Most (if not all) organization and management systems are part of a larger group of systems that eventually combine to manage the overall enterprise. A system perspective of the larger enterprise management system helps design systems that are congruent, aligned, and integrated. In addition, the systems perspective allows organizations to look beyond the immediate goal or desired outcome of a particular system and identify key leverage points in the overall system to achieve their objectives and purposes. Systems align with the other organization design cornerstones (stakeholders, strategy, and scorecard), culture (value, heroes, symbols, and rituals), and the context of the organization (industry, geography, and technology). Elegant designs are not only consistent and congruent with other organization systems, but they take advantage of the other systems and effectively use the leverage points to achieve the purposes of the system.
Identify key inputs, outputs, and interconnections and relationships with other internal and external systems. You must also identify key internal and external inputs to the system. For example, key inputs into a strategic management system might include trends in society, the environment, etc., assessment of the competitive environment, results (trends and comparisons) for the main aspects of the organization, and sustainability issues.
Identify key system or process outputs. For example, key outputs of a strategic management system might include goals and objectives, performance measures and targets, time horizons, environmental scan results, and action plans. In addition, most organization systems include flows of information to, through, and from the system being designed. The linkages between the information and communication systems is an important consideration and can change what is possible with the new design.
- Understand how the system “fits” within the other established organization and managerial systems.
- Identify key inputs, outputs and interconnections, and relationships with other internal and external systems.
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