Bottom-Up Management and System Design

Bottom-Up Management and System Design

W. Hutchinson
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-64-3.ch004
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Development techniques almost always use top-down approaches to develop software and business systems. Humans need to simplify the external world by using cognitive models to build a boundary around a problem. These necessary, but artificial, boundaries help us cope with the complexity of the problem at hand. However, this deductive process produces dilemmas, as it leads to misconceptions about the real behavior of systems and the people in them. This chapter will look at system design using the system elements (and their interactions) as the starting point of design, that is an inductive approach. Whilst this will not replace the top- down approach, its use will enhance problem solutions. In a contemporary world of loosely coupled organisational elements, it is necessary to view the system from this perspective to fully understand it. This chapter will offer a preliminary methodology to approach system design using ‘bottom up’ thinking. This view is not the opposite of top-down thinking but a supplement to it. It results in asking questions about the desired system, which are fundamentally different in nature to conventional techniques

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