System Thinking is a five-week online course that will make you a better problem solver and improve the performance of your projects by teaching you to apply system thinking in technical environments. You will understand the foundation of system thinking, a tool for thinking of things as systems to help participants understand how their systems work and improve their efficiency.
This course teaches System Thinking Foundations and their applications to System Dynamics (Organizations), Logistics and Transportation, and Computation. “System thinking” is thinking of things as systems. Systems are a set of interrelated entities which perform a function, whose functionality is greater than the sum of the parts.
This course teaches the foundation of "system thinking", a thinking tool to understand and improve any kind of system (from human and organizational systems to technological systems). This course is well suited for any person interested in understanding the composition of a personal or professional system of their choice. The course is especially valuable for managers intent on architecting successful, collaborative, and happy teams; technical professionals looking to advance their essential skills and improve the performance of their projects and processes; and individual contributors wanting to perform to their highest potential. This course is especially relevant to project managers, product managers, and anyone working with complex, interrelated systems. Examples illustrate the concepts on systems that are understandable by any audience: A robotic restaurant, a judiciary court, bicycles, a water system, a chair, an airport, etc. Course exercises provide the opportunity to practice the course concepts on your own personal and professional systems.
The coursework features numerous practice activities—with immediate feedback—and learning scenarios followed by self-reflection and discussion, as well as a focus on peer-review as an application of the course skills. In peer review activities, learners will apply what they learn to their professional system and will generate some recommendations on how to improve the way their organization manages projects by applying the course learning and lessons learned from the simulation. Also included is a learning simulation that allows learners to safely apply the course knowledge to a simulated scenario by running experiments and planning strategies an unlimited number of times while the course is active.
In the first weeks, learners will understand the foundation of system thinking, the composition of their system, how its different components interact, and how emergence happens. In weeks 3 to 5, you will learn about how these foundations are applied to different fields. This includes a module focused on how systems interact in organizations and you will practice what you learn through a project management simulation. In week 5, you will learn about logistics with real-life systems (such as airports, traffic, etc.) and about computation by understanding how to apply System Thinking to the construction of a legged robot. Please review the Course Schedule for more details!
100% of the participants surveyed intend to apply the skills they learned to their personal/professional lives. 62% of learners reported that they were able to apply new skills learned before the completion of the course. This course will provide you with the understanding and practice needed to improve the efficiency of the systems you interact with.
Please also consider reviewing our System Thinking Webinar from October 2020.