Chandra Sivaraman
Programming/Software Engineering Notes

Systems Thinking26 Nov 2020

Circuit board

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

A system is a network of interconnected components/actors that accomplishes a purpose. For example, an e-commerce site, the market, government, a company, a printed circuit board, a microprocessor are all systems. Systems can exist at different levels of abstraction (e.g hardware, software, business process, etc.)

Systems thinking refers to thinking in terms of the system as an interconnected whole rather than as a collection of disconnected parts. This is what lets us understand how the system is affected by feedback, for example or how to clear bottlenecks, or how to improve global rather than local throughput.

Why learn systems thinking?



  1. Hanselman, Scott. Systems Thinking As Important as Ever for New Coders
  2. Kim, Daniel. Introduction to Systems Thinking
  3. Goldratt, Eliahu. The Goal