Individual learning diary Essay


Through the past academic term I had the chance to feed myself with huge assortment of information related to Soft System Methodology ( SSM ) . By several agencies such as talks, tutorials, recommended text books, scientific publications and web sites, along side with our group work, I have been able to be introduced to SSM and how to use it to a existent life debatable state of affairs.

1. Individual Contribution

The group members and I, 6 members including myself, have managed successfully in passing in the group assignment on clip and making our best in hitting all the demands we were asked to use in the undertaking.

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The undertaking was divided between us every bit, where every one of us had the pick in picking his sooner country to work on.

My single part was based on supplying what I believed I was best at to the group and the assignment in whole. I believe I started with the procedure of structuring and set uping the rich image with the aid of other members of the group. That could be referred to my clearer cognition of building rich images and the apprehension of ocular symbols. When the assignment came to the portion where every individual member has to take which country we would wish to work or develop in the “Managerial Problems” , I chose to work on the selling, civilization and consciousness country because of my belief that I will the best in supplying and explicating that peculiar country of the assignment due to my involvement in such Fieldss and selling related facets.

It was critical for me in cognizing every bit much as I could how good I have produced a piece of work, hence, I insisted in inquiring my co-workers for their ain feedback around what I produced and what do they believe about it. In several state of affairss, I had to travel back and redo or paraphrase some countries merely because some members of my group thought it would be better to make so.

My single part besides includes giving group meeting hours to work on the assignment with my other co-workers and portion our ideas and possible thoughts.

2. The Way Our Group Worked

I personally believe our group has worked good towards the assignment and to its in agreement deadline. The communicating was efficient as several methods were employed such as nomadic phones, electronic mails and messages on Facebook every bit good. Between ourselves as group members, we broke down the work in mileposts and stated our ain deadlines for the undertakings we were meant to make, I believe we successfully managed to run into all deadlines and took the work carefully step by measure towards the concluding deadline.

However, its worth while adverting that when one of the group members used to lose a tutorial or a group meeting for a valid ground, the feedback from the meeting was sent to them and allowing them be informed about what has been discussed and when will be the following meeting and what should be accomplished by so.

Several lessons have been learnt from working in a group. I have learned lessons and developed accomplishments such as clip direction, hearing, taking notes and deputing responsibilities.

It was really interesting hearing to other co-workers and being introduced to new ways of thought and looking at certain points. Besides debating and basking the manners of treatment, which was how we managed to travel on with the assignment and accomplish a possible solution for the undertaking.

3. The Findings And Penetrations Gained From SSM Application

As mentioned earlier, I had the chance to feed myself with a assortment of information related to SSM application methodological analysis by using it on a existent debatable “messy” state of affairs that was under student/staff portal at MMU by holding a expression at the briefing “myMMU” institutional Portal that was handed out in the beginning of the term.

By take parting in such undertaking, I managed to understand and specify SSM, be introduced to the beginning of the Soft System Methodology, cognizing the use or the applications of the SSM and eventually the stairss or the phases in the SSM methodological analysis procedure.

Definition Of SSM

The Soft System Methodology, as defined by Peter Checkland, is a qualitative method applied when covering with job state of affairss that involve a batch of political, human and societal activity constituent. This makes SSM stand out from other methodological analysiss that deal with more “hard” jobs that are normally engineering related. It was designed to sketch interventions in debatable instances that are experienced in organizational, policy context and direction, where there are normally complicated solutions or jobs. Therefore, SSM is a valuable method in nearing complex state of affairss and work outing or matching mussy inquiries.

The Origin Of SSM

In the 1970s, Soft Systems methodological analysis was developed by Peter Checkland and his co-workers at the University of Lancaster. SSM started off from the apprehension of difficult systems, such as research techniques, is non plenty for asking into much more complex organizational state of affairss. Therefore, Peter Checkland developed SSM for the purpose of managing jobs of this type. He managed to accomplish his SSM by several research undertakings in the industry and its application and alteration over a figure of old ages. As a consequence, the Soft System Methodology has been published in 1981.

The Use Of The SSM

The Soft Systems Methodology was designed as a work outing tool for complicated organizational state of affairss in a high homo, political and societal activity engagement. The cardinal usage of SSM is in analyzing complex state of affairss particularly when there are different positions around the definition of the job. For illustration, how to better MMU ‘s e-learning system?

The Stages In The SSM Methodology Process

It has been outlined that SSM is illustrated as a seven phase procedure.

Phases 1 & A ; 2

The beginning phases of the methodological analysis are related to the identifying and besides bring forthing a brief account of the debatable state of affairs that it will interfere. Then the edifice of the rich image, which provides a elaborate representation of the state of affairs itself and an overall description of the debatable state of affairs in whole, comes in topographic point. Obtaining information methods varies from formal to unstructured attacks. In our group assignment, we have carried out direct interviews with several stakeholders, from MMU pupils, pupils from other universities, coachs and technicians in order to put the collected information visually in the rich image. The advantage of the rich image is that it puts together information from the widest scope possible of beginnings. The rich image normally illustrates several constituents such as the key participants, the client and the proprietors of the issue addressed.

Phase 3

This phase is concerned with supplying root definitions of procedures that should accomplish from the intercession with the debatable state of affairs and make up one’s mind what the alteration should be. Afterwards, it can be good to transport out a CATWOE analysis: Customers: people who are affected by the solution procedure, Actors: people who apply the alteration, Transformation: what will be changed, World position: the intent of the alteration, Owners: people who control the transition, Environment: everything that affects the alteration.

As in our group assignment, the MMU Portal, my CATWOE analysis was as follows:

Customer: Students

Actors: Technicians and coachs


World position: Empowering the usage of the e-learning system and increase the consciousness amongst stakeholders.

Owner: University, E-learning system.

Environment: proficient mistakes, no cyberspace entree, slang and deficiency of consciousness.

Besides, in SSM procedures are explained in the signifier of root definition, which is a brief description that is applied at both, the degree of the overall transmutation and for each procedure. Again in my instance, the root definition was as follows:

“The e-learning system designed, developed and published by IT proficient specializers to guarantee that the learning process and environment is delivered from coachs to pupils in the most organized and efficient manner possible. The system must be marketed towards stakeholders by supplying an exciting layout, fiscal fillips, developing strategies, supplying best working conditions to all technicians and besides organizing workshops and conferences for users to go to and discourse the benefits of the e-learning system and increasing the degree of awareness.”

At the terminal of this phase, Checkland employs his three Es to look into the rightness and cogency of the chief transmutation procedures which are: Efficiency, Effectiveness and Efficacy. Then the procedures could be put together into a conceptual theoretical account of the modified system. My concluding conceptual theoretical account in our group work assignment was as follows:

Phase 4

Here comes proving the alteration theoretical account alongside the existent universe state of affairs. That could be done by look intoing if the rich image, the CATWOE analysis make sense and could be genuinely implemented. The cardinal map of this phase is to turn the apprehension of the alteration and the changed procedures with holding the chief stakeholder and histrions involved. It is chiefly focused on developing the conceptual theoretical account

Phases 5 – 7

Here it is indispensable to maintain monitoring and look intoing to maintain path of how the undertaking is affected or how is it running. When the consequences of application are going apparent it is so possible to return to “Stage 1” and detect how the rich image has transformed the overall debatable state of affairs. When look intoing the workability of the system, so it could be taken back into the existent universe.

4. Evaluation Of Suitability Of SSM

Through out the undertaking by following SSM, I realised the extent of how such methodological analysis helped in deciding a “messy” debatable state of affairs and simplifying it in a reasonable mode.

It was realised that SSM had a simple bit-by-bit process to follow in order to ensue in holding a good result as it was n’t equivocal to transport because of the particular techniques that it enjoyed. I besides found it as thorough tool to utilize particularly is mussy jobs. SSM gave construction to a complicated organizational job state of affairs and allowed us to cover with them in a more planned attack as it besides led us to seek for solution that is more than proficient.

We managed to take the instance survey, myMMU Portal, from a phase to another as they are clearly explained and detailed what should be done in each phase and what is expected to hold.

However, following SSM besides had some restrictions when implementing it to our undertaking. SSM was n’t able to really state us how to construct the system. It merely took us from a phase to another in order to seek and repair a debatable state of affairs. Besides, in some phases of the procedure, it was a spot complicated due to the ground that it includes non-technical issues, cognizing there is no right or incorrect replies in qualitative information. We besides considered SSM to be a clip devouring methodological analysis in footings of specifying the job and roll uping information. At the terminal SSM did non turn out to us whether the undertaking or the undertaking was a success or failure.


Actrix, Soft System Methodology, Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed: 2nd Jan 2010 ]

Checkland, P.B ( 1981, 1999 ) Systems thought, Systems pattern, Wiley

Checkland, P.B. and Poulter, J. ( 2006 ) Learning for actions: A short unequivocal history of soft systems methodological analysis, and its usage for practicians, instructors and pupils, Wiley

Lester, S ( 2008 ) Soft Systems Methodology, Stan Lester Developments


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