What is Systems Analysis?

A single definition for Systems Analysis remains elusive, as Professor Leen Hordijk, former director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) once argued. It is, he offered broadly, “a problem-solving process” that calls on input from many people and disciplines working alongside different stakeholders, and decision makers. The central purpose of Systems Analysis, he wrote, “is to help private decision makers and public policymakers resolve the problems that they face in the short, medium, and long term”. It is “inherently multi- and interdisciplinary”, he added. Other attempts at definitive definitions have described Systems Analysis as “the process of studying a procedure or business in order to identify its goals and purposes and create systems and procedures that will achieve them in an efficient way". Or a “problem-solving technique that breaks down a system into its component pieces for the purpose of the studying how well those component parts work and interact to accomplish their purpose”.

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