Like a human organism, an organization is a system. Just as the nerves, digestion and blood circulatory systems are interdependent in the human body, people, tasks and the management are interdependent in an organization. A change in any of these aspects may affect all the other parts to some degree. This is called "ripple effect," which influences the organizational effectiveness. To visualize these discrepancies between the various segments of the business, managers need an overall perspective. Business process management software plays a pivotal part in this regard.
Managers need to know not just their own jobs, but also how their jobs and all others fit into what the organization is trying to achieve. Thinking about an organization this way is an exercise in using the systems approach. For business process management software to be successful it is necessary that software work on both open and closed systems.
A closed system has fixed boundaries; its operation is reliably independent of the environment outside the system. A watch is a familiar example of a closed system. Once a watch is hurt or a battery is in place, the interdependent parts move continuously and precisely. As long as the watch has sufficient energy stored within it, its system is independent of the external environment.
An open system, on the other hand, is characterized by interaction with the external environment. Information and material are exchanged with the environment. Thus, an open system is one that consistently comes into contact with the environment. Because of such close and constant interaction, it must be capable of adapting to the environment for its continued existence and operation.
An organization as a whole is a system, and the various components or parts within it are called the subsystems. The subsystems in an organization like departments or divisions and different levels of management – all play a serious role in the organization, just as your body's subsystems of circulation, digestion, nerves and skeleton do. Since all are linked, a malfunction in even the smallest subsystem can affect the overall system. That's why it's very important that software be treated like a system.