Wednesday, December 4, 2019

System Thinking Refers To Understanding a System †Free Samples

Question: How to the System Thinking Refers To Understanding A System? Answer: Introducation: Systems thinking refers to understanding a system by scrutinizing the linkages and interactions between the various components that form a major part of the system. Systems thinking is concerned with making authentic inferences about systems by developing a deep understanding of the underlying structure (Haines 2016). The oil and gas industry are one of the most complicated businesses as the outputs of such businesses affect the entire world. The oil and gas companies are required to keep themselves updated in terms of technology and make critical adjustments from time to time, which makes decision-making difficult. Therefore, the systems thinking offers a structured process for decision-making that deals with changes and the adaptations (Kunze, Wulfhorst and Minner 2016). Systems thinking is one of the way in which the problems are approached that considers the various elements in a system that influence each other. System thinking involves knowing the root cause of a problem and understanding the relationship between the various causes. One of the systems thinking model that is useful in understanding the issues is iceberg model. The iceberg model defines various levels of thinking that includes event level, pattern level, structure level and the mental model level (Girault and Valk 2013). The event level is the level where the problem arises. The model states that it is not necessary that all the problems can be solved at the event level. The pattern level analyses the current problem on the basis of any similar kind of problems that had occurred in the past. Observing the patterns assist in forecasting and understanding the problems. The structure level emphasizes on the cause of the issue. The structure level includes the physical things, organiza tions, policies and rituals that become the cause of a problem. The mental model comprises of the beliefs, attitudes, values and expectations that assist in the functioning of the structures. Systems engineering is the approach that enables the complete system life cycle that includes formulation of problems, development of solution and sustainable use of the operations (Adams et al. 2014). The Systems Engineering Body of knowledge (SEBoK) provides knowledge sources and references of the organized systems engineering. Systems engineering includes the fundamentals and models of foundational system sciences. The systems engineering is applied with the help of the application of various systems engineering processes (Garvey, Book and Covert 2016). It is applied within a managed lyfe cycle working with engineering, management and specialist disciplines. It can also be applied to enterprise systems and service systems. SEBoK is often compared to Wikipedia but it is built on SEBoK articles and the Editorial Board reviews the recommendations before they are included in SEBok Wiki (Kaiser, El Arbi and Ahlemann 2015). The issues in the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill were management problems and poor risk management. Various reports showed that the safety board investigator and the rig operator did not test the blowout preventers individual safety systems. Only the device as a whole was tested while the various components were neglected. The preventers manufacturers had suggested individual tests but the company followed its own standard set (Gutierrez-Miravete 2013). Portfolio alignment is a weak element in a good Project Portfolio Management practice. An alignment directs the decisions related to resource allocation in an organization and helps the project manager in the prioritization of the project list. Alignment helps in translation of strategies into actionable plans (Patanakul 2015). Alignment makes a project more adaptable to changes by enabling rapid response to the changes. Portfolio alignment helps in making better decisions that is supported by business intelligence. It also helps in reducing the deviations in the budgets and improving the accuracy in the forecasting of the financial aspect. The portfolio alignment of BP Deepwater Horizon was poor as the company had initially underestimated the problem and had overestimated its capability of handling the issue. Due to improper project management, the company did not take any initial actions as crisis management (Martinsuo 2013). It was after two days of the occurrence of the disaster that the company took steps by mobilizing vessels and aircrafts. The company was even unable to ascertain the actual amount of leakages caused. The improper project management and risk management caused further delays in finding solutions to the issue. BP had lost approximately 55% of shareholder value after the oil spill incident as the share prices fell from $59.48 to $27. The share prices gradually recovered but could not reach the before oil spill level. The company had to spend huge amounts for the relief well drilling and for settling other claims (Turner 2014). Portfolio management process cycle is the process that an investor follows in order to meet his investment objectives. It involves expressing the objectives of the investment in terms of risk and return (Kerzner 2013). BP, in trying to complete the Macondo well took various shortcuts that resulted in the disastrous oil spills. The major cause of the oil spill was considered to be the failure of the cement at the base of 18000 feet deep well that was considered to have oil and gas within its bore. The technical and human errors led to the tremendous pressure of natural gas formed to shoot onto the drilling platform that caused an explosion causing death of 11 crew members. Later on, it was found that the cause of the accident was poor risk management, sudden changes in plans, ignorance of critical indicators, lack of well control response and lack of emergency bridge response training by the companies. Ultimately, BP was help responsible for the disaster along with the chief contractors of BP who were responsible for operations of the drilling rig and the cementing operations (Heagney 2016). The other factors considered were the violations of the federal regulations. It was considered that BP and it s contractors violated the laws related to the safety and protection of health and environment. It failed to conduct reliable tests of the pressures of the wells and did not notify the federal regulators about the changes in the drilling plans of the company. However, the cement failure remained the major cause of the disaster. Earlier BP comprised of various levels of management that was formed in a matrix structure, which made it difficult for anyone to make decisions quickly. Later on, the decision-making responsibilities were extended to the employees along with the other levels in the organization. The decision-making authority relating to meeting the performance targets was no longer limited to the regional operating companies of BP instead, the authority was extended to the asset managers present onsite. The BPs asset managers were responsible for the meeting of the performance targets which was extended to the employees on the site. The compensation of the employees was now dependent upon the performance of the employees as well as the overall performance of the site. This model was known as Asset Federation and it laid emphasis on compensation of employees according to their performance (Mello et al. 2017). The site managers managed the assets autonomously and there was some incentive of sharing be st practices on risk management among the various exploration sites of BP. Due to high prices of crude oil and various improvements in the technology, drilling in deep water became feasible. However, these operations were complex and more expensive than oil drilling in shallow water. The deepwater horizon rig was associated with various maintenance issues. The safety audit conducted by BP indicated 390 repairs demanding immediate attention but the Deepwater Horizon did not stop working and continued its operations. The maintenance issues on the rig and several setbacks resulted in the project becoming over budgeted however, BP was confident that it had found oil. Project management has a deep relationship with the systems thinking approach especially in case of systems engineering. Operations research, project management and systems engineering is very important when it comes to managing any large research and development projects. Project management evolved when technologies employed by the scientists and engineers were complex and uncertain in the development of weapon systems. It was during this time that the matrix organization came into existence in order to overcome the disadvantages of staff organizations in the efficient management of the project (Chunpir, Ludwig and Badewi 2014). This led to the development of separate bodies of knowledge known as PMBOK and SEBoK. The project management and the systems engineering share many concepts in common such as life cycle approach for conceptualizing, designing and implementing systems and projects. The project management is more people centric as it deals with the management of personnel, tea m structure and design, motivation, performance, stakeholder management, leadership, negotiation and management of the flow of communication. The systems thinking is more concerned with the product, technology, people and processes. The management of complex projects involves understanding the application of systems thinking in solving the complexities of the project. Systems are usually open as they can interact with the outside environment. They are organized by hierarchy and exhibit emergence. The hierarchy is more related to the vitality and survivability while the emergence describes the system as the dynamic interactions between its parts. The project managers use systems thinking while dealing with complex projects when everything seems to be getting out of control. The systems thinking helps the project managers in settling the complex projects at a state of equilibrium (Walker, Steinfort and Maqsood 2014). As the project completion time comes near, it creates immense pressure on the project managers and staff that results in high turnover of employees. The increase in the employee turnover contributes to excessive reworks due to absence of skill base. The delays in the system increases and results in the development of crisis. The systems thinking helps in finding the best solution to the complex issues that arise during the project management. The soft systems methodology is used to clarify the advantages that the stakeholders might get from the implementation of the project. This model deals with the problems related to the ill-structures that could not be handled by the technological approach of systems engineering. The soft systems approach works with the reality and facilitates a systematic learning process that involves examination and discussion of the different viewpoints hence, leading to purposeful actions in terms of improvements. The soft systems methodology uses various tools and concepts such as rich pictures and root definition that the project managers may use in order to clarify the projects purpose (Reader and OConnor 2014). Rich picture is an informal drawing that expresses the feelings of an individual regarding a situation. The aim is richness of personal expression that is unrestrained by the social conventions and unconstrained by the predetermined frameworks. The drawing tools and conventions for the representation of the technological problems is discouraged. The rich picture identifies the problems and the processes in the problem situation. It helps in using the mental models with the situation. Rich pictures helps in understanding the goals that motivate stakeholders at the very beginning of the project. Therefore, it can be concluded that the conventional tools of systems thinking help in dealing with some wicked problems that often arise in the projects that are not capable of being handled handled by the standard tools and techniques. The systems thinking tools and techniques help in managing the projects that involve continuous cycle of cause and effect. Systems thinking helps in understanding the issues that involve understanding of people, coordination of thinking and behavioral processes. Systems engineering is the approach that enables the complete system life cycle that includes formulation of problems, development of solution and sustainable use of the operations. The issues in the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill were management problems and poor risk management, which could be solved by implementing a strong systems thinking approach as the systems thinking involves the various conventional tools of systems thinking that help in dealing with these issues as not capable of b eing handled handled by the standard tools and techniques. The soft systems approach can help in solving the issues as it works with the reality and facilitates a systematic learning process that involves examination and discussion of the different viewpoints. References: Adams, K.M., Hester, P.T., Bradley, J.M., Meyers, T.J. and Keating, C.B., 2014. Systems theory as the foundation for understanding systems.Systems Engineering,17(1), pp.112-123. Chunpir, H.I., Ludwig, T. and Badewi, A.A., 2014, June. Using soft systems methodology (SSM) in understanding current user-support scenario in the climate science domain of cyber-infrastructures. InInternational Conference of Design, User Experience, and Usability(pp. 495-506). Springer International Publishing. Garvey, P.R., Book, S.A. and Covert, R.P., 2016.Probability methods for cost uncertainty analysis: A systems engineering perspective. CRC Press. Girault, C. and Valk, R., 2013.Petri nets for systems engineering: a guide to modeling, verification, and applications. Springer Science Business Media. Gutierrez-Miravete, E., 2013. Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Haines, S., 2016.The systems thinking approach to strategic planning and management. CRC Press. Heagney, J., 2016.Fundamentals of project management. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. Kaiser, M.G., El Arbi, F. and Ahlemann, F., 2015. Successful project portfolio management beyond project selection techniques: Understanding the role of structural alignment.International Journal of Project Management,33(1), pp.126-139. Kerzner, H., 2013.Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley Sons. Kunze, O., Wulfhorst, G. and Minner, S., 2016. Applying systems thinking to city logistics: A qualitative (and quantitative) approach to model interdependencies of decisions by various stakeholders and their impact on city logistics.Transportation Research Procedia,12, pp.692-706. Martinsuo, M., 2013. Project portfolio management in practice and in context.International Journal of Project Management,31(6), pp.794-803. Mello, M.H., Gosling, J., Naim, M.M., Strandhagen, J.O. and Brett, P.O., 2017. Improving coordination in an engineer-to-order supply chain using a soft systems approach.Production Planning Control,28(2), pp.89-107. Patanakul, P., 2015. Key attributes of effectiveness in managing project portfolio.International Journal of Project Management,33(5), pp.1084-1097. Reader, T.W. and OConnor, P., 2014. The Deepwater Horizon explosion: non-technical skills, safety culture, and system complexity.Journal of Risk Research,17(3), pp.405-424. Turner, J.R., 2014.The handbook of project-based management(Vol. 92). New York, NY: McGraw-hill. Walker, D., Steinfort, P. and Maqsood, T., 2014. Stakeholder voices through rich pictures.International Journal of Managing Projects in Business,7(3), pp.342-361.

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