Russel Hackoff - What is a system

What is a System

A whole that consists of parts, each of which can affect its behaviour or properties.

Each part of the system, when it affects the system, is dependant for its affect on some other part.

Parts are interdependent!

No part of the system, or collection of parts of a system, has an independence affect on it.

The essential or defining properties of any system, are properties of the whole that none of its parts have.

When a system is taken apart it looses its essential properties.

A system is not the sum of the behaviour of its parts, its the product of their interactions.

If we have a system of improvement that directed at improving the parts taken separately, you can be absolutely sure that the performance of the whole will NOT be improved

How to design a system

Define the system we are about to create

Define what type of properties you would like the system to have

Produce an overall design of the system

Produce parts to fit into the design of the system

Always focus on improving the design of the system, since if the system is improved, so will its parts