The aim of this is to illustrate the relationship among the subsystems. These identify how all elements are related and in what sequence. These models are known as action research models. Again, the difference between this approach and the OR process is that there is a concerted attempt for a broader outlook.
Rather than look for an explicit target or decision, this approach leans towards a guide of direction in which an organisation may move. Stage 5 starts to compare the model with reality. The models will help people understand the problem situation. Its purpose is to help people challenge assumptions and search for ways to employ new ideas as actions for improvement. Stages 5 and 6 of the Kwak and DeLurgio model require the evaluation of results and the implementation of the model. If at stage 5 the results are unacceptable, the process may well return to stage 1 and start again.
This is a consequence of both the need to produce an optimum solution and its singular direction. In stage 6 of the soft system approach, the extent to which possible changes are feasible is identified. The two criteria that are judged are systematic desirability and cultural feasibility. This results in solutions being judged both on their technical merits and how people will embrace them. The final stage 7 is the action taking stage. The action will then result in a new situation and the action research cycle will begin again.
Stage 7 of the hard systems approach is similar in that it involves the implementation of the solution. However, the model perceives this as “the finish line” with no recognition toward the need to explore the need to consider the new situation. It implies that if the process has been worked through in its set manner, there should be a correct solution to the problem. Case Study Manchester Airport Terminal Two Baggage System.
Introduction As the airport has increased its throughput of passengers, it has become increasingly aware of the persistent failure of the existing baggage system in Terminal Two to meet the increased demand. Using soft systems problem solving techniques, I will discuss the approach that the airport could take to improve the current situation Stage 1 and 2 Acknowledge and find out about the situation. Although the Terminal was only completed in 1993, it was clear to everyone at the airport that the baggage system was not up to the job. This created a major situation for various groups at the airport. Not only were the management responsible for the system concerned about its` performance, but there were other groups who were affected. The list of stakeholders can be identified as follows:- – Manchester Airport Engineering (responsible for maintenance) – Manchester Airport Customer Services Managers (responsible for airport operation) – Manchester Airport Staff (baggage handlers, airfield staff etc day to day work is affected.) – Engineering Contractor (who installed the system) – Airlines (The main users of the system) – Regulatory Bodies (Legislative bodies that award the Airport its certification and status) – Passengers (The users of the airport) – Manchester Airport Security Staff – Manchester Airport Business Partners (caterers, retail, car parks, handling agents etc.
who provide service to airport users) All of these groups of people will have a differing view on the way that the problem situation is affecting them. The bringing together of these “world views” will assist in understanding the value system associated with the situation. I would expect that some of the stakeholders view the situation as an opportunity. Some of the catering and retail concerns would see a benefit in having passengers spending longer periods in the Terminal. Stage 3 – Forming Root Definitions The major relationship between the stakeholders and their systems of operation is that they are working in a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year environment together. In certain respects, their survival is inter-dependant.
If the baggage system is not performing as desired, the other interests will not be able to meet their objectives. The manager of the system will be given ownership of the situation and any change that will take place. It will be his responsibility to gather views and debate the alternative processes that could take place to enable improvement of the system. The major consideration will be how the operation of the airport can be maintained while the improvements to the system are implemented.
Stage 4 Building Conceptual Models It is the responsibility of all the stakeholders to consider what they believe are the problems that can be addressed with the system. The aim of this stage is to question and encourage the different parties to propose improvements that could be made. Emphasis must be placed on creativity and no ideas should be suppressed. The owner of the process must then analyse the ideas, sort them into simple categories and feed them back to all the stakeholders again for further consideration. The information can then be analysed by all the stakeholders and this in turn may ignite a new idea that the group could consider.
At the end of this stage the owner of the process should be able to identify several improvement proposals that have been mutually accepted by the group. This process enables stakeholders to understand one another’s views and values they place on the system. Stage 5 – Comparing ideas with reality Following the creative thinking process, it is at this point that consideration is given to how realistic the ideas for improvement are. The perceived constraints that the team believes it is working around have to be challenged and discussions should centre on how the new ideas may be employed. Stage 6 – Defining Changes It is only at this stage that the feasibility of the possible alternatives for changing the system can be determined.
The two criteria that they must be based upon are systematic desirability and cultural acceptability. The systematic desirability examines the technical merits of the proposed accommodations and, in this case, will be the basis of for the greatest weighting of the selection. For example, the group will have constraints on the hall that the baggage system operates within and proposals for expansion of the existing system may be unachievable. The cultural acceptability of the ideas may also need consideration. If one of the proposed improvements involves a change in the level of manual handling of baggage, this could have an adverse effect to moral of the employees.
Stage 7 – Taking Action The implementation of the recommendations that were both acceptable and feasible to all requires action that is guided by the new awareness generated by the learning process that has been undertaken. The aim is that, as and when the improvements are undertaken, a new situation occurs and the cycle should begin again. The group, with all the stakeholders represented, must continue to discuss and propose now ideas for consideration with a goal to refine the system. Bibliography References  N.K. Kwak and S. A.
DeLurgio, Quantitative Models for Business Decisions (North Sciatuate, Mass. U.S.A; Duxbury Press, 1980)  J. Rosenhead, Rational Analysis for a Problematic World (Chichester, England ; John Wiley and Sons, 1989)  S. Cavaleri and K. Obloj, Management Systems (K Wadsworth,1993).