THE CONCEPT OF SYSTEM
The approach of the system contains a set of assumptions which are inherent in the model. System is associated with documenting internal organizational processes which are performed repeatedly to gain certification from an external validating body.
The message is simple: use the model, accept the assumptions. The assumptions can be stated as follows:
• A number of more or less interrelated elements each of which contributes to the maintenance of the total system;
• Synergy, in that the totality of the system is greater than the sum of its component elements;
• A boundary, which delineated the system and which may be open, partially open or closed in relation to exchanges between the system and its environment;
• Sub-systems, comprising interrelations between particular elements within the total system and which themselves have the characteristics of a system;
• A flow or process throughout the system;
• Feedback, which serves to keep the system in a state of dynamic equilibrium with respect to its environment.
The system approach in this wider, original sense and its application to the productive process can e.g. be seen in Deming’s work:
Indeed, it is feasible to contend that it was through the utilization of a system model that Deming’s contribution to the development of TQM was born and permitted the delineation of the Deming Cycle of ‘PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT’.
System approach to the productive process