To err is human, but to really foul things up you need a computer! An old joke, but one that neatly illustrates how the multiplying power of systems for good can be equally devastating in reverse when errors are made.
Systems are immensely powerful, as exemplified in the sections on meta-perspectives and systemic solutions, and so it is vitally important that they are developed thoughtfully and responsibly.
This responsibility has been translated into a set of scientific and technical disciplines - guidelines of good practice that will efficiently deliver an effective and robust conclusion. These disciplines are so key to the scientific and technical world that the extent of their adoption can be interpreted as the degree of 'professionalism' that is being applied:
Does the Doctor...   Does the Engineer...
understand the patient and their needs?   understand customer needs & develop a project spec.?
establish health and fitness targets?   define performance targets and standards?
develop patient responsibility through involvement in diagnosis and care?   design concepts to make best use of customer and manufacturing resource?
understand the body and how it functions and responds?   develop a system level model, & establish critical functions?
monitor progress and
analyse deficiencies?
  measure performance and analyse deficiencies?
develop improvement strategies of prioritised medication and care, and learn from past progress and associated case studies?   learn from journals and develop performance through experimentation?

The extent to which the doctor or the engineer does the things above is both the extent to which they take their own disciplines seriously, and the extent to which we view them as being a good professional. But there is good reason for this - if you look at the lists above, you can see that missing out any of these disciplines will inevitably risk a more flawed solution.
Disciplines are vital to ensuring that systemic solutions are effective and safe. In the next section we see how these same principles apply to management.

Return to 'Professionalism'


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Fast Perspectives:
(click below for an oversight)
Building full commitment

(case study)
The best systematic resources now available.
(tools and methodologies)
Confidence and integrity through systematic practice
Leveraging potential through agile processes
For more detail:

Moving up a level: reconsidering and re-evaluating your role
(book extract)
Moving up a level: redesigning your role
(book extract)