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Systems engineering: Challenging complexity
Systems engineering: Challenging complexity

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3.11 Summary

This topic has introduced the systems approach, which is the foundation of systems engineering. The systems approach consists of three elements.

  • A set of concepts that can be used to understand the structural and dynamic features of operations systems.

  • Methodologies for managing change. Two current methodologies have been presented: the hard systems approach can be applied in situations where there is a measure of agreement about the problem to be addressed and the soft systems approach is used where there is no agreement about the nature of the problem.

  • A set of techniques that are applied within the context of a methodology.

The systems approach in various forms will be used, either explicitly or implicitly, as the basis for all of the other material in this course.