Project Mgmt: Projects and Systems Theory

4355 words 18 pages

ASSIGNMENT 1: Projects and Systems Theory

“The most pervasive intellectual tradition to project management is without doubt the systems approach”

Unit Coordinator: David Baccarini
Teaching Staff: Geoff Salm

By Ben Westerberg

Describe the key fundamentals of systems theory
Just about anything in life can viewed as having systems (Baccarini 2013). They can be found anywhere from within nature to anywhere in society and business. To better understand the principle of systems and the theories associated with them it is important to define what a ‘system’ is. There have been many experts who have helped create and contribute to systems theory and they all have similar thoughts
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Where the boundaries are located friction can sometimes occur, and by analysing the boundaries of a system it is often possible to isolate this friction and put measures in place to reduce it where possible. In an open system its boundaries are said to be permeable. The higher the permeability of a boundary the greater freedom information has to flow from system to system. Boundaries contain the elements and parts of the system and everything within the boundary is within the systems control.
As mentioned before systems have boundaries. Outside of these boundaries is the systems external environment. Hamilton (1997) states that the external environment is not only a set of factors sitting outside of the systems control, but these factors also have the potential to affect the systems performance or results. Open systems are systems that involve and are affected by their environment and openness increases the systems likelihood to survive and prosper (System Theory 2013). If a system is to perform as it is intended it is crucial that you understand the environment surrounding the system and how it will be affected. As the external environment lies outside the boundaries of the system and therefore outside of its control, it is important for the system to be able to adapt to the environment and grow with it to ensure optimal


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