What is Systems Thinking?

Systems thinkers use modelling to understand the complex system or problem from different perspectives and to use models to understand and create solutions to those problems. One of those problems is testing.

You’ll find this video “What is a System?” https://youtu.be/qoHF6iZwSWk helpful as an intro to this video.

In the last video we looked at, what a system was – a group of interacting, interrelated, independent parts, and so on. If we map that to our experience as testers, in a systems context, we test systems that are built from software components, which themselves are complex. They are integrated into subsystems and systems and those systems integrate with other systems. Ultimately, we have a user or a business community that make use of those systems and they operate within a business context. And so it goes on.

The system as a whole that we’re testing involves the technologies, the data, the people, the business processes. And so on. When I say that testing is really systems thinking, this is what I’m getting at in that we have to analyze and break down these complex systems of systems to understand what to do next as testers.

Systems thinking is just a way of looking at the world through different points of view.