Toward A Practical General Systems Methodological Theory
Nagib Callaos, Belkis Sánchez de Callaos
Our main purpose in this paper is to describe the way in which we have been relating General System Theory (GST) to practice and to the design of a General Systems Methodology (GSM). Our first step was to apply GST to design a methodology for software development. Then, in a second step, by means of the experience/knowledge learned from applying the methodology to developing specific information systems, a continuous designing and re-designing process started, which simultaneously generalized the methodology and increased its complexity adding new methodical modules for an increasing diversity tasks needed for different specific systems and/or situations. The methodological kernel increased it generality and the sub-methodological modules increased in specificity and details. The methodological intersection of special methodologies increased its generality, because it its commonalities to a higher methodological diversity, and the union set of methodologies included more special methodologies for systems of different nature and for a higher diversity of situations, or environmental conditions. This paved the way for a General Systems Methodology which, because it includes cognitive/thinking methodological perspective it might take us back to the theoretical realm, i.e. to a methodological theory which, in turn, would pave the way to theoretical methodology. In this way Theory and methodologies would interact with each other in cybernetic loops, including negative and positive reciprocal feedback, as well as reciprocal feedforward.