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From: Marcelo de Moraes Serpa <celoserpa@gmail.com>
To: Org Mode <emacs-orgmode@gnu.org>
Subject: [OT] Defining System, process, methodology and framework
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2012 21:24:54 -0500	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <CACHMzOFfX50QiwfkMZfyU-On0vio8faEDZ2LfnXq+NrBPfjFrg@mail.gmail.com> (raw)

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Hi guys,

I know there are quite a few smart brains around here, and I think this is
valid discussion for this mailing list, even if OT.

I'm not a cientist, nor work inside an academic environment. I'm just a
regular guy trying to understand this world and making better use of my
resources, specially time. For this, I have read dozens of books on
personal productivity, including GTD, Making it All Work, and Work the
System. All great books.

I've started to notice a pattern though. All of them talk about systems and
processes (and some might even use the word framework and methodology / or
method), and although you can live by and be quite productivity if you
apply the principles, I knew I had to understand in an even lower and basic
level. I then asked myself "What the heck is a system" and what is the
relationship it has with "process", "methodology" and "frameworks" ?

I found out, for example, that "System" and "Process" sometimes are used
inter-changeably. So I went to google to try to find out the answer. The
simplest answers simply say that "a process is what a system is made of".
It did not convince me.

By reading the wikipedia article about System (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System), I found out this paragraph under
"System concepts":

Process and transformation process
> A system can also be viewed as a bounded transformation process, that is,
> a process or collection of processes that transforms inputs into outputs.
> Inputs are consumed; outputs are produced. The concept of input and output
> here is very broad. E.g., an output of a passenger ship is the movement of
> people from departure to destination.

A system can viewed as a process? Hmm, confusing.

Right now, my mental model basically says that a "system" is like blueprint
with different components that communicate, and a process is what runs on
it (or in on of its components). "Framework" is like a collection of
systems and a "methodology" is basically akin to system (in my

Why am I obsessing about this?

The reason is systems thinking. I think it's a quite interesting mindset
and way to perceive the world. By trying to view yourself and what
surrounds you as systems (with sub-systems), it's much easier to document
(them), get feedback, and improve, automating your life even further,
understanding it more, and living better.

For example, from this perspective I think, GTD is simply a product of an
elevated point of view from the author David Allen. He simply viewed things
systematically and documented them. That's why he says it's 'common-sense'.

But before that, it would be nice to know exactly what a System is, and
it's relationship with "process", "methodology" and "framework", in
abstract terms.

 What do you think? I'm sure there are quite a few people here that might
be crazy enough to have the same question, or perhaps, I'm just too crazy.
Let me know, any insights very much appreciated.


- Marcelo.

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             reply	other threads:[~2012-04-11  2:25 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 7+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2012-04-11  2:24 Marcelo de Moraes Serpa [this message]
2012-04-13  4:59 ` [OT] Defining System, process, methodology and framework Marcelo de Moraes Serpa
2012-04-13  8:43   ` Gustav Wikström
2012-04-13 16:14     ` Marcelo de Moraes Serpa
2012-04-22 10:48   ` Karl Voit
2012-04-23 18:48     ` Marcelo de Moraes Serpa
2012-04-25 13:29 ` Eric Fraga

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