A Complementarist Approach to Lean Systems Management

Javier Calvo-Amodio, Shannon Flumerfelt, Christopher Hoyle


Effective systems management is a desirable, but often lacking, individual and organizational behaviour. An effective management system informs decision making for human, information, technology and machine processes, thus requiring a systemic approach. The consequences for a lack of systems competency are considerable in costs, delays, failures, etc.  In this paper, the authors present a complementarist lean systems management approach.  As a knowledge engineering approach, it combines the CX tool, Transition-Phase Management model (TPM) and Cascading Failure Model (CFM) methodologies into a meta-methodology to manage lean systems. The CX tool is a system model of both current and desired future states in an organization that aspires to be lean. Based on the Plan-Do-Check-Adjust organizational learning loop, the CX tool provides a means to analyse any current or new system, process or project.  The “C” stands for congruence or “equal state” and “X” for all the possible combinations in which the congruence can be developed or improved.  TPM provides a mean to manage process change processes; while CFM allows identifying robust process networks.  Together they quantify specific gaps to inform continuous improvement. The meta-methodology proposed is a pluralistic approach that integrates all phases of process improvement: diagnosis, solution design, implementation and control while combining social sciences, engineering management and systems engineering disciplines.


Lean management systems, CX tool, transition-phase management, resilient systems, knowledge engineering, cascading failure model

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