Systems Thinking

…is a thread that runs through all our work.

We have experience in a wide variety of systems thinking approaches; from analysis, to generation of improvement options, and their assessment and implementation. Peter Wainwright’s BSc was in Systems and Management from the City University, in London. One of our associates, Dr Paul Hazell, teaches systems engineering principles as a visiting lecturer at Imperial College, and has been a key leader internationally in the development of a systemic approach to managing military R&D programmes.

Peter is currently leading a project, in partnership with Highbury College, Portsmouth, that aims to better understand how local services, such as education, health, and employment can interact to produce common end goals.

Information and Communications Technology, and Enterprise Architectures.
We analyse how ICT can improve the support given to processes and systems, within an overall Enterprise Architecture. We have extensive and deep experience of working with multiple, often overlapping user and system requirements, and of finding ways to rationalise these. We understand how governance, and operational technical and system architectures are fundamental to making the whole system work and to planning new capabilities. We have a solid knowledge of architecture frameworks such as the Zachman Framework and the Ministry Of Defence (MOD) Architectural Framework (MODAF).

End to End Processes. We analyse existing processes, and work with the people involved (the users – visiting them in the field) to improve end-to-end timeliness, responsiveness, and quality – often with fewer resources making better use of existing ones, and reducing waste and duplication.

Our work with MOD, and as sub-contractors to leading organisations like QinetiQ Ltd and DSTL, has involved analysing and improving the most dynamic, and responsive of near real-time operational systems and processes, that are subject to continuous minute by minute changes and frequent reconfiguration.  Key to this was better sharing of resources and more coherent interfacing of information systems.  Our work has made a direct contribution, along with many others’ efforts to improved operational effectiveness and responsiveness in front line time-sensitive operations.

Case study:
In 2002, the MOD wanted to find a way to better combine existing “single service” resources into a new common approach to delivering time sensitive effects in the battlespace. This meant, for example, analysing how air surveillance assets could report to ground (Army) HQs who then cue in naval firepower into targets – this is just a subset of many different combinations of assets in an end-to-end chain.

Peter Wainwright, and Mike Ballone (from Graffica Ltd), were lead analysts as part of a BAE Systems/QinetiQ/DSTL partnership. By constructing and analysing models  and architectures of the processes, information flows, timings, and organisational relationships we were able to recommend ways to streamline the end to end process, and propose changes to HQ and unit structures and ways of operating. This work was then fed into live operations, exercises and experiments, and influenced major equipment procurement decisions.

We were proud to be part of a project that won a BAE Systems Chairman’s Award for Innovation.