Soft methods for systems projects in SMEs

Mathew Hillier, Douglas Vogel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


This paper presents research in progress on the development of a soft systems process for the analysis and definition of systems problems in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The purpose of this process is to act as a guide for systems practitioners in their work with SMEs. The intention being to provide a process that considers the technical, organisational, personal and social dimensions of a systems development problem, while at the same time being ‘manageable’ given the limited resources of SMEs. The author draws evidence from the soft systems, multiple perspectives and systems development literature to explain the basis of the proposed process. The process outlined in this paper takes particular inspiration from Checkland’s Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) (Checkland 1981, Checkland & Scholes 1999) and utilises a Multiple Perspective framework called T.O.P2 (Hillier 2002) for the structuring of ‘questioning’. An example of a process that could be used in a SME project is given.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication7th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems
PublisherPacific Asia Conference on Information Systems
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
EventPacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (7th : 2003) - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 10 Jul 200313 Jul 2003


ConferencePacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (7th : 2003)
Abbreviated titlePACIS 2003

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