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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Designing Ultra Large Scale Systems

Last year we presented in a design conference in India a paper on overall suitability of Lean Inventive Systems Thinking (LIST) which is our synergistic framework combining TRIZ, Lean and Systems thinking for Designing Ultra Large Scale Systems (ULSS). You can download the presentation and the complete paper from our website

I am putting below a brief

Ultra-large scale systems are characterized by:

1. Extraordinary decentralization
2. Inherently conflicting, unknowable and diverse requirements
3. Continuous evolution and deployment
4. Heterogeneous, inconsistent, and changing elements
5. Erosion of people/system boundary
6. Normal failures
7. New paradigms for acquisition and policy

Our businesses, our technical systems and our organizations (and the environments in which they operate) are continuously increasing in scale and complexity. They are characterized by increasing interactions, dependencies, couplings or connections in not only the depth of existing dimensions but in increasing the number of connection dimensions manifold.

Thus far our methods to confront scale and complexity have been based on reductionism or analysis, determinism, dualism, correspondence theory of knowledge and rationality – analytical and logical thinking as we know it. They have worked well for us in the past and continue to drive our approaches to problem solving, change creation and innovation.

However, the new age of innovation warrants newer methods to deal with complexity. These new methods are likely to be based on a deeper understanding of indeterminacy, non-linearity, chaos, adaptation, self-organization and distributed intelligence.

Scale in my opinion is a big challenge - as we become more networked in everything than hierarchical.

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