Archives for September 2013

Our First Product Failed but the Project Didn’t: How Can That Be?

A main focus of Rural System, Inc. is sensible land management, improving productivity and reducing cost to the landowner. For most of us, land management starts at home with how we landscape, fertilize our gardens, and choose which plants to grow. Therefore, Rural System set out to design a computer application that would help homeowners with aspects of personal property management.  A bonus of this software is that it served as our first example of prescriptive software, demonstrating how software can generate a custom management plan based on the unique qualities of a particular property. [Read more…]

Standback: What’s Standback? Standback!

General Systems Theory has been around a long time, before Von Bertalanffy’s book by a similar title in 1968. I believe – based on my reading, study, consulting, assistance to outstanding graduate students, field direction of staff, synthetic writing, and comparative syntheses – that general systems work needs a new component: standback.

With other systems-oriented people in the past 20 years I have advocated starting systems design work and taking a systems approach with “objectives.” I now start with “standback,” defined as a sharing of observations in various forms and various media of a proposed or developing system. It is material which only a few people will read, see or hear and fewer will try to understand its importance, at least its role in evaluating the results, the system or its effects.

Standback_v3_600 [Read more…]