System/complexity approach is based on the review of organisations and processes analysing the subsystems composing them and their interrelations including synergies and idiosyncrasies. Systemic/complexity-based methods focus on the structural aspects of the process and are aiming at enhancing the general understanding of the functions within the organisation and processes in order to improve organisational effectiveness, efficiency and appropriate planning. It is also appropriate as a growth-enhancing tool – through identifying areas of strength and weaknesses, synergies and idiosyncrasies and plan accordingly – as well as cost-reduction tool in support of organisational problem solving activities.
Methods coming under this heading usually adopt mixed quantitative-qualitative techniques. Before a system can be analysed numerically, it needs to be expressed visually, its parameters (macro and micro parameters) need to be laid out, discussed and validated against the evidence of the actual performance of the various elements within the Programme and at project level. Once this phase is achieved, micro data are collected and computational techniques such as Social Network Analysis or Agent Based models can be set up and implemented for studying system performance and evaluating systemic effects of changes on variables or system’s parameters (i.e. intervention strategies).