Soft Systems Methodology for design process improvement

Bayraktaroğlu, Bengül
Organizations from different business sectors, which are certified by some standardization organizations, are increasingly prioritizing the process improvement to raise their product's quality. The process improvement in these organizations has focused principally on the refinement of existing processes to improve. This thesis study describes the application of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) for engineering design process improvement in an organization. In the concept of thesis study, it will lead to identify problematic situations about the sub process of design process by involving the human, social and cultural factors besides the technical factors. This thesis study includes four case studies of SSM's use to analyze the sub-processes of design process. There are seven stages of SSM and they are applied to the sub-processes of design process. The rich pictures of sub-processes are drawn based on gathered data from semi-structured interviews and then the root definitions are defined by using Customer-Actor-Transformation-Worldview-Owner-Environment (CATWOE) rule. The conceptual models are built for sub-processes and they are compared with real world activities to address the proposed changes. The outcomes of the study will show how the rich pictures, root definitions and conceptual models approaches of SSM can help to identify the problematic situations and address the proposed changes. It also enables to realize the required activities needed to perform the improvement in sub-processes of design process the for the employees, process owners and managers in the organization.


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Citation Formats
B. Bayraktaroğlu, “Soft Systems Methodology for design process improvement,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2018.