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Applying System’s Approach

As the name suggests, system’s approach is applicable to solving, streamlining and check listing various components of any issue at hand from picking apples to running conglomerates. Plenty of literature is available on the subject including integrated automated models. However, application often skips comprehension where the system’s approach becomes an end rather than a means to achieve the end. That scares people away.

It is a systematic procedure to identify the main ingredients of the problem, analyse various missions essential (METL – Mission Essential Task Lists) to achieve the task, evolve multiple Terminal Objectives (TOs) for each of the tasks and thereafter evolve enabling and learning objectives (EOs and LOs) for each terminal objective. This process of analysis provides a logical approach to analyse all perspectives of a problem before you begin to solve it.

Initially it takes some time to get used to this systematic evaluation technique but once it is in place – solving the problem systematically becomes a cakewalk – without glossing over the key components of the problem. It, as we said earlier applies to all walks of life.

Let us say you want to train your Perception Management team (Don’t have one?).

First step is to identify your basic perception management problem – what are those key issues that need to be addressed to project your organisation. They decide the METL – draw out a list viz existing perceptions about your brand, the gaps in perceptions and what perceptions do you want to commit to market’s memory. Is your team equipped and are there adequate creatives and branding experts available. If not do you intend hiring or outsourcing and so on till you arrive at the desired list

Having drawn up the METL in detail flowchart each of the Terminal Objective that would result in your Mission of good branding achieved in relation to your existing brand image in the market. These could be related to products, people, tools or approaches with suitable themes.Identify the training needs for each as you go along.

Each TO will have a few EOs and LOs which will enable you to achieve the TO effortlessly and enable wide based learning without missing out on any detail. This tree gives an overview of each step from the intent to the EO and LO.

The Military uses it effectively

Now based on this tree, draw out the gaps in information, people, resources and approaches to develop suitable themes to meet with the METL requirements. The training parameters, tools, methods and syllabi can now be orchestrated to train the team. Combine the e learning module and you save time on class room training. QED.

Initially you may take some time to start getting used to this problem solving system. But with practice it will become an approach you wouldn’t want to do with out. While the topic is vast, it’s application overtime can become innate, helping you approach daily problems systematically. Started in the armed forces to meet the training needs termed SAT, the system, as we said earlier can be matured for every human activity.

CWG 2010 would have been a different story had SA been applied to it on nomination of Delhi as the venue. Well may be next time!