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Aim of this Report is to discuss Soft System Methodology in detail and apply it to the Mark and Spencer's case.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Page 1. Introduction 2 2. Background 2 2.1 Author's View 5 3 Literature review 6 3.1 Application of SSM 7 3.2 Stages in SSM 8 3.2.1 Stages 1&2: The problem situation unstructured & Expressed 9 3.2.2 Stage 3: Root definition of relevant system 10 3.2.3 Stage 4: Making & Testing conceptual models 10 3.2.4 Stage 5: Comparing conceptual models with reality 11 3.2.5 Stage 6: Defining feasible/desirable 11 3.2.6 Stage 7: Implement the desirable change 11 3.3 Summary of SSM 12 4. Analysis of the situation using SSM 12 4.1 Stage 1 12 4.2 Stage 2 12 4.3 Stage 3 13 4.4 Stage 4 14 4.5 Stage 5 15 4.6 Stage 6 16 4.7 Stage 7/Recommendations 17 5. Conclusion 18 6. Bibliography 19 Attachments Sheet of Rich picture Sheet of Conceptual model 1 Sheet of Conceptual model 2 1 Introduction Aim of this Report is to discuss Soft System Methodology in detail and apply it to the Mark and Spencer's case. The Author has chosen the soft system methodology because the situation there in Mark and Spencer is very critical, complex and unstructured and that is why, it becomes the perfect case for Soft System Methodology. This report will first of all discuss Soft System Methodology in detail along with all its different stages. Then key issues of Mark and Spenser will be identified by underpinning the theory and literature review. Finally, the report will make appropriate conclusions and recommendations for implementation in the long-term strategies of Mark and Spencer for making it perhaps a competitive organisation for the future. 2 Background Marks and Spencer, from here onward known as M&S, is one of the largest main store chains of the UK. It came into existence in late 1880 and at one time became the most profitable and successful companies of UK. But lately the company is facing lot of problems and its profits are decreasing every year. ...read more.


3.2.2 Stage 3 (Root Definition of Relevant Systems) A root definition is an idealized view of what a relevant system should be. The aim is to draw out the essence of o What is to be done? o Why is to be done? o Who is to benefit or suffer from it? o What environmental constraints limit the actions and activities? The development of root definitions of achieved by formulating the statement around six elements recalled using the CATWOE mnemonic. (Flood & Jackson, 1991) C - Customers: the victims/beneficiaries of the purposeful activity. A - Actors: those who do the activities. T - Transformation process: the purposeful activity, which transforms input into an output. W - Weltanschauung: the view of the world that makes the definition meaningful. O - Owners: who can stop the activity. E - Environmental constraints: those constraints in its environment that this system takes as given exposure technically 3.2.3 Stage 4 (Making & Testing Conceptual Models) Stage 4 is concerned with the logical expansion of the root definition into the activities that the system must do in order to be the system so defined. (Brain Wilson, 1990) The model is a representation of what is necessarily implied by the relevant system; it is not a representation of what does or ought to exist in the real world. It outlines the activities, which would have to be carried out, and the order in which they would be carried out, if that system were to function. (D. Jennings & S. Wattam, 1998) 3.2.4 Stage 5 (Comparing conceptual models with reality) The aim behind the comparison stage is essentially to generate debate about possible changes that could be made to bring about improvements in the problem situation. (Flood & Jackson, 1991) Checkland (1981) describes four ways of doing the comparison .they are as follows: Informal discussion; Formal questioning; Scenario writing based on 'operating' the models; Trying to model the real world in the same structure as the conceptual models. ...read more.


* SEGREGATION OF PRODUCTS: All the products should be well segregated in the stores. The company needs to work out which product will be placed where? * ADAPT LATEST TREND AND TECHNOLOGIES: Its very important to know what the trend is like and to provide that types of products to the customers. * MORAL BOASTING: There is a need to motivate staff. If the staff is treated well, only then they will be happy to help the customers. Company needs to treat them well, both financially as well as socially. * STRICT CONTROL ON QUALITY: M&S was very famous once, because of its good quality products. That was the hallmark of its success. Under no circumstances, company can afford to provide the low quality of products. * CUSTOMER'S FEEDBACK: Customer's feedback is very important and they should do that periodically. Its very important for the management to understand that only the happy customer comes back to the same place. So they should do every effort to know what are the problems of customers and try to remove them at the earliest. * DOMESTIC/OVERSEAS SUPPLIER: If the company thinks that some products are not of that importance and they can afford to get them imported, only then they should go for outside the country. Otherwise they should stick to domestic supplier, who provides good quality of products. 5. Conclusion: M&S is the company, which is still having lot of potential in it. All what are needed are little retrospection, planning and confidence. With all these things, they have to strike back the market. They got to believe in themselves. And as said above, they have to concentrate more on long term strategies rather than making short term plan and working on them, just to please share holders. They are trying very hard though, by exploring new fields, its good for them. They have to keep on going like this and not stop their expansion program at all. Management has to show some confidence on the CEO and must give him adequate time to perform. 6. ...read more.

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