An Invitation to Dinner with the Family of Systems Disciplines
Systems are truly a family affair. As the concept of systems becomes more significant in the way we think and solve problems, it is increasingly apparent that there are several disciplines, which “specialize” in the study and design of systems. Each discipline views systems from its own perspective, which is related to its purpose and reason for existence. Just as family members gathered for dinner approach the topics of conversation differently given their interests and backgrounds, the systems disciplines consider aspects of systems concepts differently, and use them in different ways. Each of them individually and all of them together have things to offer us in advancing our knowledge and practice of thinking about systems.
Understanding the many facets and perspectives in considering systems will help today’s systems engineers as we wrangle complexity, confront wicked problems, and craft innovative answers to problems that span the socio-technical world. It is worthwhile to consider the variety of systems disciplines and what they have to offer.