System Definitions:

1. Has a purpose which reflects a transforming function of one thing (or event) to another.
2. Has measures of performance which reflect the extent of transformation achieved.
3. Has a mechanism of regulation (a process of decision making and resource allocation) which reflects the purpose, responds to information and governs the performance.
4. Has components which exhibit all the properties of a system, labelled subsystems.
5. Has components which interact and permit effects and actions to flow through the system.
6. Exists within an environment with which it interacts.
7. Has a boundary which separates it from the environment.
8. Exists within wider systems, labelled suprasystems.
9. Has both physical and abstract resources at its disposal.
10. Has some guarantee of continuity or stabiltiy of returning to a stable steady state when disturbed.

Problem Classification Table


1. Given this complex problem situation, how can I improve the situation? Paradox Soft Systems Actiion Systems Research Client (Learner) Satisfaction Strategic Management How do we reduce the incidence of AIDS?
2. Given this system, how can I optimize its performance? Performance Hard Systems Systems Research Performance Optimization Allocative Management What is the most efficient system to distribute an AIDS anti-viral drug?
3. Given this component, how can I improve its effectiveness? Problem Reductionist Technology Technological Research Problem Resolution Operational Management/
What anti-viral drug works best on the AIDS retrovirus?
4. Given this phenomenon, why is it so? Puzzle Reductionist Science Experimental Research Puzzle Resolution Scientific Research How does the AIDS retrovirus reproduce?