How is systems thinking used in your project?

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Posted by Kirsten on 21st Jul 2017

APM’s latest research fund study led by Dr Michael Emes of the APM Systems Thinking Specific Interest Group (SIG) and University College London (UCL) is now underway and is calling on the profession for their input.

The Systems Thinking SIG wants to conduct research to answer the research question: ‘How is systems thinking used in projects?’

To answer this question qualitative data has been gathered through semi-structured interviews which has helped us to understand the range of techniques that might reasonably be considered under the banner of ‘systems thinking’.

Daniel Nicholls, APM’s Research Manager, said: “The study covers an important and emerging topic area that should be of both interest and relevance to academia and industry.  We hope that it can produce significant benefits for not only the SIG but the project profession and thus we urge all project professionals and anyone with an interest in this subject to get involved by participating in the survey.”

An online survey has been created (APM Systems Thinking SIG Online Survey) from the information gathered and will help us understand the prevalence of these techniques across the wider community, and to investigate how much value can be attributed to systems thinking across different sectors and classes of project (differentiated by value, duration, complexity).

On completion, the results and implications of the survey will be fed back to the SIG and to the wider APM community.  

Take the survey


About the research lead:

Dr Michael Emes is Deputy Director of UCL Centre for Systems Engineering and Head of the Technology Management Group at UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL). He completed his first degree (MEng) in Engineering, Economics and Management at St John’s College, Oxford, and a PhD at MSSL in developing cooling technologies for spacecraft. He now conducts teaching and research at UCL in the areas of systems engineering and technology management in domains including transport, health, defence and aerospace. He is Programme Director for UCL's MSc in Management of Complex Projects and is Programme Manager and a lead trainer for the European Space Agency’s Project Manager Training Course. He is a Chartered Engineer and a member of APM, INCOSE and the IET.


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