Systems Thinking Workshop: Learning to Think About Systems in a Holistic Manner

Redondo Beach , USA
1 Space Park Drive
Padman Nagenthiram

This workshop by James Martin will teach you some essential principles and concepts of systems and how to use these in a “systemic” fashion to improve your ability to think about systems in a holistic manner.


Registration page - Register by June 12 for a reduced price.

Member type Registration fee
Register by June 12 Register by June 18 Full price after June 18
INCOSE member $200 $255 $310
INCOSE Student/Senior Member, Military $150 $205 $260
Non-member $250 $305 $360


James Martin is an enterprise architect and systems engineer working for The Aerospace Corporation developing solutions for information systems and space systems. He was a key author on the BKCASE project in development of the SE Body of Knowledge (SEBOK). His main SEBOK contribution was the articles on Enterprise Systems Engineering. Dr. Martin led the working group responsible for developing ANSI/EIA 632, a US national standard that defines the processes for engineering a system. He previously worked for Raytheon Systems Company as a lead systems engineer and architect on airborne and satellite communications networks. He has also worked at AT&T Bell Labs on wireless telecommunications products and underwater fiber optic transmission products. His book, Systems Engineering Guidebook, was published by CRC Press in 1996. Dr. Martin is an INCOSE Fellow and was leader of the Standards Technical Committee. He received from INCOSE the Founders Award for his long and distinguished achievements in the field. He is founder and current leader of the Systems Science Working Group for INCOSE.

Workshop Details

System thinking has been touted as the "Fifth Discipline" in Peter Senge's famous book by that name. However, this is usually limited to the use of systems coupling diagrams and system archetypes to help understand the nature of feedback and complex system behavior. You will need more than these tools to fully appreciate how to think clearly about systems in a truly holistic manner. This workshop will teach you some essential principles and concepts of systems and how to use these in a "systemic" fashion to improve your ability to think about systems in a holistic manner. You will learn about the PICARD Theory and the Seven Samurai Framework. You will see how the Knowledge Pyramid helps you understand how systems convert data into information that is used for the discovery of knowledge to be used in making better decisions. The workshop will let you spend about half of our time together working exercises in your team to fully understand and appreciate these ideas.

Participants will receive: a) Instruction: A variety of creative and analytic tools will be introduced. b) Course Notes: Each student will receive a set of course notes for reference. c) Practice: Students will have an opportunity to practice Systems Thinking skills in classroom exercises.

Learning Objectives:

  • Use various systems thinking frameworks
  • Apply systems thinking principles and concepts
  • Better see the “whole” solution to complex problems

The course is aimed at:

  • Engineers of all Disciplines
  • Managers
  • Leaders and decision makers


  • The Concepts of System and Holism as a Basis for Systems Thinking
  • On the Use of Concepts and Principles for Improving SE Practice
  • How to Conceptualize Systems... Using the PICARD Theory
  • Seven Samurai Framework for Holistic Appreciation of the Whole Solution
  • Using the Knowledge Pyramid as a Framework for Modern Systems

Attendees can read two of James Martin's papers to learn more about some of the workshop materials before attending. These papers are accessible from Wiley via the INCOSE web site for INCOSE members.

  1. Log in to your INCOSE account.
  2. Go to Wiley Online Library redirect.
  3. Now you can access the papers:

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