The previous white paper in this series focused in detail on the first Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) process step – entering the problematic situation – and illustrates it through scenarios regularly encountered by the Enterprise Architect. It explored the structured approach that the Soft Systems Methodology provides to guide practitioners, and the way in which this affords integration points for blending with engineering disciplines and frameworks.

This white paper deep-dives into the SSM process steps that are concerned with understanding the problematic situation:

  • Stage 2: express the problem situation (Analysis)
  • Stage 3: Formulate root definitions of relevant systems of purposeful activity (Definition)
  • Stage 4: Build conceptual models (also Definition)

There’s no substitute for reading the papers themselves, but for readers short of time, the next section is an extract taken from Papers 1 and 5. It provides a very short outline of the Soft Systems Method - what it is, where it came from, and why it is significant. Readers wishing to deepen their background in the topic before embarking on this Paper can read the previous papers.

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