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Systems Thinking

A systems mindset

With systems thinking, designers, engineers and managers learn how parts interact, not how they perform independently. If changes are made within one part of the system, this may affect other parts. These changes can cause new problems that are worse than those addressed initially. Therefore systems thinking is used to consider the whole system when designing or improving a whole system, or a part of the system.

Leijenaar Solutions uses a systems mindset for systems architecting, mechatronic design, problem solving, strategy development and constraints management.

Constraint Management

The throughput of a system is limited by its constraint. This is the starting point of the ‘Theory of Constraints’ originally developed by a physician, Dr. Eli Goldratt. It is a very rich and useful framework not only for management, but on many subjects in life and work. It helps to focus on what should be done. Leijenaar Solutions uses tools from TOC for strategy development, problem solving, conflict resolution and project management.

The Four Pillars form the TOC mindset to think clearly:

1. Overcome the perception of reality as complex: Every situation is simple.

2. Avoid blaming – People are good: Every conflict can be removed.

3. Don’t accept conflicts as given: There is always a win-win solution.

4. Don’t think that you know: Every situation can be substantially improved.

Mechatronic Systems Design

The starting point for the mechatronic system designer are the functional requirements for the system. For an optimal concept solution, "shopping" is done in various physical domains and subject matter knowledge. Simple models are used to evaluate and optimize the behavior of a system. Through technical specifications, specialists are engaged to engineer the sub-tasks within their own technical domain. The mechatronic system designer ensures consistency in the elaboration of the various components and monitors the integration of the parts to the desired system behavior.

Leijenaar Solutions is experienced in both the mechatronic design approach and in the (precision) mechanical domain.

Systems Architecture

The Systems Architect translates the requirements of the many stakeholders into a blueprint of a multi-disciplinary system/product that meets the needs of the stakeholders. For this the SA needs to develop a vision. This is an iterative process of improving insights based on learning. The focus of the SA is to create a working system by supplying overviews and balancing and guarding the integrity of the system.

Systems architecture is part of the systems engineering process. The SA has more focus on the solution that addresses the user and business needs. The systems engineer pays more attention to the development process, like requirements engineering, formal verification, risk management and documentation.

Leijenaar Solutions is experienced in systems architecture and systems engineering and combines this with Rapid Learning Cycles, Logical Thinking Processes and Critical Chain Project Management where necessary in the program phase.

Design Thinking

Design Thinking is a user centric and systematic problem solving process, where you explore the problem and the solution. It is an iterative process to solve and explore intangible problems. This means you jump in, feel around (fail) until you find it (succeed). In a way, it is a series of failures designed to learn in order to create a solution and fits well with the Rapid Learning Cycle framework.

A truly innovative product must be desirable, technical feasible and commercially viable. Great products are the result of a solution that solves a problem. The money is earned when the emotional needs are met best.

Where applicable, Leijenaar Solutions uses Design Thinking tools and philosophy.