The initially action in Smooth Programs Methodology ( SSM ) is to formulate the Root Definition of the System you are researching, analysing or developing.

A Root Definition is a structured description of a system. It is a crystal clear assertion of activities which just take position (or may well just take position) in the organisation staying analyzed.

A properly structured root definition comprises 3 elements [what, how, why] and is of the kind: A System to do X, by (indicates of) Y, in buy to obtain Z.

XWhat the System does

Y How it does it

ZWhy it is staying carried out

The ‘what’ is the immediate purpose of the system,

The ‘how’ is the indicates of reaching that purpose,

The ‘why’ is the extended expression purpose of the purposeful exercise.

CATWOE investigation allows in appropriate formulation of a Root Definition. CATWOE is a mnemonic which allows detect and categorize all stakeholders [people, procedures, atmosphere, entities] of the System staying analysed for formulating the Root Definition.


C = Customers OR Consumers

A = ACTORS OR Agents


W =WELTANSCHAUUNG or Earth Check out

O = Owners

E = Ecosystem

To elaborate a little bit:

C:   The ‘customers of the system’, shoppers or System Beneficiaries. In this context ‘customers’ indicates individuals who are on the obtaining conclude of what ever it is that the system does. Is it crystal clear from your definition of “C” as to who are the beneficiaries of the system?

A:   The ‘actors’, meaning individuals who would actually carry out the activities envisaged in the notional system staying described. Actors rework inputs into outputs.

T:   The ‘transformation process’. What does the system do to the inputs to change them into the outputs?

W:   Weltanschauung – The ‘world view’ that lies guiding the Root Definition the perspective from which the Root Definition if formulated. Putting the system into its wider context can spotlight the effects of the over-all system. For illustration the system might be in position to assist in making the earth environmentally safer, and the effects of system failure could be sizeable pollution.

O:   The ‘owner(s)’ – The particular person(s) who has commissioned the system and who has adequate official ability more than the system to stop it present if they so wished (though they will not likely usually want to do this).

E:   The ‘environmental constraints’. These include things like matters such as moral restrictions, laws, fiscal constraints, source constraints, restrictions set by conditions of reference, and so on.


CATWOE Examination yields a extra elaborate all encompassing Root Definition of the kind:

A System owned by O to do W by A by indicates of T specified the constraints of E in buy to obtain X for C.

[A briefer variation – a T system in which A do W for C]

In this article is a CATWOE Model of a hypothetical Bigger Instruction System [a University or a Higher education]:

C – Students

A – Instructors

T – College Pass Outs are remodeled into Graduates [Diploma Holders]

W – Graduation [a Diploma] is a indicates of assurance to possible businesses that the Graduate [Diploma Holder] possesses a specified standard of proficiency and capabilities in the area of qualification.

O – The University or Higher education Governing Entire body or Leading Management

E – The Recommended Educational, Educational Excellent, Assessment and Accreditation Specifications and Necessities.

Now this CATWOE Examination might generate a Root Definition that this particular Bigger Instruction Establishment is a university owned system to award degrees to pupils (X) who effectively qualify assessment (Y) in accordance with prescribed requirements in buy to certify assurance (Z) to possible businesses that the pupils possess the requisite proficiency, abilities and capabilities.

Is this Root Definition okay or is there anything amiss?

Suppose we determine Probable Businesses [or Industry] as Customers [C] and include things like pupils as ACTORS [A] alongside with teachers – will not likely we then get a extra apt Root Definition and as a result realise a improved Educational System in keeping with existing requires and floor reality?

Foods FOR Believed

A couple days in the past, at an alumni fulfill of a prestigious Institute of Technologies [Engineering Higher education], I asked a couple not long ago passed out alumni [who have been doing the job for a major Information Technologies company for just more than a year] as to how substantially of what was taught in his four year Engineering Diploma Program in his faculty was valuable in his do the job. They stated: “Significantly less than five% (5 per cent)” – which indicates that his employer experienced to spend closely [practically 95%] in his education and the relaxation he experienced to find out on the career. Possibly the educational institution requires to introspect and have a relook at its CATWOE Model and reformulate its ROOT DEFINITION and restructure its curriculum and revitalize its pedagogic methodology to seamlessly fulfill the problems of existing requires and situations.