Checkland (1999) investigated Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) in the late 1960s at the University of Lancaster in the UK. At first, it was seen as a Modelling tool; however in later years it has been seen logically as a learning and significance progression model.
SSM tries to investigate the ‘messy’ problems that occur in change processes. Differing from a ‘hard frameworks’ approach, SSM attempts to derive solutions based on observations of the distinctive individuals and their specific circumstances (Wilson, 2001).
Checkland (1999) states that the process of changing these observations from framework hypotheses into a reasonable approach is called Soft Systems Procedure (SSP). Checkland’s reasoning is that framework examiners need to apply their specialist approaches to complex issues that are not clearly defined and that SSP activities help to comprehend the problematic and uncertain universe of complex associations. This was accomplished with the centre standard of learning (Checkland and Scholes, 1990).
The key stages of soft systems methodology are:
|1 and 2||Define and build the richest possible picture of the situation|
|3||Describe the nature of the chosen system|
|4||Create conceptual model of the system|
|5||Match the conceptual model with the actual situation to create argument with the stakeholders|
|6||Summary the potential changes that are desirable and feasible|
|7||Includes taking action established on stage 6|
Figure 3.3 Illustrated Summary of SSM as a seven-stage process
(Adapted from Checkland, 1999: pp. 163)
SSM provides the most extensively used and practical application of systems thinking and other systems approaches. For that, this project used this methodology to understand the ‘messy’ problem of the research topic and used the holistic view to better thinking about the problem.