Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Systemic thinking


Today, I would like to talk about a system. Like I said in my previous post, I will try my best to explain with my own word, literally.

What is a system? According to Dictionary, system is an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex unitary whole. To make it more clearly, I will give you an example.

In a house (big system), it requires a few things (middle system) to make it as a house. A house should have a human resources - a family - consist of father (husband), mother (wife) and children; electricity; furniture's; foods; facilities like television, rice cooker and washing machine; and compartment like bedroom, living room, kitchen, dining room and toilet.

Every single thing (subsystem) in a house plays some important rules to make sure that the house functioning smoothly and efficiently, and give a good environment for the family to live. For example, a father is a leader in the house. He should make sure that the subsystem and the system functioning well because if one of it in a bad condition, it can affect the whole system (the house).

But, you should bear in mind that not all of the components in the system is essentials. There are also some components that stated as accessories.

Essentials are the component that very important and must be present in the system. That means, if the essentials components disappear or not present, it can affect the whole system and the system can be broken. For example, a roof. Without a roof, a house can not functioning well because the main goal of a house is to protect the family and component inside it from the sun and rain. 

While accessories are the components that are not important, and if they are not present, it's not affecting the overall function in the system. The function of the accessories is more likely to make it look good, beautiful and to support the system that already strong with basic components (essentials)

Maybe it is difficult to differentiate between essentials and accessories in a house. Because some people will have different needs and every single components give a variety of impact.


A system can be said to consist of four things. 

The first is objects - the parts, elements or variables within the system. These may be physical or abstract or both, depending on the nature of the system. A father, a mother, children, washing machine, oven, stove, etc.

Second, a system consists of attributes - the qualities or properties of the system and its objects. The role of washing machine is to wash clothes while a father needs to work to get money.

Third, a system had internal relationships among its objects. The mother needs to use stove to cook for dinner.

Fourth, a system exists in an environment. Tadaa, it is called as a house! 

1. Health system and disaster, Practical guide Block 4.2

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