Learning For Action: A Short Definitive Account of Soft Systems Methodology, and its use Practitioners, Teachers and Students / Edition 1

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Overview

From the father of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), Peter Checkland, comes a new, accessible text which clearly and concisely looks at SSM. The book leaves out all of the development detail and historical/intellectual material which can be found in Checkland’s other classic works, but contains the practical essentials that will allow teachers to teach SSM accurately and students to learn it with real understanding.

Features:

· Short and definitive account of SSM containing the practical essentials.

· Written with great clarity and presented in a reader-friendly way.

· Contains examples of SSM in action.

· Includes cases.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470025543
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/26/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 226
  • Sales rank: 944,960
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Checkland is the recipient of the 'Most Distinguished and Outstanding Contributor' Award of the British Computer Society Methodologies Group, 1994 Recipient of the Gold Medal of the UK Systems Society for 'Outstanding Contribution to Systems Thinking' and 1997 Recipient of a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship. Now retired from full time university work, Peter Checkland continues his research and writing.

John Poulter is a practitioner of SSM. He first used SSM formally when working with Peter Checkland in the UK's National Health Service in 1993. A founder member of the Soft Systems Research Group, he has presented papers and other publications on the use of SSM.

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Table of Contents

Preamble A TEN-MINUTE ACCOUNT OF SOFT SYSTEMS METHODOLOGY FOR VERY BUSY PEOPLE.

Preface.

INTRODUCTION.

PART 1 THE NATURE OF SSM.

Chapter 1 A SKELETON ACCOUNT OF SSM AS A WHOLE.

What is SSM?

What is the SSM Process?

What can SSM be used for?

Is SSM mature?

How was SSM developed?

How does SSM differ from other systems approaches?

Chapter 2 A FLESHED-OUT ACCOUNT OF SSM.

Introduction.

The SSM Learning Cycle: Finding Out.

The SSM Learning Cycle: Making Purposeful Activity Models.

The SSM Learning Cycle: Using Models to Structure Discussion about.

The Situation and its Improvement.

The SSM Learning Cycle: Defining ‘Action to Improve’.

The Whole SSM Learning Cycle Revisited: seven principles, four actions.

PART 2 SSM IN ACTION.

Chapter 3 SSM IN ACTION IN MANAGEMENT SITUATIONS.

Introduction.

Case 1: Rethinking the Role of a Head Office Function in Shell.

Case 2: Evaluating Past Events.

Case 3: Upgrading the Skills of a Department.

Case 4: Tackling your own Issues.

Case 5: Clarifying a Concept.

Chapter 4 SSM IN ACTION IN THE FIELD OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS.

Introduction.

Case 1: Creating an Information Strategy in an Acute Hospital.

Case 2: Evaluating a Clinical Information System.

Case 3: Evaluating a National Initiative in the NHS.

Case 4: Providing Information Support for Scientists and Technologists.

Conclusion.

Chapter 5 SSM: MISUNDERSTANDINGS AND CRAFT SKILLS.

Introduction.

Misunderstanding SSM.

Craft Skills in SSM Use.

Tips on Techniques in SSM.

PART 3 SUMMING UP.

Chapter 6 SSM AS A WHOLE – some reminders.

Approaching SSM: the mindset.

SSM: an aide memoire.

Appendix One: SSM’s Theory.

Appendix Two: The Story of SSM’s Development.

Appendix Three: A Talked-through Example of Activity Model Building.

Appendix Four: A Generic Model of Purposeful Activity Modelling.

Appendix Five: Some Frequently Asked Questions.

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