HA-System thinking unit3 article


My artifact is the final outcome of the third unit of the course “System Thinking” in 2020.

The competencies I will defense on is “System Thinking” and “Critical Thinking”.


In this unit, we were supposed to look at our IP projects using system thinking skills with 2 perspectives: using both “Project track” and “Problem track” to see the inner and outer issues and unsolved problems, and finally come up with an article of our description and solution for the problem.

My teammates are Henry and Steve, we are from the same IP project and we are facing its problem together. We spend 5 weeks on finishing both the tracks and preparing of a class presentation, and finally finish the individual article in the last week.

In my article, I used mostly the Problem track analysis, which includes our cognition towards the problem; the description of the problem; archetypes of mental model; first and final draft of the CLD; delays and behavior over time; leverage actions and finally a solution.

The key question of the article is about the fact of lowering of goals in the project: every once a while we found our essential goal/achievement of the project to be seem far away, and sometimes when we had online meetings we often come up with new goals, but the new goal will always get reduced by the content of the meeting and the situation of the project.

In order to fix the problem, I start from clarifying it from inside the project. We started from the mental models and drawing a basic structure of it.

The titles are here:

The titles in the article

The main knowledge and skills I applied are basically system thinking skills and the tools that teachers taught to us in the course. If I have a clear understanding of the tools and graphings in the course, I can be able to deal with all the problems systematically and critically in the future.

Self Reflection


I listed some skills and knowledge I took away from the unit.

  • Interdependencies of elements

The relationship between two or more factors and the +&- effect within a relationship.

  • Cause->Effect

The progress of a cause and the delay between elements.

  • Change Over Time

The effect and events over time both before and after the solution.

  • Leverage Action

Assuming the effects of action taken and which factor can be influenced.

  • Consequences

Presuming long-term and short-term results and consequences through out different time.

Improved Competencies

As what I have said, system thinking is the most improved competency in the course, also I find the competency of Critical thinking quite suitable for the course too, so I will try to illustrate the progress of the project using rubrics of Critical thinking.

Information and Discovery

For this part can be seen as part of the problem description and proceeding of information.

I often see this part as “framing the problem”, to classify where I can get the information and the limit of the problem.

E.g in the article I listed some main information where I can go further to the next step:

-What are our goals in Checkpoint1, Checkpoint2 and Checkpoint3?

-How to evaluate our abilities among the competitors?

-Who often decides if we are lowering or not lowering the goal?

Analysis and Interpretation

In this part, we started from the belief and mental model inside the IP project.

So we did 1v1s with the IP members about the question “What are our opinions and beliefs?”

After that, we put the answers and feedbacks together and list the relationships between key information and elements.

So the output for this stage is the CLD

First draft of CLD
Final draft of CLD


In my understanding, this part is about the part where we draw our ideal scenario according to the ideal solution, the leverage action and the trends-behavior&event over time.

FYI, this is an event over time about the negative view in the project

In this part, we also considered about the delay in the previous CLD, because the delay also represents the efficiency of applying our actions.

Another thing we did here is to assume the effects of the leverage actions which will be mentioned soon

The assumptions of leverage actions according to the beliefs.

Problem Solving/Solution Finding

The topic in here is the Leverage actions and Consequences.

Titles of leverage actions in the article

After we finish the leverage actions, we did another 1v1 chat with our IP members about how they think of the actions we will took, and what kind of consequences do they assume will happen.

And after that we finished iterating the final version and I finished writing the individual article.

Keep, Stop, Start


I would say that this is a practical tool to use, applying what we learn into real problems around us is the speciality of this unit when I face problems like these.


I used to believe in my own way of explaining problems and fixing problems, which makes me somehow closed to new methods of solving problems (but I am kind of an open-minded person now though). So I would say stop being a closed person to new tools.


Start using systematic thinking and it’s tools to understand and solve problems.

Teleporting door for the artifact:

Published by roy-gao

My name is Roy and I am the assassin of the world of philosophy. You can always find me in my old wooden house next to the secret lake.

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