Decked with SWOT analyses, balanced scorecards, and lengthy documents, mainstream planning boasts impressive metrics and power tools to support decision-making, policy-making, or strategy analysis. Nevertheless, few stakeholders and consultants have a confident grasp of ‘what is going on’ beneath the slick surface of statistics, indicators, and indices — but can they share that without pomp and buzzwords? The panorama is at least curious, if not alarming.
Systems Planning℠ is a curated cooperative quest for the art of efficiency™ with regard to human activities and constructs (e.g. plans, their preparation, and respective systems), materialising as a holistic conduct platform™ that prizes and promotes shared understanding as well as stakeholder competences.
Associated activities and documents are of the highest standard, with relevance to research, education, and/ or praxis.
Systems Planning℠ has three objects of interest: the system, the process, and the plan (or policy, or strategy).
Explicit and realistic mental models represent complementary viewpoints in planning problems, making dynamic complexity easy to grasp.
Concept— a set of interacting elements, forming a whole Examples— a city, state, enterprise, or ‘situation’ Diagrams— ‘element-relationship’ (e.g. RBP, HBS)
Concept— a sequence of actions and states Examples— an operation, project, or ‘activity’ Diagrams— ‘action-state’ (e.g. CPD, EPD, PPD)
Concept— a justified proposal for action Examples— a plan, policy, strategy, or ‘action’ or ‘measure’ Diagrams— ‘concern-intent-action-outcome’ (e.g. DCD)
Systems Planning℠ makes a difference (a.k.a. ‘impact’ or ‘influence’) by being appropriately different.
The ‘way it works’ is laid out in the masterplan, while references to the more visible elements — i.e. effort and outcomes — can be found in the track record.
Despite their infiltration into academic practice and their consequent popularity, metrics (e.g. bibliometrics, scientometrics, or even ‘performance’ and ‘productivity’) reduce science, knowledge, and the associated human effort to objects of measurement and calculation, so they are dissociated from Systems Planning℠ as demeaning, distracting, and discouraging.