Answers to Quiz on Managing the System Way

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Over this century the approach of Systems Thinking has gained increasing attention in various societal domains, such as culture, science, general and human ecology, religion and economics & management. System Thinking has taught us that it is not about blaming other people but to work together to find a solution and to achieve that there must be a good relationship, connectivity and interconnectivity. For any system to function effectively it is recommended that all parts be present and functional and must be connected to a proper way.

System thinking in an Organisation mainly depends on achieving negative entropy through openness and feedback,system thinking also plays a major role in organisations and assist to get rid of disfucntional organisation, Successful organizations develop characteristics and perform processes that allow them to adapt to constraints, threats, and opportunities. For any organisation grow and improve that organisation must then become learning organisation and for it to function effectively there should be an effective leadership which will bring effective change and creative ideas to the organisation.

Learning organization discourage the mentality that it is only senior management who can and do all the thinking for the entire corporation and it therefore encourages everyone's ideas are valued and amount that people can contribute and it is not determined by position in the organization.

2.1 Quiz 1

The embedding process,

The following scenario has been experienced from my company.

This typical example is used to accommodate the 'Why' Question in the future.

Buying a Generator Transformer for Majuba Unit 1

Why Generator Transformer?

Can carry high Voltage and high Amperes

Can withstand higher Temperatures.

Can withstand lower Temperatures

Can be used outdoors and Indoors

Using natural air and oil for cooling

Can step up or down the Voltage

Too costly

Available on shelves

Why not Unit transformer?

Carries less Voltage and Amperes

Easily get hot due to insufficient cooling

Low current capacity

Inadequate cooling system

Reasonable price

Can only step down the Voltage

Why not dry type Transformer?

Recommended for Indoors usage

Cannot withstand high temperatures

Cannot stand very low temperatures

Very cheap

Can only step down the Voltage.

Why not BFP's Transformers?

Not design to carry out high loads

Can withstand high and lower temporaries

Reasonable price

5. Why not Pole mounted Transformer

Does not fit for the purpose,

Can withstand temperature changes

Not available on shelf

Used FOR Domestic purpose

The outcome of the analysis shows that Option number 1 is the only one that is applicable for the Majuba Power Station, this is due to the fact that option number 1 meets all the specific requirements and is always available on shelves.

2.2 QUIZ 2

House Criteria and Requirements





Bedroom size





Shopping centre















Crime Rate





Police station





Gardening size






























Family requirement










Close to work










Table 1 Decision making Tool

The decision making tool used above on Table 1 used a criteria to evaluate the best house that one can buy,

Given the requirement that the house should meet or comply with, the decision was taken that House A is the best house to buy.

2.3 QUIZ 3

Plethora of Literature

Fig 1 Brain Power

Fig 1 above tells about the Memory ability Factor: System thinking illustrate that no matter how much work load you might have the brain power assist to perform you duties and ensures that all work get don, it also tells us that a proper planning plays a huge role on all situation one could come across with, It therefore important for the person to get sufficient knowledge and training to achieve the best results.


Fig 2 above tells us on Project management situation planning also plays a huge role and if planning is not done one will face difficulties when it comes to Project Execution, Project Management is worthless when the quality is compromised, Fig 2 teach us the for the project to executed, The strategic plan is where we find the AIM of the system the 'whole' should be taken into consideration, meaning that the must be a continues improvement and a strategic planning and Management should be practice for a Project to be a successful one.


Fig 3 above tells us the information system in organisation, Organisation should ensure that its values are know by all employees and should live by them, Trust within the organisation leads to a good team work with one goal of achieving the best for the company.

Policies and procedure should form part of daily activities and should be communicated to all employees in an organisation,


Title: System Thinking Application in Organisation


Many companies have failed themselves and some resulted in closing down, No one ever take time to understand why this happens, Research shows that system thinking does not exist and Management does thing the way they think. Most organisations do not operate as a 'whole' but rather as a 'part' of the system.

System Thinking Application

Fig 1, 2 and 3 above illustrate Different application of the system thinking, each and every figure will contribute to the growing and development of the organisation, Employees and Management will gain a lot of trust and understanding of each other, to improve our methods of change, therefore, we need to understand more about what actually governs people's behaviour. When no change occurs, it is the pattern of behaviour that remains unchanged. Doing the right thing means we have to learn how to view an organisation as a system and understand the implications of that view for what it means to manage.

Recommendation and Conclusion

System thinking when applied properly can change the mindset of employees and it is recommended that all employees to be exposed to system thinking and the structure should be such that employees must feel that they are part of the organisation, It is recommended that training should be provided to the employees to get the good results of system thinking, Good communication structure to be in place and all informed of it,

In conclusion,

A learning organisation produces a good results and increases working performance which leads to an increase in production.

It is the Board decision to accept the application of System thinking in this organisation taking into account the benefit and the impact the system thinking will have in the organisation.

2.4 QUIZ 4

What is Fractal - a fractal is any object or something or form created from repeated patterns evident at many levels of scale.

In my organisation, I have noticed that a fractal quality take place when we do the pre job brief [where safety and job planning is discussed before the job can actually start] and the Safety of people is always emphasised and repeated, this is done to achieve one goal which is to have zero first aid and zero Loss time injuries.

Another Changes that I need to Implement is to achieve Fractal quality is Cardinal rules, These rules are the rules that cannot be broken by anyone and should anyone break anyone of the rules, there will be a formal disciplinary for that individual which might results to a serious misconduct

These five cardinal rules are as follows:

Open, Isolates, earth and/or bond and safety test before touch

Hook up at heights

Be sober

Have Permit to work

I therefore see it necessary to warn colleagues each day about these five cardinal rules.

2.4 QUIZ 5

1. A

2. - 4B

3. B

4. A

5. A

6. B

7. - 4C

2.5 QUIZ 6

Project Name: Refurbishment of Turbine Valves

This is a project that is currently busy with at my work place Majuba Power Station Unit 4.


In 2009 it was suspected that unit 4 Turbine Valve are damaged, this came after the machine was in a process of shutting down after evening peak, The Operator who was in charge of the machine did not follow the shut down procedure and he was mistakenly open the control valve and allow water to go through the Turbine, Water should not at any point go to the turbine as this could caused Quenching [allow water to the turbine valves].

The consequences of Turbine quenching is a categorised as a disaster which cause the Rotors on the Turbine to bend and eventually cause the Turbine to vibrate, and since last year thus far the vibration has been so high,

The reason for not doing the repairs last when the incident take place was the fact the system could not allow Majuba to take the machine out for Outage due to the system constrains. The machine have been running at a lower load since last year and the risk to run the machine with damages was identified and all mitigation was put in place to avoid further damages to the Turbine .

Scope of work:

Shut down the Machine

Force cool the machine for 36hrs

Erect Scaffolding [Sub contract]

Remove lagging and cladding [Sub contract]

Remove Turbine 4 Turbine valves

Remove Turbine Two Rotors

Send both Valves and Rotors for repairs at Alstom [Sub contract]

Inspect and replace bearing no 1 and 10 if found damaged

Collect both Valves and Rotors from Alstom

Put back Turbine rotors

Put back Turbine Valves

Replace lagging and cladding

Dismantle Scaffolding [Sub contract]

Perform Turbine tests, take reading and analyse [Sub contract]

Start up the Machine

The main Contractor is Rotek Engineering

Sub contractor no 1 Kaefer [Scaffolding]

Sub contractor no 2 Alstom Power Services

Total costs for this Project is R 13,000,000.00

Chaos Theory application

This Project was scheduled to start on the 16th September and complete on the 29th October 2010,

The main Contractor is Rotek Engineering

Sub contractor no 1 Kaefer [Scaffolding]

Sub contractor no 2 Alstom Power Services

After attending The Da Vinci Institute classes on System Management, the tool used on the material was checked against my current projects as follows:

So far Alstom has indicated that will be slight change on the project duration as the scope on the Valves and Rotors has increased after they have stripped and inspected the Vales and Rotors and that has a direct influence on the total budget allocated, Rotek contractor together with Alstom revised the bar chart as well as the WBS [ Non linear paradigm adopted ] which then showed a late completion date of the 5th November 2010,as Eskom we do not want to lose time on the project we then called up a special meeting with the main Contractor [ Rotek ],The contractor was requested to send a quotation for an additional scope submitted after the inspection was done and Eskom also instructed the Rotek to get more resources and also quote on that additional resources (we applied control), The total costs now has been increased to R 13 850,000.00 which was not approved budget initially.

We then as a team called up a meeting with everyone involved, all were encouraged to work safe and put focus on the work, the reporting / communication structure [D channel applied] and organogram also discussed with the team and all understood the set up. Team members were motivated and were promised a braai as well as Game gift vouchers of R 150, 00 each should the project be completed on time. Everybody was asked to feel free on the job and to report any unsafe act and the suggestion box was placed on the floor for anyone with problems on the project itself including HR and Salary issues. In this project not much change was applied to the solutions of repairing the Valves and the Rotors as the recommendation was given by the manufacture and no other decision could be made as this components are not manufactured locally and no one knows much within South Africa.

Currently the team and everybody involved are happy and this is conformed by the commitment and dedication noted on the team, this has led to a reduction in duration of the project by two days. The reduction in duration has helped in costs reduction on the project.

Therefore Chaos theory in Project Management has taught us the following:

If a good planning and Execution is not done properly, that project is a

If there is no proper communication in a team, that is a recipe for a disaster in a project [D channel plays a huge role]

The project environment should be conducive for the team to learn in order to maximise the use of change.


3.1.1 Power Generation and Supply at Eskom

This is an element that I will be discussing and analyzing, also to identify Operating, Transaction as well as Contextual Environment.

A Operating Environment

Structure: It is well defined and all employees and employer understand and follow the agreed structure.

Culture: Like any other organization, Culture diversity is still a challenge as people do things differently and also think differently.

Competences: Competent people are mostly on Majuba side although there is still some work to be done and less competent people are more on Contractors working under Majuba.

Resources: In terms of resources, most of the work is outsourced and that is where the most resources are in employed compared to the resources Majuba.

B Transactional Environment

Communities: Not applicable.

Regulators: Eskom is regulated by NERSA in terms of Electricity and in terms Gender equity it is for regulated by government Act and own internal procedures.

Shareholders: Government and World Bank


Customers: Eskom customers are mainly all house hold, Municipalities, Mines, and Hospitals as well outside countries like Zimbabwe.

Suppliers: Eskom suppliers are mainly the coal mines, department of water affairs, gas Industries, stationery companies as well Computer companies.

Competitors: Currently Eskom does not have competitors in terms of Electrical power generation, but other companies generate their own Electricity for own use e.g. Sasol.

Trade association: Not applicable

Unions / employees: Eskom employees have three unions representing them and they are NUM, NUMSA as well Solidarity.

C. Contextual Environment

Political Forces: Political involvement does exist but mainly take part in higher Management level, The reason being that the Eskom Chief Executive Officer is appointed by the Minister of Public Enterprise and Energy.

Economical Forces: Economical forces has negatively impacted Eskom in the past two years and that was due to the world recession and the factor is the new build Eskom Power Stations which requires a lot of billions to be completed and that has also put Eskom into financial crisis at this stage.

Ecological Forces: Not applicable and have no impact on Eskom business and operation.

Technological Forces, Technology keeps on growing and coming each and every year and Eskom is always out there seeking for new ideas and information of running the business effectively and efficiently without compromising its core business.

Socio-cultural Forces: People have different attitude, beliefs, customs and lifestyle as well as culture, Eskom does have these different people but they are no influence or whatsoever towards Eskom employees as they have established a habit of working as a team.


3.2.1 System Analysis




STRUCTURE: The actors involved here are the Employees, Trade unions, Employer, customers and suppliers, their interest is to ensure Generate Electricity and distribute it to its customers. Eskom has a huge influence and impact on Electricity supply to its customers and also has influence on its employees

Members: Eskom Executive Committee Board members and employees on all Eskom divisions. Major components are all the electricity generating plants and Coal and Gasses. Their relationship is that generating plants requires Coal and Gasses to produce Electrical energy.

Eskom has a dedicated staff that ensures there is continues supply of Electrical energy to Eskom customers, Currently Eskom shareholders are its employees as well as the Government, There are three trade unions namely NUM, NUMSA as well as SOLIDARITY, Eskom main customers are all Electricity users [domestic use], Mines, Hospitals and other neighbouring countries, Current suppliers are Coal mines, gasses supplier, Government appoints Eskom CEO and ensures that all government act are obeyed and followed by all Employers and Eskom is currently regulates by NERSA.

FUNCTION: Eskom produced Electrical Energy for all its customers including neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe, Electrical energy is produced for all household and domestic use, Hospitals and companies as well as the mines that requires electrical energy to run their businesses, Daily meeting are held where the production requirements are discussed and actions are taken by relevant individuals.

The main products is Electrical energy and the markets all Eskom customers, Currently Eskom does not have major competitors, Eskom has entered the markets in a huge way that its is registered with JSE as well as world market,

Eskom is currently doing well in the Market as there are one other company that compete with Eskom and not much challenge is experience by Eskom, As previously discussed, Eskom has no competitors and therefore no intensity exist

PROCESS (Knowledge): Electrical energy is produced where by the Boiler filled with Tubes is heated through the Boiler Tubes and the steam is formed which the converted to a dry steam and transported at a high pressure which then turn the Turbine which in turn turned the Generator. The induction processes takes place in the generator and the magnetic field are produced and Electrical energy generated.

Then the generated power transferred to the Generator transformer which the step up the Voltage from 22 000Volts to 400kv, this 400kv is the sent to the grid and then national control controls the power distribution to all system networks and Eskom customers

Eskom seeks new technology each and every day for its core business of generating Electricity at reasonable price and that is always available, although Eskom do have competent people and skills but there is gap that needs to be closed due to the fact that people with then right skills are leaving the organisation and there is skill retention or development plan in place,

Throughput process: Eskom produces a capacity of 4100 MW of Electricity per day, provided the entire machines are on load generating electricity.

Organisational process: Eskom have procedures and Policies in place which help to run the business effectively e.g. finance, technology, quality, human resources, and marketing are important process considerations.

Minimum requirement - To be able to produce Electrical energy that is always available at a reasonable price, Benchmaker: The best players in the organisation are all the Eskom employees and the employer who makes it possible produces this Electricity, Cost of selling is 150 Per Megawatt, Cost of Production is approximately R38m per Megawatt,

Cost of developing approximately R12m, Cost of membership (overheads) is approximately R50m.







Daily meeting are held where the production requirements are discussed and actioned to relevant individuals.

Source of Power is at Management levels and they are responsible for continues running of the Plant.

Policies and procedure are clear and well defined, all people involved are aware of the process to be followed.


Everyone is clear and knows exactly of what needs to be done as all are allocated with work for that particular day.

All employees are measured using the agreed key performance Indicators and the reward being the Performance Appraisal Bonuses.

The system is in place for all the deviation and control in accordance with NEC, feedback is required on specific agreed dates.


In terms of Market viability, Eskom is still safe as the Market response quite good since there are no competitors; The demand increases at a fast rate.

Eskom source of money is on both Eskom self profit as well as World bank where most of the loans are granted to Eskom.

Although some the Generating Machines are getting old, The Machines still operates effectively and the demand is forecast 48 hrs upfront at the control centre situated in Germiston and planned accordingly.


Eskom vision of the desired future state that 'Together building the powerbase for sustainable growth and development and to provide Southern Africa with reliable cost effective Power'

At the present moment Eskom does not have any insecurities and alienation, South Africa mainly dependant on Eskom to supply Electricity and the support is continues.

There is a good Integration on Eskom's stakeholders, The differentiation exist when Government is reluctant to approve requested funds and when customers has to pay increases on Electricity


The Main risks that Eskom faces are shortage of skilled personnel, Insufficient power generating machines to meet the increasing demand as well as funding of the new projects

Eskom value its employees and treat everyone with respect they deserve, The Group consists of different people coming from different background and Culture and everyone respects other fellow's culture.

Conflict Management procedures are in place to deal with any conflict arising. Depending on each case merit but mostly a disciplinary committee plays a role.


There is a lot of a thing that could happen should there be no change the way organisation operates, the following explains:

The company will not grow and no innovation.

The company will not copy with new Technologies

Skilled people will not get challenge and will end up living the organisation


Organisation would destroy itself by not applying change in the current way they operates their businesses,

Organisation that do not ensures its employees are getting developed and are given chance to explore.

Organisation destroys itself if it not a learning organisation and when power is on certain individual only

Organisation that does not have Policies and procedures would be destroying its future.


Here we discuss the Solutions that can help to improve the system by discussing the following:

3.3.1 Where system in an organisation should be more opened?

In my organisation I believe the system should be more opened on the following:

Open in communication structure from the high Management to a lower class people in the organisation.

Open in Information sharing within the organisation even to the people who do not have access to emails and GroupWise.

Open in people's development

Open in giving people a platform for Innovation.

Open in Procedures and Policies.

3.3.2 Where the system in an organisation should be closed?

Close in High level Management decision

Close in Individual salaries.

3.3.3 Where the system in an organisation should be connected?

Different departments working in silos should be connected

Different division should be connected.

3.3.4 Where Boundaries should be?

When people not following procedures.

When people are breaking the law and the rules.

Applied when there is a no work a no pay should apply.

3.3.5 Where is the pattern in an organisation?

Time order, everybody to keep on start working time.

Follow procedures on all work.

Treat everybody with respect.


3.4.1 Casual Loop Diagram Key Findings

The following points indicate the main area of concern on the above Casual loop diagram in Fig 5:

It is noted that high population increase electricity demand which in turn reduces the Supply of electricity

The current process of generating electricity has a negative impact on our environment as it causes pollution to the air.

The consequences of polluting the may as well mine workers where cola is supplied may results to fatalities.

It is an obvious case that in winter season where there is no rainfall, the Eskom organisation finds it difficult to produce Electricity as there is huge shortage of water in the dams and rivers.

The more fatalities are experience in the industries is the more our population get reduced.

It is true Eskom is contributing to the Economy of this country because all businesses needs electricity to operates effectively

Eskom as an organisation opens job opportunities and allow people to develop in their careers within Eskom.

It is also noted that when the employees are given a chance to acquire knowledge through studies and research, they become more informative and increase that increases their skills.

3.4.2 Recommendation from the Casual Loop Diagram

The safety of people is a priority and no production loss or profit can justify the safety of people, it is therefore recommended that the Companies should be more alert and put systems in place to ensure that workers come to work safe and live work safe.

It is recommended that organisations should have a plan in place to develop its employees, this will bring good results in a long run and will contribute to the high profit of the organisation as the employees will be more skilled and knowledgeable which helps in increasing the company production.


Refer to Quiz no 4 on page 10


Refer to Quiz no 3 on page 6


In conclusion, whether we consider systems thinking mostly a new perspective and a set of tools, it has a power and a potential that once we have been introduced, are hard to resist. The more you learn about this intriguing field, the more you will want to know. In organisations, System Thinking has taught us that all departments should work together and integrate to achieve the best results, It has also taught that although we need to deal with a change in our environment and learn to approach as the 'whole' rather that as 'parts' of the system.