Decked with SWOT analyses, balanced scorecards, and lengthy documents, mainstream planning boasts impressive metrics and power tools to support decision-making, policy-making, or strategy analysis. Nevertheless, few stakeholders and consultants have a confident grasp of ‘what is going on’ beneath the slick surface of statistics, indicators, and indices — but can they share that without pomp and buzzwords? The panorama is at least curious, if not alarming.
Systems Planning℠ is a curated cooperative quest for the art of efficiency™ with regard to human activities and constructs (e.g. plans, their preparation, and respective systems), materialising as a holistic conduct platform™ that prizes and promotes shared understanding as well as stakeholder competences.
Associated activities and documents are of the highest standard, with relevance to research, education, and/ or praxis.
Systems Planning℠ has three objects of interest — i.e. explicit and realistic mental models representing complementary viewpoints in planning problems, which make dynamic complexity easy to grasp — namely: the system, the process, and the plan (or policy, or strategy). The connection with reality is maintained through case studies.
Concept— a set of interacting elements, forming a whole Examples— a city, state, enterprise, or ‘situation’ Diagrams— ‘element-relationship’ (e.g. RBP, HBS)
Concept— a sequence of actions and states Examples— an operation, project, or ‘activity’ Diagrams— ‘action-state’ (e.g. CPD, EPD, PPD)
Concept— a justified proposal for action Examples— a plan, policy, strategy, or ‘action’ or ‘measure’ Diagrams— ‘concern-intent-action-outcome’ (e.g. DCD)
The unique brand of Systems Planning℠ is largely shaped by innovation, so much in its preparation as in its applications.
All of this is done by staying close to people — e.g. their interests, aspirations, will, and reasoning.
Structure— ‘how things are put together’ Function— ‘how things work’ Form— ‘how things look like’
Content— coordinated set of disclosed-reasoning methods Examples— Decision Model Analysis™, Efficiency Assessment™ Suitability— ‘high-level’ planning tasks/ methods
Content— coordinated set of disclosed-reasoning techniques Examples— Reverse Blueprints™, Extended Process Diagrams™ Suitability— ‘low-level’ planning tasks/ techniques
Systems Planning℠ is making a difference in advancing the state of the world — popularly referred to as ‘impact’ or ‘influence’ — by being appropriately different.
The ‘way it works’ is laid out in the masterplan, while references to the more visible elements — i.e. effort and outcomes — can be found in the track record.
Despite their infiltration into academic practice and their consequent popularity, metrics (e.g. bibliometrics, scientometrics, or even ‘performance’ and ‘productivity’) reduce science, knowledge, and the associated human effort to objects of measurement and calculation, so they are dissociated from Systems Planning℠ as demeaning, distracting, and discouraging.