Hard Systems Model of Change (HSMC) – based on methods from systems engineering (SE), operational research (OR) and project management (PM).
With HSMC, easier to determine objectives, find options for action and test them against criteria.
HSMC has three phases:
1) Description

  • Description of current system. Explain why change is required. Described in words, diagrams etc.
  • Objectives (factors largely under control) identified. Associated constraints (factors with little organisational control) noted. Objectives consistent with themes from first stage arranged into hierarchy. Constraints listed as either those that can’t be broken or those that can be modified.
  • Identify performance measures – provide answer as to how objectives can be met,

2) Options

  • Generation of options. Means to achieve objectives determined & list of related options drawn up.
  • Editing & selecting of best options.
  • Best options chosen and described in more detail.
  • Chosen options evaluated against criteria.

3) Implementation

  • Three ways to implement change:
    1. pilot studies
      • safest. shows defects before old system decommissioned.
    2. parallel running
      • new and old system run side-by-side. ensure new system is reliable before old system decommissioned.
    3. big bang
      • quickest but highest risk.
  • May be possible to blend any of three implementation methods.

HSMC analysis better at dealing with, as known in business, situations of hard complexity – used as starting point of analysis of more complex situations.

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