Appreciation for a System

Every system must have a defined aim or goal. That is the purpose of the system and defines the boundary of the system. The systems itself is a network of interdependent components that work together to try to accomplish the aim of the system. Profit-making business systems have a goal to make money, now and in the future. That is why people invest in profit-making businesses. Nonprofit businesses (those intended to be that way, anyhow) have different goals, for example, creating health, for a health care institution, or creating family well-being, for some social institutions. Projects have the goal described above; to deliver the customer-specified, unique product or service on time and within budget. The client for that goal can relate the project result to the broader goal of the institution.

The project system consists of physical things, people, and nonphysical things, such as policies, knowledge, and relationships. All of these things are interconnected to varying degrees and may impact the performance of the system. Project planning and control is part of the project system. Task performance by the project team is part of the project system.

Things outside the system may impact it. Business systems are open systems, meaning that energy and physical things flow through them. Project systems are the same. These things flowing through, such as people, policies, and capital, can impact the system. For example, laws and regulations, which are outside both the business system and the project system, can have immense impact on the performance of the system.

Deming drew a sketch, similar to Figure 2.4, on a blackboard in Japan in 1950. He attributes the subsequent success of postwar Japan in large part the understanding conveyed by this figure. His description of the system starts with

Variation

Variation

Theory of knowledge

Psychology

Figure 2.3 The four areas of profound knowledge interrelate.

Market research and customer feedback

Market research and customer feedback

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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