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Toolkit:Systems Thinking for Safety/Soft Systems Methodology and Rich Pictures
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Soft systems methodology (SSM) is a systemic approach for tackling real-world problematic situations. Soft Systems Methodology is the result of continuing action research by Peter Checkland, Brian Wilson, and many others over 30 years, to provide a framework for users to deal with messy (perceived) problem situations.
SSM treats a 'system' as a mental construct used for human understanding. Different perspectives may therefore give different understandings.
The seven stages of the original version of SSM as a seven-stage methodology published in Checkland (1998) are:
- Entering the problem situation.
- Expressing the problem situation.
- Formulating root definitions of relevant systems.
- Building Conceptual Models of Human Activity Systems.
- Comparing the models with the real world.
- Defining changes that are desirable and feasible.
- Taking action to improve the real world situation.
Checkland, P. B. (1998). Systems Thinking, Systems Practice. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.