Introducing ICT systems
Introducing ICT systems

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Introducing ICT systems

2.2 A system map

One way of explaining and analysing a system is to represent it in a graphical form, known as a system map. I'll use the example of a system for making an appointment with a doctor in a health centre to illustrate this point. In this example, the health centre uses a computerised booking system and the patient may phone or visit the health centre to make an appointment. Therefore, the system includes a patient, a receptionist, a doctor, and a computerised booking system. The example shown in Figure 1 shows how this system could be represented using a system map. I have called the system a 'health centre appointments system' and you can see a number of blobs called 'patient', 'doctor', 'receptionist', and 'computerised booking system'. These are the components of the appointments system. The thick line around these is the system boundary that defines which components are part of the system and which are outside it.

Figure 1
Figure 1 System map of a health centre appointments system
T175_3

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus