IAF Methods

System Modeling

by for . Last edit was about 2 years ago
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This process is used to emphasize that a process or problem is part of a system, and to then identify where to begin with the analysis of a problem.
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The intent is to find the source of a problem within a complex system.


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  • There are no additional resources needed.



Setting: No material is needed or recommended.

Number of participants: any

Types of participants: Any types of participants can be involved in this process.

Time needed: The optimal amount of time needed can not be generalized. It depends on the complexity of the system that is analyzed and on the amount of problems found.

Ideal conditions: There are no special conditions needed.

Pre-Work Required: There is no work that needs to be done beforehand.

Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: A special Facilitator-Client Relationship is not necessary.

Facilitator personality fit: The facilitator does not need any particular characteristics.


There are three important phases to this method.

Firstly, there are inputs, being all the resources that are used to carry out the actual activity (processes). This can be raw materials, products or services that are produced by other parts of the system, which might not be the focus of this analysis. The facilitator has to point out to the group that they have to look at every part of the whole system so as to detect possible mistakes.

The next phase is focusing on the processes. Meant by that are activities and tasks that turn the inputs into products or services. A special focus should be on the analysis of this part as most mistakes or issues occur in this field.

Then, the team should look at the outputs, being the direct products or services that follow from the processes.

If problems are spotted, they should be discussed and possible solutions should be found, or direct changes should be put into action. Of course, an implementation plan could help to keep the problems in mind in the future. If everything went accordingly, there should be noticeable effects and impacts. Effects are changes in the client's knowledge, attitude or behavior that result from the outputs and indirect outcomes from the processes as they intervene. Impacts on the other hand, are long-term and more indirect achievements and effects of the outputs, for example a new structure for certain parts of the system.


Follow-Up Required: There is no follow-up required.

Usual or Expected Outcomes: The outcome will be an analysis of inputs, processes and outcomes, that will help the client to improve certain parts of the system, and to detect possible sources of problems.

How success is evaluated: The process is successful when effects and impacts (see procedures) are conspicuous.


Source: http://www.qaproject.org/methods/ressysmod.html

Derived from: This process derived from the Waterfall Model by Winston Royce.

Comments (1) ( 2.0  avg / 1 ratings)

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  • Logical flow, but needs specific procedures to generate and analyze information of the three phases. A highly skilled facilitator may be able to use these phases as a flow to design specific processes.

    about 2 years ago