To understand the concept of the system and its subsystem it is important to understand what a system is. A system is an orderly grouping of interdependent components linked together according to a plan to achieve a specific objective. A subsystem is a functional unit of a system with its own goal and which must interact with other subsystem to attain the overall system’s goal. In the concept of system and its subsystem, a system turns ideas, facts and principles into the things we want through the system and subsystem components such as skilled use of people, capital, tools, machines, materials, energy and time in the concept of system and its subsystem. Engineering in Kenya has more information.
The word component in system and its subsystem may refer to physical parts, tools, machines, people, departments for example, engine or wheels of a car, a desktop computer, managerial steps such as planning, organizing, directing and controlling or a subsystem in a multilevel structure. Each component has to do its share of work for the system to achieve the intended goal. The telephone system, computer system, transport system, education system, production system, business system, the system and its subsystem of government are examples of system and its subsystem.
Ideally in the system and subsystem, all systems are part of other systems which is systems that may contain within themselves subsystems. For example, at any point in time, you are part of a number of social systems such as education system, political system or the college system: -you are a subsystem within all these. Further, there are subsystems at work within you such as the circulatory, respiratory or digestive systems are subsystems of any living organism. We can identify organizations or business systems as a total system with interrelated departments known as subsystems such as sales and marketing, production, personnel, customer orders using these concepts of system and subsystem.Engineering in Kenya has more information.
Characteristics of System and its Subsystem
The system and its subsystem have the following main characteristics or attributes which are established to achieve some specific objectives and purpose of the total system. The system and its subsystem must have a central objective which is the objective of the organization as a whole and have a higher priority than the objectives of its subsystems. The objectives of the system help in guiding the subsystems of the system in working together and coordinating to attain the central objective in any system and its subsystem.
All system and subsystem must have some organization structure or order. The order portrays a system and subsystem relationship defining the authority structure, specifying the formal flow of communication and formalizes the chain of command. For example the government organization structure has a hierarchical relationship beginning with the president on top and leading downward to the blue-collar workers in the system and its subsystem.
The other characteristic of all system and its subsystem is interrelationships and interdependence must exist among the system components. Interrelationship refers to interaction which relates to manner in which each component functions with other components of the system. For example in a business system an advertising department must interact with sales department, payroll with personnel and many others in system and subsystem. Interdependence is the situation whereby parts of organization or any system depend on one another for example the output of one subsystem may be the input of another in system and its subsystem.
The Elements of System and its Subsystem
Elements of system and its subsystem are “things” that make up a system. Any system must be identified by the following elements, the inputs which are elements that enter the system for processing such as raw materials, human resources, information. Processing another element of a system and its subsystem refers to the operational component that transforms input to output. Outputs in system and its subsystem is what is produced that has value to its users whether goods, services or information as element of system and its subs.
Environment another element of system and its subsystem, refers to “things” outside the system’s boundaries within which the system and subsystem operates. It is the source of external elements that impinge on the system and often determines how a system must operate. Examples of environmental factors:
- Customers; suppliers; general public; competitors
- Geographical location; socio-cultural factors
- Politics & Government regulations
- Economic factors
The boundary determines the sphere of influence and controls the limits of operation of the system and its subsystem.
The other important element in system and its subsystem is the control which is the decision making for the subsystem that controls the pattern of activities governing input, processing and output. Here a sample of the output is fed to a measurement control function and compared to the outside standard required by the system objectives. Thus the control mechanism allows the system to regulate itself through feedback to the input or processes in an effort to achieve the objectives in a continuing way. Feedback measures the output against a standard in some form of cybernetic procedure and includes communication such as management reports and control for decisions. Feedback may be positive; routine of informal increases the output trend and reinforces the performance of a system, or negative which is the information indicating that the system is deviating from its planned or prescribed course and that some re-adjustments are necessary to bring it back to course, it is meant to improve the quantity or correct on errors in system and its subsystem.
In the element of system and its subsystem elements the interfaces are the interconnections and interactions between subsystems. Interfaces occur at the boundary of the subsystem through inputs and outputs in the form of passage of data or information among the system and its subsystem. Entropy which is a measure of the degree of disorder is also another element of system and its subsystem as systems get disorganized with time.
The other element of system and its subsystem which are also known include adaptive which is the ability of the system and its subsystem to remain stable by being able to react to the environment when information about the environment is fed in to allow it to adjust its inputs, processes and even objectives of the system and its subsystem. To survive, for example when the demand goes low, the organization has to adjust and adapt to changes in the environment.
Moreover in the element of system and its subsystem there is the symbiosis which is whereby two systems depend or benefit on each other and operate as one. It is based on a give and take relationship in the system and its subsystem. Redundancy another element of system and its subsystem is the ability of a system to operate normally, even if one of its subsystems ceases to exist. In this case, the operations of the entire system will not be affected by the measure of a subsystem.
Functions of a System and its Subsystem
A typical system and its subsystem perform the following main functions. It inputs that is intake of raw materials such as human resources, data, and information for processing. The other function of system and its subsystem is processing which refer to the transforming of input to useful output. Storage another function of the system and its subsystem is important to store processed “stuff”. Then at least there is the output that refers to what is released after processing that has value to its users such as goods, services or information in system and its subsystem.