When we talk about a System in the Spine Model we are typically referring to a human work system, and using the term in the “Systems Thinking” sense.

Peter Senge describes Systems Thinking as follows:

Systems thinking [is] a way of thinking about, and a language for describing and understanding, the forces and interrelationships that shape the behavior of systems. This discipline helps us to see how to change systems more effectively, and to act more in tune with the natural processes of the natural and economic world.

We think of a human work system as any context in which, in order to create value, humans must collaborate together in joint effort. Some examples of where you could draw the boundaries of a work system are…

  • An organisation
  • A department
  • A team
  • Multiple interrelated teams
  • A single meeting