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VSM Preliminary Diagnosis Step 5

Step 5:
System Three: Optimization

5.1 Add System Three to the diagram

Take your VSM diagram and draw in the System Three box in the lower part of the Metasystem.

5.2 Add the System Three channels

Draw two lines from this box through all Operational units.

The first line is the Command Channel. It is concerned with mandatory System Three matters, with the issues which the Operational elements must obey.

The second line is concerned with Resource Bargain programs and with the methods used to ensure the Operational units are accountable, i.e. how they demonstrate to System Three that they are doing the jobs they agreed when the resources were allocated.

5.3 Add the System Three Star channel

Draw the System 3* lines on the left hand side of the diagram.

5.4 Add the System Three Agents

Write inside the System Three square the people or departments which carry out these functions.


Remember this is the Preliminary Diagnosis which is concerned only with the identification of the five Systems. So the job at this point is only to specify which parts of your enterprise do System Three stuff.

The lines which you have drawn are to sketch in the connections between System Three and the Operational units. Later all of these interconnections will be dealt with in more detail, but it’s far easier to build up a framework for the entire system-in-focus, before delving into the way the five systems interact.

Derived from Jon Walker’s VSM Guide for co-ops and federations