Applying VSM, SSM, and SAST for problem-structuring and problem-solving in health systems – Chowdhury (2021)

Rajneesh Chowdhury, Ph.D.

Happy to share my latest research paper in the Systemist (the official journal of the UK Systems Society), titled, “Applying VSM, SSM, and SAST for problem-structuring and problem-solving in health systems”. (Cover date Winter, 2021).ABSTRACTSystems thinking can lend a powerful perspective for problem-structuring and problem-solving in health systems. They can serve to articulate assumptions rooted in mental models and individual values and help in facilitating convergence of viewpoints between differing stakeholders in an inclusive and participative manner. This paper presents a case-study where three systems methodologies – VSM, SSM and SAST – were used sequentially in the UK NHS to bring about value-based consensus between managers and clinicians overcoming legacy differences. The discussions highlight the contribution systems methodologies can make in unearthing causes of organisational dissonance, misaligned priorities, and deep-rooted conflict, and how the same can be resolved by working towards a higher-order stakeholder convergence through application of certain methodologies creatively and flexibly. Discussions presented emphasise on the importance of problem-structuring as an essential step before problem-solving. It is also argued that the former needs to flow through an intervention as an iterative process and that problem-structuring should not be regarded as a one-time activity. Learnings presented in this paper can be of equal value for systems and healthcare researchers and practitioners. The intervention can be located within the ambit of Holistic Flexibility, a recently introduced conceptual lens in systems thinking.

(3) Post | LinkedIn