Ackoff defines difficulty as:
- Situation is bounded – possible to identify system(s) involved.
- Problem(s) easily identified.
- Possible solutions can be identified.
- Timescales are limited or predictable.
- Limited/known number of stakeholders and groups involved.
Both Hard and Soft systems have a cycle/iterative approach. Hard systems go into maintenance and back to requirements. Soft systems continually analyse problems.
Different views on Hard and Soft systems relationship:
- Quite different & used for different purposes; another view is
- They are on a continuum – commence analysis with Soft systems, after problems have been identified & solutions considered, Hard systems approaches could be implemented.