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Bahan Ajar Minggu Ke-7 Pemodelan Sistem

Bahan Ajar Minggu Ke-7

Tujuan Instruksional Umum Setelah menyelesaikan matakuliah ini mahasiswa semeter 5

dapat membuat model matematika yang valid untuk
mencari solusi optimal dari persoalan yang terjadi di
sebuah sistem nyata.

Tujuan Instruksional Mahasiswa dapat menjelaskan situasi sebuah

Khusus permasalahan.

The problem situation (2/2)

1. Rich picture diagrams

Rather than show the various aspects in words or short sentences, P.

Checkland [1993/99] suggests drawing a cartoon-like pictorial summary of
everything (or almost everything!) the observer knows about the situation

Note that term rich picture does not, in the first place, mean a drawing. It is
simply a more colourful term for a situation summary. Its cartoon-like
representation is called a rich picture diagram. However, this is rather clumsy
and long. So if it is clear from the context, we will refer to the diagram simply
as a rich picture.

But Im no good at drawing! you object. Neither are we. The representations
used are very simple: stick-like figures, clouds, blobs and boxes, some slogan-
type writing, and arrows depicting connections or time sequences. Figure 1 is
a rich picture for the dilemma of whether or not to go to work by bicycle.

Bahan Ajar Minggu Ke-7 Pemodelan Sistem

Figure 1. Rich picture of dilemma for going to work by bicycle

Figure 2 shows some types of items and symbols commonly used. You will
quickly discover that the talent needed is not the ability to draw well, but
simply a bit of imagination. In fact, drawing rich pictures is fun. Note that the
temptation to use computer clipart is great. Dont! The result is usually stilted
and contrived.

Although your prime concern may only be with a particular aspect of the
situation, for both mind maps and rich pictures, it pays to assemble as wide a
picture as is reasonably possible. Only then will you have some assurance of
not missing interactions and relationships that could turn out to be essential for
the particular issue that you wish to analyse in detail. Hence it is advisable to
depict all facets you are aware of from your familiarization of the situation and
not only those that seem directly related to the original issue that triggered the
study. Even so, you will have to use your judgement as to what details to
include and what to leave out, or as to the appropriate level of resolution. You
will have to strike a sensible balance between the desires for completeness and
parsimony. For instance, you may draw a book entitled rules as a reminder
in place of the rules. Slogans, coming out of some persons head, are often
highly effective summaries of details.

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Figure 2. Sample symbols for rich pictures

As you have discussions with other people involved, you may discover new
aspects or other angles of the situation. So you add new items and reorganize
or discard old material. In some sense, a rich picture is never finished. It is
often redrawn. It will remain a central point of reference during the entire
project and a useful reminder for all involved, even after moving on to other

Bahan Ajar Minggu Ke-7 Pemodelan Sistem

Naturally, you can only give your perception of the situation. So, be aware
that it will be affected by your world view. Therefore, you will need to remind
yourself as you proceed to keep an open mind, avoid introducing preconceived
ideas, refrain from imposing an assumed structure on the situation or viewing
it as the problem of .... The latter is particularly important, since other people
may see different aspects of the situation as the real problem. At this point,
you do not want to commit the analysis unwittingly to a given direction before
you have gained a full understanding of its complexity and crucial

All of this is easily said, but more difficult to stick to. We all have a natural
tendency to classify problem situations and give them a name. It gives the
illusion of having the situation under control. For example, consider truancy
at primary school or at high school. Oh this is simply a lack of discipline in
the home! The problem has been labelled and hence solved end of
discussion. Taking such a view will narrow our focus of attention. It may lead
us to overlook the social complexity of truancy and effective means to limit its
adverse effects on the truant, the family, and society.

Most importantly, as is the case for a mind map, a rich picture the diagram
or the concept is not a system description. The term system implies that
any interconnectedness is organized and not coincidental. By assuming such
organized interconnections you may impose a structure on the situation which
may not be present or, if present, focuses your attention in a given direction,
rather than encouraging you to keep a completely open mind. Only once you
have identified the aspect of the situation of particular interest to you, or the
issue to be analysed, will you be ready to define a system relevant for that
aspect or issue.

Expressing a problem situation in the form of a rich picture diagram is

obviously only one mode of making a situation summary. In some instances, it
may be instructive to capture certain aspects with other diagrams, such as a
flow chart of either material, documents, or information. For example, a
manufacturing operation may best be captured by a flow diagram depicting

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how material moves from workstation to workstation, the tasks performed at

each station, the quality inspection points, the locations where data are
collected about the processes, etc. It is important though to include pointers
for alternative ways to accomplish the same thing. It may be supplemented by
notes about difficulties encountered at each workstation and various options
suggested for alleviating them.

2. Guidelines for mind maps and rich pictures

Three major components are represented in mind maps and rich pictures:

1. Elements of structure: All aspects or components of the situation

that are relatively stable or change only very slowly in the time
frame implied in the situation. This would include all physical
aspects, like physical structures, buildings and equipment, and
products involved, but also logical, functional, or intellectual
structural aspects and their properties, possible alternatives, advant
ages and disadvantages, departmental divisions, information and
data, rules of how things are and could be done, or services
2. Elements of process: All dynamic aspects that undergo change or
are in a state of flux, like activities that go on within the structure,
flow and processing of material or information, and any decision
making that goes on.
3. Relationship between structure and process and between processes:
How does the structure affect or condition processes? How does
one process affect or condition other processes? What things or
aspects are direct or indirect results of such relationships? For
example, if all information on aircraft flight schedules and
reservations is stored in each airlines own individual computer
data bank (a structure), then booking a flight (a process)
necessitates that the customer deals through a travel agent who has
access to all these data banks and not just some, or else the flight
choice may be drastically reduced.

Bahan Ajar Minggu Ke-7 Pemodelan Sistem

For human activity systems, a mind map or rich picture should include not
only hard facts, but also soft facts. Hard facts are the physical structure and
processes, data records and their statistical interpretation, information links,
and anything on which there is widespread agreement, or what might be
labelled objective. Soft facts include opinions, gossip, hunches, interpersonal
relationships (friendships, hostilities, power, egos) coming to the surface,
perceived agendas and sacred cows, synergies, and symbiotic relationships
or what could broadly be called the climate of the situation. This climate is
often an important determinant of the various world views held by the people
involved in the situation. Unless the climate is sufficiently well understood,
essential aspects of these world views may escape the analyst.

All known areas of concern and actual or potential issues or problems should
also be shown. In rich pictures this can be done in a number of ways. One is to
use the focus symbol of Figure 2 pointing at the area of concern. Another is to
show a balloon, coming out from an area of concern or a person, containing a
question or a short slogan with a question mark or an exclamation mark. If
opposing values, or benefits versus costs, have to be weighed, this can be
depicted by scales with the baskets containing appropriate words, possibly
with a question mark at the top of the scales. Opposing or conflicting views by
various people involved can easily be shown by two crossed swords.

The rich picture should also be annotated to define symbols that are not
selfexplanatory or provide brief footnotes on why certain aspects are excluded
or represented in only a cursory way, etc. It may also be interesting and
revealing to indicate where you enter into the picture: your interests or roles.

Novices may believe that each item shown needs to be connected to one or
more other items. They end up with a map or picture where every item is
connected directly or indirectly to every other item. Some connectors and
arrows between some items may be crucial and useful to indicate
relationships, such as cause-and-effect, symbioses, precedence, or processes.
However, excessive use of connections may inadvertently impose a system

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structure. Remember again: a mind map or a rich picture is not a system


If your map or picture looks like a flow chart, depicting the flow of
documents, information, or material, or a precedence diagram of how
activities have to be executed or like a flow chart of the decision process, you
may again have imposed a system structure on it. There could well be some
aspects of the problem situation which call for a flow chart of some sort.

Beginners often fail to include focus pointers to highlight potential issues.

3. Uses and strengths of rich pictures and mind maps

The main use of rich pictures and mind maps is for communicating with other
people about complex and problematic situations. They are rarely included in
a formal report, since they need to be talked about rather than just shown. The
reaction of many analysts to rich pictures, in contrast to mind maps, is one of
scepticism. Cartoons have no place in serious analysis! Give the rich picture
a chance! You will discover that precisely because they are unconventional,
unexpected, and a fun tool, they are more likely to catch and retain your
listeners attention and interest in fact, have them become active

Interconnections, relationships, and direct and indirect consequences become

more clearly visible; understanding is considerably enhanced. Since the whole
map or picture is constantly present, references to aspects previously
discussed do not have to rely on the listeners memory, but can be directly
pointed out or referred back to. Queries can also refer to the map or picture
and hence will be more focussed and more precise. Misunderstandings are
reduced. Missing aspects become more obvious.

It allows identification of the people who own the problematic situation, the
people in positions of power, such as the decision makers, the people who will
execute any decisions taken, and the people who will enjoy the benefits or
suffer the consequences of the results. It pinpoints the sources and types of

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data. But most importantly, it will help identify existing or potential issues,
conflicts, and problems. It may point out that the particular issue is embedded
in other areas of concern that may have to be resolved before the original issue
can be tackled. Sometimes, particularly in a learning context, a mind map or
rich picture is drawn simply to gain a better understanding of a complex
situation as a whole. However, more often, the map or picture constitutes the
first step towards analysing a particular issue. It will firm up the choice of the
problem to be studied. It will show that problem within its complete context.
This will help in selecting appropriate boundaries for the system and the scope
of the analysis.

4. Problem definition and boundary selection

Recall that the purpose of getting a sufficient understanding of a problem

situation is to delineate the problem to be analysed. This does not simply mean
identifying the correct issue of concern, but also its scope, form, and level of
detail or depth. These should all be appropriate to generate useful insights and
answers for decision making or problem solving. Part of this involves a
critical evaluation of which aspects of the problem situation should be
included in the analysis and which aspects can be ignored. Those included
either become part of the narrow system of interest or its environment. In
other words, we have to select the boundaries for both the narrow system of
interest and its relevant environment. Boundary selection is the most critical
facet of systems thinking. Critical systems heuristics, developed by W. Ulrich
in 1983, is currently the most comprehensive and systematic framework for
subjecting boundary selection to thorough scrutiny. Several problem-
structuring methods devote considerable effort to assessing which aspects
should be considered and which ones can be ignored during a particular phase
in the analysis. We will limit our comments to some general points.

Boundary selection will largely fix the scope, direction, and focus of all
subsequent analysis. It not only determines which inputs are considered
controllable, but also whose benefits and costs are included in the performance
measure, and in particular which potential stakeholders are reduced to

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problem customers, possibly mere victims without any say or recourse.

Inappropriate boundary selection often means that the benefits or advantages
derived for the narrow system of interest are partially or completely negated
by losses or disadvantages in the wider system.

It may also be highly instructive to contrast different world views and analyse
their effect on the appropriate boundary choices. The added insights invariably
gained will contribute towards a more comprehensive understanding of the
problem situation and a revised definition of the problem.

Selecting the wrong boundaries may result in solving the wrong problem. It
may make it difficult or even impossible to implement the solution or may
reduce the potential benefits that could have been derived.

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1. Daellenbach, H.G. and McNickle, D.C. (2005): Management Science:

Decision Making Through Systems Thinking, Palgrave Macmillan.