance or any.
- Generally, it has more impact in an integrated system rather than basic sample view and in episode level.
- An organisation can be said in two ways. One is structure and another one is behaviour. The structure is the understanding capacity and behaviour is the prediction capacity. Both can be simple or complicated. First, understand the organisation and then predict the system level changes.
- Understanding as a whole integrated structure will help in understanding the system too.
- Identify effects rather than causes. Be ready to redefine the structure if needs and adapt to it. That’s what Agility also says, is not it!!