Premium Essay

Applying System Thinking

In: Business and Management

Submitted By MadHatter220
Words 733
Pages 3
Applying System Thinking to Customer Service Operations

Amber Johnson

Kaplan University

Introduction

Everywhere you turn, there are systems. Each system serves a specific purpose.
Systems ensure that a certain goal is carried out to its maximum potential. Within an organization there are smaller systems implanted into the larger system. A customer service operation has many smaller systems working together to achieve a common goal. At United Healthcare International, the customer service operation system is multifaceted and driven to produce excellence.
Customer Service Operating System
When building a business unit, one must utilize system thinking. System thinking, “helps us anticipate the unintended consequences of our actions, find the highest leverage points for focusing our energy and resources, discover underlying causes that drive our own and others’ behavior and make better decisions” (Hutchens, 2001, p59). Based upon the description of system thinking, it would seem that most organizations would employ the system thinking methodology. This way of thinking, however, requires recognizing all of the interactive working parts of the business unit, which can prove to be a difficult task. In the customer service operations business unit at United Healthcare International, there are certainly smaller engaging working parts within the larger business unit, thus making it a system. In order to qualify as a system there has to be a clear purpose. This system’s purpose is to provide excellent customer service to its members, providers and clients.
Components of the Customer Service Operating System
There are a few components to the Customer Service Operating system. First and far most, there must be callers for the customer service representatives to speak with. The Sales team drives the callers; more business they sell, the more...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Systems Thinking

...Running  Head:    Systems  Thinking     1   Systems Thinking Management Process Systems  Thinking             2   Table of Contents Introduction to Systems Thinking Reflections on readings Applying SIMILAR to an area needing improvement Conclusions Systems  Thinking             3   Systems thinking is a very new concept to me. It is an outstanding approach with a global view of the entire system and not viewing each department as a separate entity thus preventing the siloed effect. First and foremost, I think it is critical to define just exactly what constitutes a system. According the Dr. Deming’s book, a system is defined as “a series of functions or activities within and organization that work together for the aim of the organization” (Latzko, 1995, p. 35). I at first struggled with the systems concept. Using this approach all components of the system gain and not at a cost to another. With that definition in mind we can apply this thinking to any organization or process. I love the analogy Dr. Deming used by looking at an orchestra as a perfect system. My translation of this analogy is that the sum is greater than the parts. The combined efforts of each member of the orchestra are an outstanding product, beautiful music, regardless of the instrument played. All the orchestra members have the same common purpose (Dr. Deming’s 1st point for management). Thus,......

Words: 1640 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Fgfgfnfg

... Pueblo C Some Suggestions for Further Diffusion of Work System Method Ideas in Systems Analysis and Design Doncho Petkov. petkovd@easternct.edu Department of Business Administration, Eastern Connecticut State University, CT, USA Ram B Misra misrar@mail.montclair.edu Department of Management and Information Systems, Montclair State University, NJ, USA Olga Petkova petkovao@ccsu.edu Department of MIS, Central Connecticut State University, CT, USA Abstract The Work System Method by Steven Alter has a significant potential for improving requirements definition in information systems development. Previous publications on the Work System Method and also on Design Science concepts and their relevance for Systems Analysis and Design are reviewed. We suggest some directions for further work on the diffusion of work system method ideas in systems analysis and design organized along the conceptual framework for IS research by Hevner, March, Park and Ram. Keywords: systems development, work system method, systems analysis and design. 1. INTRODUCTION Hevner et al (2004) presented seminal directions for work in design science within the Information Systems field. These lead subsequently to an increased interest in research in Systems Analysis and Design (SA&D) (see Bajaj et al., 2005; Iivari et al., 2005 and Harris et al., 2006). The importance of Systems Analysis and Design for any program of study in information systems and, we may add, to the field of IS development is well......

Words: 5564 - Pages: 23

Premium Essay

Change and Culture Case Study

...workforce and redesign specific departments within the system. A redesign of the patient care delivery system within an organization can result from many issues such as the continued increase in health care costs, patient safety or quality concerns, or workforce shortages. This paper will discuss how an organization begins the process of job redesign, and what work processes and performance expectations must be considered once the design is implemented. It will identify the steps and structures that the organization will put in place to make it a true learning organization that will encourage the staff to adapt and excel in spite of the changes. Moreover, it will talk about how to plan and control intra- and inter-organizational communications that must occur to implement the job design changes. Lastly, how management can ensure individual job satisfaction for this position. The process of job redesign begins with conducting a system analysis. A system analysis provides an understanding of how the system works and the different elements in the system interact. In the healthcare system, this analysis helps to improve the interface between different components or personnel of that system in order to enhance the functioning of each individual component within the total organization. There are ten steps in considering the process of a job redesign (Henrisken, Battles, Marks, 2008). The first step is to decide which to decide which system would be the subject of the redesign as......

Words: 1182 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Finance

...Introduction 66xxx This report uses management science models as a method of solving management issue in Economic Development Initiatives Ltd, a research and consultancy Company located in High Wycombe. The issue identified within the company will be analysed in terms of models in order to support decision-making from a qualitative perspective. The most appropriate method which can be used to solve the issue in EDI will be subsequently identified in EDI while taking into account its limitations. Finally, the systems implications with relevance to the model used and recommendations made will be discussed. Company background Economic Development Initiatives (EDI) is a globally focussed consultancy, research and training company currently operating in two countries; United Kingdom and Tanzania. The UK company is also actively involved in the development of the mobile survey software ‘Surveybe’ which meets the needs of researchers in all fields while its sister company specialises in data collection for clients. EDI has a niche in the market and works with clients such as the World Bank, Millennium Challenge Corporation and national governments. Currently the UK Company employs 10 people while the Tanzanian company employs over 75 members (Surveybe, 2013). Problematic situation Ragsdale (2008) state that a problem arises when a gap or disparity exists between the present situation and some desired state of affairs. The author also points out to the Key elements of...

Words: 4440 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay

System Thinking

...Systems Thinking: Managing Chaos and Complexity This Page Intentionally Left Blank Systems Thinking: Managing Chaos and Complexity A Platform for Designing Business Architecture SECOND EDITION Jamshid Gharajedaghi AMSTERDAM • BOSTON • HEIDELBERG • LONDON NEW YORK • OXFORD • PARIS • SAN DIEGO SAN FRANCISCO • SINGAPORE • SYDNEY • TOKYO Butterworth-Heinemann is an imprint of Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann is an imprint of Elsevier 30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803, USA 525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, California 92101-4495, USA 84 Theobald's Road, London WC1X 8RR, UK This book is printed on acid-free paper. Copyright © 2006, Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Permissions may be sought directly from Elsevier’s Science & Technology Rights Department in Oxford, UK: phone: (+44) 1865 843830, fax: (+44) 1865 853333, E-mail: permissions@elsevier.com. You may also complete your request on-line via the Elsevier homepage (http:/ /elsevier.com), by selecting “Support & Contact” then “Copyright and Permission” and then “Obtaining Permissions.” Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Gharajedaghi, Jamshid. Systems thinking : managing chaos and complexity : a platform for designing business......

Words: 116913 - Pages: 468

Premium Essay

Systems Thinking and Change Management Evaluation

...Systems Thinking and Change Management Evaluation Systems thinking is a process that incorporates the crucial elements of strategic planning, management and leadership development, team building, and other principles of organizational change in the effort to create positive change within an organization. The first component of this discussion evaluates systems thinking and the application and limitations of systems logic as essential considerations in managerial decision making. Systems thinking is also a technique that manages a process as a whole while understanding that individual pieces of the process can cause an impact. Systems thinking applies a linkage strategy that analyzes interactions among elements comprising a system. It takes into account that large systems can be negatively affected by small changes in another geographically or time separated areas. This view of process management is ideal for any organization that has more than a very few processes and personnel. Communication is the method within systems thinking that defeats negative affects. Application and Limitations A systems approach can be seen in the following real world-example. Their outstanding success in systems thinking makes Wal-Mart’s an excellent comparison system for corroborating systems thinking examples for this IT project’s discussion. Wal-Mart has taken forecasting to the highest level by using a systems thinking electronic database (Aquilano, Chase, and Jacobs, p. 510, 2006). The......

Words: 2390 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Needs

...The prediction of instances of information uses; 3. The control and thereby improvement of the utilization of information manipulation of essentials conditions. A system is a set of interrelated but separate parts working towards a common purpose. The arrangement must be orderly and there must be proper communication facilitating interaction between the elements and finally this interaction should lead to achieve a common goal. System approach to management views the organization as a unified, purposeful system composed of interrelated parts. This approach also gives the manager to see the organization as a whole and as a part of the larger external environment. System oriented manager would make decisions only after they have identified impact of these decisions on all other departments and the entire organization. They must intertwine their department with the total organization and communicate with all other departments, employees and with each other. * Characteristics: Systems have structure, defined by parts and their composition; * Systems have behavior, which involves inputs, processing and outputs of material, energy or information; * Systems have interconnectivity : the various parts of a system have functional as well as structural relationships between each other. * System(s) have by itself function(s) or group of functions . * Advantages: It aims at meaningful analysis of organizations and their management. * It facilitates the...

Words: 330 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Information Systems

...Chapter 1 Information Systems backbone Why is Information systems considered as company’s background? This section of report is focused towards the primary goal of the research i.e. Why is information systems considered as a backbone of any organization. Secondary data is used to prove the primary aim of report. Information systems perform three vital roles in any type of organization: 1. Support business operations 2. Support managerial decision making 3. Support strategic competitive advantage Ref: http://csob.berry.edu/faculty/lleblanc//newpage31.htm How information system is integrated in company Figure taken from Kristin Wischow, Rob Ward, Ryan Odell, David Sjoquist, Rahul Shah() Systems and Information Systems Cited from (http://homepages.wmich.edu/~r4ward/Systems%20and%20Information%20Systems%20Project.htm) On Wall-mart store All medium to large organisations depend on Information technology for their continued survival. Consider organisations like British Gas, British Telecom, the Power and Water companies having to manually calculate, millions of customer bills every month or quarter! Clearly the clerical effort involved would make it difficult if not impossible for the organisation to make a profit. Similar arguments apply to many other organisations such as the high street banks, central and local government. A recent article in the Daily Telegraph IT supplement suggested that many large organisations could last no longer than 24 hours without IT...

Words: 1335 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Unit 3

...There are four different contemporary approaches to management. These are known as: sociotechnical system, quantitative management, systems theory, and organizational behavior. The sociotechnical system approach to management recognizes the intricate and complex relationship between human and technology in workplaces. Sociotechnical system also is a term used for reference between humans in the workplace and society’s complex infrastructures. The term sociotechnical systems was first used in the World War 2 era by Eric Trist, Ken Bamforth, and Fred Emery. Sociotechnical theory is based on two facts. The first is that the interaction of social and technical factors creates the conditions for organizational performance whether successful or unsuccessful. This interaction consists partly of linear “cause and effect” relationships and partly from “non-linear”, complex, even unpredictable relationships. Whether designed or not, both types of interaction occur when socio and technical elements are put to work. The second of the two main principles is that the optimization of each aspect (socio or technical) tends to not only increase the quantity of unpredictable, “un-designed” relationships but those relationships that are injurious to the systems performance. Sociotechnical theory is about joint optimization meaning the theory designs the social system and technical system so that they collaborate and work smoothly together. Sociotechnical theory proposes a number of different......

Words: 645 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

System Thinking

...Organizations with functional and hierarchical structure may operate within a closed mechanistic structure with top-down management. Organizations striving to create relevance and competitive advantages may adopt more adaptive, flexible, interdependence and open management strategies. Organizational systems vary and can be simple or complicated; complex or chaotic; and linear or nonlinear. System dynamics in its broadest sense seeks to provide information and knowledge of how relationships influence the behavior of the system (parts and whole) over time. Designing, and managing systems in an ever-changing environment can present leaders with challenges as well as opportunities. Ackoff and Gharajedaghi (1996) defined a system as “a whole defined by one or more functions, which consists of two or more essential parts” (p.13). Systems Theory, Systems Analysis and Systems Thinking examines input, processes, outputs and outcomes, with ongoing feedback. Social systems (groups, supply and demand, friendship, etc.) range from very simple to very complex. Complex systems, are comprised of numerous subsystems are arranged in hierarchies, and integrated to accomplish the overall goal of the overall system. Internal dynamics and effectiveness The structure of an organization macro (focus on larger social structural challenges) or micro (focus on everyday challenges) can have a direct effect on company productivity and effectiveness. Kilduff and Brass (2010) suggest at the macro......

Words: 1202 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Balaning the System

...2015 Balancing The Justice System Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General This page is intentionally blank. Introduction The justice system is under increasing pressure from several sources. We are faced with a unique opportunity in responding to that pressure. We can continue to respond as individual program areas and Divisions within the Ministry, focused on the narrow legislative and constitutional sources of our respective authority and duties, or we can create a new framework and process that will bring a systematic and integrated approach to the administration of justice, and balance to the allocation of resources within that system. Such an approach would be centered on the Ministry Vision - to create the most innovative “The mission of the Ministry of and accessible citizen-centred justice system in Canada. Justice and Solicitor General is to ensure Albertans have safe The historical development of the role of the Attorney General communities and an accessible, and Justice Department illustrate the ad hoc development of effective and innovative justice the justice system. From its inception in 1905, the scope of the system. We accomplish this by both the office of the Attorney General and the Justice working with partners to provide a Department have evolved over time as new duties and continuum of services to support responsibilities have been added. This expansion has not been Albertans and the Government of planned or......

Words: 3023 - Pages: 13

Free Essay

Week 1

...To me a manager is a motivator, someone who makes the team want to achieve anything in any way possible, through any means.  The people have to be self-motivated, but a good manager can make anyone have that motivation.     A manager helps break down goals to his/her team and makes very precise and well thought out actions to get his team there.  After the many readings I learned that the ideas we have of management with top down thinking is wrong and we should be doing outside in thinking.  Linda Hill's "leading from behind" didn’t make sense to me because I always have believed that a leader should be in front of their team and leading them head first into battle or sales.  But, after watching the video I understood what she meant that a leader needs to let his team step forward and flourish on their own, and if he if is in the front they will never step up because the leader has already stepped up for them. What I understood from Seddon’s basic argument is that a manager’s roll is like managing a system in order to reach an organizations goal. Seddon’s six steps helped show that everything we know to be right, when broken down is wrong.  The one that stood out is with many people you have more brain power and that is not always a good thing, it all depends on the type of work those brains are being put forward to do.  So, if your mind is not in the right place it doesn’t matter how much you know.   From the video "Recognizing the role of managers" she talks about......

Words: 1086 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

System Thinking Intro

...Systems Thinking and Tools Darthula Diane Goetz MOL504A Systems Thinking and the Learning Organization Dr. Roger Martin Warner Pacific College August 31, 2012 System Thinking and Linear Thinking Systems Thinking is a process of viewing the entire entity and the paths or connections that allow each part of the entity or process connecting to the whole to be followed and analyzed as each decision affects the whole scheme of the social system/process or organization. This process of thought and understanding is different from the traditional process in that it no longer focuses on the individual piece or person, but the dynamics of the entire organization as the individual piece or person interacts and travels through the system. A system can be anything or any process. As stated by Donella Meadows in Thinking in Systems “words and sentences must, by necessity, come only one at a time in a linear, logical order. Systems happen all at once.” (Meadows, 2008, p. 5). The system being studied may be human or non-human. The concept of System Thinking is not the what is being studied but the how that something interacts with all the various other whats within the entire system. System thinking will frequently allow the individual studying any situation or process to come up with entirely different conclusions than when the same situation or process is studied using the traditional analysis of linear thinking which focuses on tracing a direct path to cause and......

Words: 1501 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Charles Kettering, the Famed Us Electrical Engineer and Inventor Said “a Problem Well-Stated Is Half-Solved.” One of the Key Capabilities in Consulting Is to Develop a Good Understanding of the Problem Situation from a

...Charles Kettering, the famed US electrical engineer and inventor said “A problem well-stated is half-solved.” One of the key capabilities in Consulting is to develop a good understanding of the problem situation from a number of different perspectives. This stage in the consulting process is known as ‘problem structuring’. The capabilities in Consulting have no limits with extraordinary growth in which is capable to handle and bring solutions for all business problems. Consulting is currently not well defined; however, it may refer to as giving advice to companies provided by trained professionals who help managers solve operational and strategic problems through the use of their knowledge and systematic analysis of facts and experience. Many specialised practitioners from all industry sectors often refer to themselves as ‘consultants’, in which roles they share knowledge and proffer advice to clients. The teaching of consulting begins its teaching by introducing the art and science of consulting. The reason being is that when coming up with any problems within a business, everything can be approached scientifically and everything can become art (Vidal R. 2006). The message given here believes to indicate that in complex situations to problem solving, it is advisable to use both the scientific and artistic attitudes for a more satisfying result to achieve with the risk of failure been minimized, all the participants been empowered and everybody to have given the......

Words: 3006 - Pages: 13

Free Essay

Soft System Methodology

...Soft Systems Methodology A report by Dale Couprie Alan Goodbrand Bin Li David Zhu Department of Computer Science University of Calgary Table of Contents. Abstract. Introduction Map Stage 1. Problem situation unstructured. Stage 2. Problem Situation expressed. Rich Pictures Illustration of Stage 1 and Stage 2 as a whole in SSM Pitfalls that must be avoided. Stage 3: Naming of Relevant Systems Root Definitions CATWOE Stage 4: Conceptual Models Systems Thinking Formal Systems Model Monitoring a System Stage 5: Comparing Conceptual Models with Reality Using Conceptual Models as a Base for Ordered Questioning Comparing History with Model Prediction General Overall Comparison Model Overlay Stages 6 and 7. Implementing Feasible and Desirable Changes Case Study - Rethinking a Service Function in the Shell Group Stages 1 and 2 Stage 3: Naming of Relevant Systems Stage 4: Conceptual Models Stage 5: Comparing Conceptual Models with Reality Stages 6 and 7. Implementing Feasible and Desirable Changes Observations and Conclusions Exercise References Figures. Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5. Figure 6. Soft Systems Methodology map. Transformation process for producing Rich Picture. The routing of Systems Thinking. Shell's MF Rich Picture. Shell's MF world view of training. Shell's MF training conceptual model. Tables. Table 1. One to one transformations involving different world views. Table 2. Shell's Comparison with reality. Abstract This document deals......

Words: 6553 - Pages: 27