SYSTEM THINKING ENGINNERING AND ITS APPICATION IN SAUDI VISION 2030

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LITERATURE REVIEW

Systems thinking are an integral concept in the engineering discipline especially among the systems engineers by providing a vital intellectual underpinning. The concept was established in 1956 by Professor Jay Forrester. He was a professor at MIT and his aim when establishing the concept was finding a new advanced way that could be used to measure the social systems and improve them to allow their incorporation in the engineering principles(Hatley, Hruschk, and Pirbhai, 2000; Giachetti, 2016). In other words, it involves the betterment of the engineering disciplines by including the societal systems within its framework.

According to Peter Senge, 2010 system thinking is regarded as the fifth discipline and forms the basis of learning organization. The disciplines tend to bind the other four disciplines and bring about a sense of uniformity. The other four disciplines in their respective orders include; personal mastery, shared mental models, shared vision, and team learning. The discipline has some laws that have to be followed to facilitate the achievement of a common framework (Haines, 2016). The framework embodies the notion of the existence of an interrelationship within various events or parts that are interlinked and geared towards the achievement of a uniform aim on the system.

In the engineering industry, the laws that interlink the discipline of system thinking are often taken into utmost consideration. The first law is that the recursive thinking has to be used in place of the linear thinking. When working on a project, the engineer is more focused on the wholesome picture that their project will have on the society and other system elements (Leveson, 2011). Each project has to fulfill the customer’s vision, requirements, preferences, and the resolution of a particular problem that will need to the fulfillment of the customer needs.

The second law in system thinking is based on the cause- effect relationship. In engineering, every single stage each action was undertaken has a ripple effect in another section of the project being implemented (Leveson, 2011). Therefore to ensure that the project achieves its end goals, the engineer has to look for the synergy and the benefits to be derived from the particular action undertaken. When evaluating the Saudi Vision 2030, the vision has some facets that are interlinked with engineering but require different approaches or their fulfillment. One of the most outstanding concepts is the revolution of the cities in Saudi Arabia to bring a sense of modernity and place the country on the global map. For the need to be brought to fruition, the following aspect has to be taken into account; business and economic cost, reuse or creation of new infrastructure, political, managerial and societal considerations (Loose more and Cheung, 2015).

The Saudi Vision 2030 is meant to improve not only the economic stand of the country but also its societal and political needs. The fulfillment of the vision will revolutionize the livelihood of the people living in the country. The citizens will be able to access better and advanced medical care through the construction of modern hospitals. Secondly, they will get access to more job opportunities through the investment program outlined in the vision 2030.

The employment of system engineering within the implementation of the vision 2030 in Saudi will facilitate the creation of outstanding buildings that will interlink all the various needs of the country. It will also result in the decongestion of the cities through the provision of better housing for the citizens working and living in the country. From the political perspectives the Saudi vision 2030, will be part of the implementation of the long-term promise by the political wing to change the country. Additionally, it will result in the solidification of the politically stable climate in the country (Al-Arabiya Interview with the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, 2016).

When tackling the economic front the implementation of the Saudi Vision 2030 will diversify the economy of the country. The Saudi country has an overabundance of mineral resources though the country’s economy is built on the extraction and export of only oil. With the depletion of the resource, the country has to look for new avenues to ensure that there is an inflow of currency into the country (“Saudi Vision 2030”, 2016).

System thinking comes in handy in the diversification of the economy; the discipline has enabled the planners’ to focus on the privatization of the food industry of the country (Mella, 2012; Wasson 2005). According to the Saudi American Public Relations Affairs Committee (SAPRAC), 2012, the ministry of environment, water and agriculture (MEWA), focuses on eliminating the water scarcity problem in the country. Indeed, it does so by ensuring that by 2030, 52% of the water will be desalinated through the strategic partners it is currently at 16% and boost the water resources by 6.1 billion m3/day capacity it is currently at 4.1 billion. Additionally, it focuses, on the improvement of the food security aspect from62% to 100% completion of national food security strategy.

The third principle focuses on the engineer taking into consideration various aspects before making decisions (Leveson, 2011). Environmental considerations, in the implementation of the Saudi vision 2030, the environmental impact of the outlined projects have to be taken into account. The engineers have to find a way of transforming adverse impacts into positive ones for the benefit of the society. Furthermore, the projects implemented y the engineer has to be within the quality constraints. They include; testability, availability, maintainability, expandability and reliability (Checkland, 2012; Jackson2000). Each single project within the Saudi Vision 2030 has to achieve the quality assurance considerations. The projects need to have a long-term effect and be within a reasonable cost budget. A rationale engineer often does focus on the long term effect of their projects; the projects have to use the quality resources to ensure that they will withstand the test of time (Leveson, 2011).

The fourth law does focus on the engineer taking into account the logistical requirements in the developmental stage (Leveson, 2011). In the laws of engineering on system thinking the engineer has to focus o ensuring that they have structured maintenance levels and all the technical aspects of the projects are documented. Additionally, the spare parts are present to ensure faster repair which goes hand in hand with the presence of a stable and organized maintenance infrastructure. The last aspect of the law focus on ensuring that the engineer has an established support system that can oversee efficient and effective service provision in the fulfillment of the various projects (Maana and Cavana,2007; p15)

Leroy Levy wrote an article in the energy law exchange, 2016 analyzing the implementation of the Saudi Vision 2030. According to him, the project has taken the fourth law into adequate consideration by coming up with sound organized projections on the fulfillment of the vision. The Crowned Prince has established partners within the private and public sector to provide sufficient support in the implementation of the vision. The Saudi Vision 2030 is also centered on the increment of the private sector’s contribution to the economic development of the country from 40% to 65% of the gross domestic product (GDP).The Prince has also introduced laws and sector regulation to ensure that the fulfillment of the vision is not interfered.

Secondly to support the growth of the country’s economy the government focus on the increment of localization of both the gas and oil sector from 40% to 75% (“Saudi Vision 2030”,2016).The aspect is centered on the establishment of a maintenance infrastructure that will reduce the country overdependence on exports to boost its economy. The increase in local demand will provide the nation with an opportunity of getting local revenue through taxation that will facilitate the achievement of the government’s projects. On the aspect of documentation, the government has instituted policies that focus on the provision of standardized contracts. The contracts take into consideration the aspect of technical documentation since each subsystem that is actualized has to be within the agreed concepts within the contract (Waldman, 2016).

According to the fifth law of engineering system, at times there arises an intensive need to carry out modification to a particular system an engineer has to take into account some aspects. They include; the non-engineering and engineering impacts, the effect on the present fit form and function, system response to the alteration and finally the societal attitudes (Leveson, 2011; Aronson 1998). The Saudi government analyzed its performance on a global scale and decided they need to take drastic changes in every single facet of their economy and society. For a long term impact and the establishment of a defined chartered direction, the government employed the aid of technical experts in different fields to come up with the vision 2030(Council of Economic Development Affairs(CEDA), 2001).

The vision 2030 is intended to improve the foreign direct investment in Saudi from 3.8% to the global level of 5.7% of the GDP (“Saudi Vision 2030”, 2016). According to the McKinsey report, 2015 the Saudi economy is at an inflection point, the reason for this is sparked by the over-reliance on oil prosperity to propel the economy. The report recommended the introduction of dynamism to tee economy which will be achieved through focusing on productivity and investment led transformation. The analysis resulted in the government strategizing to raise their share in nonoil exports in nonoil GDP from 16% to 50%.The Saudi Society took the vision in good faith, and they are working in conjunction with the government to oversee its implementation (Ryan, 2016).

The sixth law is centered on the fact that the engineering design process requires multiple tradeoffs to be made during implementation to ensure effective utilization of resources. When implementing any form of the project an engineer has to ensure the following aspects are present for ease of its implementation; control, management of configuration, management, milestones and scheduling methods (Leveson, 2011; Wasson, 2005).When taking into account the vision 2030, the law has been covered on a minimal perspective. The roadmap to vision 2030 was based on the analysis of the situation prevailing in Saudi Arabia and the visions set up by other progressive economies. The document provides a pictorial picture that has outlined the targets to be met within a predefined period and the strategy to be followed ( Loosemore, and Cheung, 2015). The most outstanding limitation is that the vision lacks some options in the instance the first strategy does fail.

The last aspects of the law of engineering system are thinking the focus on the aspect of partnerships and evaluation of threats. The partners selected should be capable of sharing in the risks as well as the success of the project. The Saudi government has established partners within the private sectors who stand to gain and also lose if the implementation of the project fails (Moser, Swain, and Alkhabbaz, 2015).

The future is uncertain, and the system thinking is employed to tackle the aspect of uncertainty providing a scope of predictability to the implementers. The scope is limited due to the unknown forces that may alter the sound established plans. (Ball, Greringr, and McNett, 2012; p345). The second limitation in the review of this concept on the Saudi Vision 2030 is that its achievement is centered on the future. The future is uncertain and therefore the literature review conducted on the subject is mainly a projection of what is anticipated which limits the conclusive aspect of the subject under discussion ( Checkland, 2000)

Engineering system thinking requires the integration of various disciplines. It requires the inclusion of experts from various disciplines in tackling a particular concept and the continuous alteration of the set project on changes. The Council of Economic Development Affairs (CEDA), 2001 clearly stipulated that the size and scope of the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 have limited research conducted on it based on its impacts both positively and negatively on the long term basis. Therefore the sectors that are directly affected by its implementations will, therefore, contribute to the provision of more study and feedback to ensure that they have a conclusive report. The council indicated that they were open to the reception of onions that will be geared towards the implementation of the vision 2030 (Salameh, 2016).

Additionally, the research on the implementation of system thinking within the engineering system on the Saudi Arabia vision 2030 is limited. A handful of researchers has integrated the three concepts in their research. The lack of conclusive research has posed an intensive challenge in the establishment of a positive relation between the concepts in the implementation of Saudi vision 2030 (Salameh, 2016). Since system thinking engineering works on the principle of the interrelationship between concepts, there is a research gap in clearly indicating how the principles are intertwined.

Furthermore, few people have an understanding of the Saudi Vision 2030 in the country. Most people are only previewing to its existence but have limited information on the concepts of the document the details have been left to the experts in the various professional disciplines. System thinking on engineering is an old concept, but its practical application is limited (Giachetti, 2016). When analyzing the principle from a practical perspective one cannot distinguish its application with the common sense aspect. Therefore, when taking into account the literature review that has been conducted, there is a limitation on establishing a solid primary ground of the relation. The research paper focuses on closing this gap by establishing a pristine relation between the various disciplines.

According to Minger and White, 2010 the importance of system thinking applicability in operational research, management science, and engineering fields cannot be downplayed. The system thinking has played an integral role in chartering a process that will facilitate the implementation of various aspects in the achievement of vision 2030. The engineering system in Saudi has experienced tremendous changes with time. The engineering industry has worked hard to revolutionize the economic development of Saudi. They have created immense outstanding buildings not only in the country but also in the neighboring nations (Giachetti, 2016).

The Saudi Vision 2030 has various aspects, but one of its fundamental ones is its applicability in the engineering detail. When analyzing the different aspects of the system thinking about Saudi Vision 2030, it is essential to take a comprehensive look at the risks that are present in the engineering industry. Additionally, the engineering industry is faced with many issues the research will focus on ways of overcoming the hurdles present to ensure that the industry can play its integral role in the implementation of the vision 2030 (Husain, Fraker, Burton, Young and Al Absi, 2016). The research paper endeavors to carry out a conclusive establishment of distinctive ways of countering the challenges in the engineering disciplines on the implementation of the Saudi vision 2030.

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