Before I go into the "How to do a Systems Diagram", I would like to convey to you an understanding of what a system is. This explanation is vital for a great understanding of ANY system, be it a political, a Quality Management, a financial system or otherwise.
There are four main characteristics of a system that help our understanding. Please take particular note of these as they are very important:
I find this type of diagram to be extremely useful when trying to assess any particular situation. As with many of the other problem solving or concept mapping techniques, it enables you to give a good overview that you can communicate quickly.
In particular, I have frequently used the concepts given in the definition of what a system is. Think of a system as being a balanced state that changes completely if one of the components leave that system.
This diagram can really help you evaluate what you are dealing with. At a very minimum you will develop a very sophisticated overview of any system which will be easily understood by all.
This method shows the components of a system and its surroundings at any one particular time, like a snapshot.
Some of the components can be grouped into subsystems or may have some overlapping content as shown in the diagram.
By virtue of the diagram, you can structure a situation and communicate to others better, what the system entails.
Here is the basic concept:
1. The circles or “blobs” outlines a boundary separating this from other components or similar elements within the system.
2. Words are used to give each element or component a title.
3. The circles or “blobs” outside the system represent elements or components of the environment in which the system exists.
4. Within the system, you can have subsystems which are sets of components that belong together or function together to achieve some purpose or provide some means to an end.
5. The circles or “blobs” may overlap if there is some common ground between these elements or components. However, use these overlaps sparingly as they are likely to reduce the clarity of your Diagram.