Information Systems and Organisation

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Soft system methodology (SSM) was developed by Peter Checkland in the 1960's. The method describes a manner for approaching 'soft' problems in stages, where soft problems are those that can not be defined by specific quantitative metrics, such as corporate culture or emotional viability of management systems.


There is no quantitative analysis for the qualitative problem, instead, SSM at its most basic form, is the qualitative analysis that lends to a solution. Tajino and Smith (2005) describe how SSM differs from a hard quantitative approach because the problems are regarding human activity systems and the manner in which HAS are holistically related with the people in a situation. The core competency of SSM is to comprehend that the model is the human activity systems that drive conflicts and an analytical approach to qualifying the subjective information into a system of resolution. The world view of SSM is "constituted, created or constructed by the concepts we use in our observations of and statements about the world" (Christis p 11. 2005).
In Checkland and Stoles seven stage model, as described by Tajino and Smith (2005) the first stage in SSM is to visualize the situation, although this is true for most research and problem solving methods, Checkland and Stoles take this a bit farther to negotiate the empirical and subjective evidence into the secondary stage, which is the problem situation, defined according to the aforementioned evidence. ...
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