Soft Systems Methodology


Definition: Soft Systems Methodology is a qualitative technique that can be used for applying Systems Thinking to non-systemic situations or problems. It is a way of dealing with problem situations in which there is a high social, political and human activity component in a ST-way, while acknowledging that such problems are in fact too complex to be considered s simple system.
SSM is a useful way to approach complex situations and corresponding messy questions.
SSM uses rich pictures and so called root definitions of systems, investigating perspectives to look at a complex situation by considering the elements of the CATWOE acronym.


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More on problem analysis: 5W2H Analysis, 8 Disciplines, 80-20 Rule, Affinity Diagram, Alternative Hypothesis, more...

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