An SSM-TRIZ Methodology for Business Problem Structuring

2019-05-14T19:21:55Z (GMT) by Ibukun Phillips
Checkland developed Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) to address problem situations from a systems perspective; however, SSM needs to be extended with other methods to find superior solutions that overcome the need for a compromise or trade-off between conflicting or contradictory elements. This thesis extends Checkland’s SSM approach to resolve problems with conflicting or contradictory elements. This work integrates the powerful benefits of TRIZ-based analysis into SSM and provides a means for systemic resolution of business problems with conflicting sub-system elements. Furthermore, this study acknowledges that soft problems can have conflicting relationships among their elements, compares the strengths and weaknesses of SSM and TRIZ in problem structuring, and presents a collaborative SSM-TRIZ approach for problem structuring. Finally, this thesis applies the joint methodology to examine the business problem of customer needs assessment for a certain market segment of INCOSE’s planned Professional Development initiative. Although SSM-TRIZ helps structure problems with opposing requirements, it does not always provide definitive, prescriptive solution implementations for technical and business issues. Hence, hard thinking approaches cannot be discarded in practice after implementing SSM-TRIZ. Text mining was selected for providing a final and definite solution to the problem situation of interest.