Systems Thinking in Analysing Problems

Systems Thinking in Analysing Problems

 August 27th to 31st, 2024


Systems Thinking was originally developed in the ‘50s & ‘60s by the then largest UK Company ICI and developed by others through exploring different perspectives such as purposeful systems and soft systems. The Open University and Lancaster University amongst others.  There is a worldwide communication of users through LinkedIn.

It is useful in policy or strategy analysis, to ensure as far as possible that the outcomes are as intended.  It is excellent in the analysis of complex socio-technical problems.  It has marked advantages over any other analysis method where there is complexity and interconnectedness of the entities involved. It can be used to solve problems that traditional techniques are unable to complete and it can also highlight hidden issues that remain invisible to many forms of problem analysis.

This training session covers many of the techniques and tools in this field and provides thorough understanding of a flexible methodology.  The techniques are normally applied to:

  • Identify the real issues in complex interconnected situations
  • Examine the possible solutions
  • Focus on the key system of a potential solution
  • Evaluate the best course of action
  • Strategic problem solving
  • e-Business process issues and human (soft) issues


  • Understand the language of Systems Thinking
  • Look at problems from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders
  • Explore some analytical tools and techniques
  • Learn how to use one methodology of approach
  • Practice techniques that are used in this methodology
  • Be able to judge which may be of most use in specific circumstances
  • Participate in groups exploring familiar and new problems
  • Evaluate potential actions against organisational requirements


Day One

Key Principles

  • What is a system
  • Problem-solving techniques discussion
  • Difficulties and Messes
  • Recognising complex systems
  • Introduction to systems thinking
  • Worldview and Perspectives
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Systematic and Systemic
  • The 2×2 Matrix
  • Introduction to a Methodology


    Day Two

    Diagramming Practice – Sensing

    • The Power of Diagrams
    • Introduction to Diagramming
    • Venn Diagrams
    • Spray Diagrams
    • Mind Maps
    • Hard and soft issue
    • Soft systems methodology
    • Rich pictures
    • Systems Diagrams
    • Challenging assumptions and objectives