Applied Systems Thinking

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Requirements & Materials

Applied Systems Thinking

Course Description

In a world where complexity and pace of change continue to increase, there is an accelerating need for holistic viewpoints and a systems approach to decision making and leading change. Effective development of enterprises, organizations, and large engineered systems requires a problem-solving method that emphasize relationships, interactions, causality, and strategy. This course explores systems thinking – your personal foundation for a systems approach to enterprise and project leadership. The basics of systems thinking will be covered, including the history of these approaches and the importance of using them to mitigate bias and address complex problems. You will learn the systems thinking mindset and how to use diverse systems thinking methods and tools for sensing, modeling, and strategic planning in complex domains.

Course Content


  • Introduction to systems thinking – history and use
  • Overview of systems thinking methods and tools


  • Understanding human decision making and cognitive bias
  • Facilitating problem definition and solving tools


  • Problem framing, mapping, and model design
  • Case study – modeling an emergent system and it societal impacts


  • Understanding relationships, cause and effect, and measurement
  • Using the Logic Model as a strategy tool


  • Conceptually modeling a complex system
  • Dynamically modeling a complex system
Requirements & Materials


  • Notebook with lecture notes
  • CD-ROM of reference material

Session Details

  • Special Discounts: Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) employees are eligible to receive a discount.  If you are a GTRI employee, please go to the Organizational Development website and look for the coupon code under GT Professional Development. Review coupon instructions for more information.

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for engineers, scientists, and managers who wish to learn theoretical bases and practical applications of systems thinking for problem solving, decision making, and innovation strategy.

Working professional attending an engineering course

What You Will Learn

  • Concepts of systems thinking for engineered systems
  • Systems thinking tools and how to facilitate and apply them
  • How to use these tools to think more holistically about problems and solutions
  • Model, assess, and measure cause and effect relationships
  • Assess, plan, and execute long term strategies for systemic change
  • Modeling & simulation tools for systems thinking
Working professional controlling factory robot with ipad

How You Will Benefit

  • Learn system approaches to design of complex systems and enterprises.
  • Learn how to overcome decision bias and use holistic problem solving methods.
  • Discover specific systems thinking tools and practice applying them to your work.
  • Learn the systems approach to innovation strategy.
  • Become a better change leader using systems tools for planning and execution.
  • Participate in an experiential learning opportunity with tools that can be immediately applied to your work.
  • Taught by Experts in the Field icon
    Taught by Experts in the Field
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    Grow Your Professional Network

The course schedule was well-structured with a mix of lectures, class discussions, and hands-on exercises led by knowledgeable and engaging instructors.

- Abe Kani


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  • Flexible Schedule
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