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Book : Soft Systems Methodology in Action (1990)

Soft Systems Methodology in Action

Publisher:John Wiley & Sons

Author(s):Checkland, PeterScholes, Jim

Published: 1990 • ISBN: 0471927686 • 346 pages • Delivery Format: Hard Copy - Paperback

Available from: Amazon (US)Amazon (UK)Amazon (DE)

Other Versions: 1999


Soft Systems Methodology was developed in the 1970s. It grew out of the failure of established methods of “systems engineering” (SE) when faced with messy complex problem situations. SE is concerned with creating systems to meet defined objectives, and it works well in those situations in which there is such general agreement on the objectives to be achieved that the problem can be thought of simply as the selection of efficacious and efficient means to achieve them.

SSM was developed expressly to cope with the more normal situation in which the people in a problem situation perceive and interpret the world in their own ways and make judgements about it using standards and values which may not be shared by others. Deciding how a company should make use of information technology, launching a new product, choosing a career, running a sports club, setting about improving care of the elderly in a District of the National Health Service are all problems of the latter type, for which SSM is appropriate.

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