Limitations of Systems Approaches, Methods and Models in Addressing Challenges in Complex Environments

Ivan McTaggart
23 January 2017

Issues such as the Anthropocene are testament to the complexity of the issues with which systems people (Thinkers, Practitioners, and Engineers) are having to address. The nature of the systems we need to create are more interdependent with complexity inherent and require transient and agile approaches. However, no matter the approach, method, methodology or model our interventions often fail to lead to the implementation of systems that resolve these complex problems, even if used appropriately. This does not mean these approaches are wrong or even flawed, simply that no single philosophy, applied in isolation, can address the variety of complexity.
Ivan Mactaggart is currently a Principal Systems Engineer at the Defence Science &Technology Laboratory (Dstl) where his primary role is providing technical leadership, assurance and consultancy across Land Platforms and associated programmes. Ivan’s current portfolio includes:
• Assured Autonomous Resupply
• Mounted Close Combat
• System Engineering Capability Development
• Enterprise Resilience

Ivan has published on the development of systems understanding, organisational resilience, Systems Engineering in Sport and Agile Systems Engineering. Ivan is a Chartered Engineer, an Associate Lecturer at the Open University and since November 2016, President of INCOSE UK.