In order to solve problems the problem must be clearly defined and the purpose of the system must be known (Shibata, 1998). There are methods used to analyze complex systems either as a whole or at the individual component level. Holism looks at the system as a whole and presents the big picture (Raman, 2005). Both methods have their advantages and limitations (Mazocchi, 2008).
Problem solving is a very important but also a very misunderstood science. When attempting to solve problems it is essential to clearly define the problem. This is the first step but is often overlooked. A problem is identified in a system when the system is not performing its desired purpose. A problem is only considered a problem when it causes a deviation from the purpose. So the problem solver in order to identify the problem must understand the purpose of the system (Shibata, 1998).
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