Analyze Your System
1. What are the subsystem-supersystem levels of your system "by design"? There are many levels and usually there are several hierarchies!
2. What are the main functions of your system? Why it exists? What are the main negative effects?
3. What is an opposite of your system, the "anti-system"? There could be more than one.
4. What are the dimensions your system lives in? Subsystems and supersystems can live in different sets of dimensions.
5. Talking about similar systems in the past, what is the history and predicted future? Draw an evolution line. Why changes happened?
6. What is good and what is bad? There is always something bad and good
7. What is the environment and what is its system structure, its "rules of operation"? Environment exists within the system too.
8. What other systems your system interacts with and why? Is it good or bad?
9. What are the rhythms in your system, its environment, and interacting systems?
10. Envision what was with the system in the past. Check all milestones. How do you see its future? How the system was born and how it will die naturally? How to create the same system and how to destroy it?
11. Gradually change parameters of your system (a thought experiment). Go from impossible to impossible. What happens? Example of parameters: size, time, cost, temperature, niceness, level of fragmentation, etc.
12. Every component of the system belongs (or used to) to other systems and hierarchies. What are they? This may lead to a totally different view on your system.
For example, a motor belongs to the range of motors of different parameters from the company X, that is one system. Another system could be: the motor belongs to the class of similar motors W produced by the companies X,Y,Z.
Another example. A door is made of wood. Wood could be maple, oak, pine, or bamboo. That is 1. This wood was purchased in a Home Depot store. This wood comes from the forest industry B which logs in California. When one hits the door, it produces drum-like sounds amending the sound aura of your home. All these are the systems the wood belongs to. And yes, often this knowledge is useful in solving problems.
Other examples. Motors are made of magnetic metal. This may lead to changes in surround magnetic field. Motors, especially those which spark, produce strong electromagnetic fields which may affect surrounding electronics. Motors sometimes overheat and catch fire. ($100m of damages, how about that? Is it worth to consider?)
13. Build Cause-Effect diagram of both, positive functionality and negative effects of your system.
6M method developed by Kaoru Ishikawa, for example, while analyzing defects advises to consider the six main areas contributing to a defect: Man (Management), Measurements, Materials, Environment (Medium and "Mother Nature"), Methods, and Machines. Our UHFA method is more complete.
14. Every component of the system is a system. Take a note of that.
15. What special phenomena and effects are observable (or not) in the system?
16. What Inventive Methods and Principles (see the link) were used in the "design" of the system.
The word "design" is quoted, since systems may be natural. But the still follow the principles.
To be continued..