Soft systems methodology – Essay Example

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Analysis of Soft System Methodology in Relation to Construction Projects Content Analysis of the Soft Systems Methodology in Construction Projects. .... .... .... .... .... ..3 Merits of Soft Systems Methodology in Construction Projects. .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... 3 Demerits of the Soft Systems Methodology in Construction Projects. .... .... .... .... .... ..5 Application of SSM in Construction Project Risk Management. .... .... .... .... .... .... .... ..5 Reasons for the Use of SSM in Construction Project Risk Management. .... .... .... .... .6 Methodology of SSM in Construction Project Risk Management. .... .... .... .... .... .... .... 7 Limitations of SSM and Need to use Hard Systems. .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .8 References. .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .10 Analysis of the Soft Systems Methodology in Construction Projects Construction projects are complex processes that incorporate many skills, materials, and different operations (Sears et al, 2008).

There is therefore a need for numerous skills and techniques to be put together to ensure the best results are attained, not only for the contractors but numerous stakeholders involved in the project. Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) seeks to inquire about the perceptions and preferences of different stakeholders in a given construction project (Andrews, 2000). In other words, SSM is a method of giving some kind of legitimacy to a project by trying to understand the desires and needs of various people who affect or are affected by the construction project at hand. SSM tries to investigate complex issues and problems that are not well defined on the basis of numerous stakeholder views and demands and upgrade the knowledge about a project and integrate them in the project (Checkland, 1999). Basically, SSM is a system of investigating and understanding the environment within which a construction project will be undertaken.

It updates the knowledge of the project managers and define the root definitions of the relevant system. Smith et al (2006) state that SSM compares the desires and expectations of Customers, Actors, Transformation Process, Weltansschauung (World View), Owners and Environmental Constraints (CATWOE) involved in a given project to ensure that the construction project satisfies all the needs of these relevant stakeholders. Information is solicited from the various stakeholders through questionnaires or through external consultants.

References

Andrews, Charles (2000) “Restoring Legitimacy to The Systems Approach” IEEE Technology & Society 19(4) 38 – 44.

Checkland, Peter (1999) Systems Thinking: Systems Practice Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Cohen, Eli (2005) Where Parallels Intersect Informing Science Publishing.

Lambeck Richard & Eschemuller John (2008) Urban Construction Project Management New York: McGraw Hill.

Lifang Xie & Jun Li (2009) “Case Study of Project Risk Planning Based on Soft System Methodology” in Cutting Edge Research Topics in Multiple Criteria Decision Making London: Springer.

Sears, Keoki S., Clough Hudson Richard, Sears Glen A. (2008) Construction Project Management Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Smith Nigel, Mena Tony & Jobling Paul (2006) Managing Risk in Construction Projects Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Soft System Methodology (2010) The SSM Model in Construction Available online at: http://www.idi.ntnu.no/grupper/su/publ/html/totland/ch0526.htm Accessed 12/11/2011

Tayyab Maqsood, Finegan Andrew & Walker Derek (2005) “Five Case Studies Applying Soft Systems Methodology to Knowledge Management” Conference Paper Available online at: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/27456 Accessed: 14/11/2011

Walker, Anthony (2007) Project Management in Construction London: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing

Winch, Graham (2010) Managing Construction Projects Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons

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