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Risk Assessment In A Socio-Technical System

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1.Write an essay on the impact of human and organisational factors on the operation of socio-technical systems.

2.Address how software engineers cope with risk assessment and project planning as they impact the operation of socio-technical systems.


1.A socio-technical system is a system that creates an environment for the people to work together with technology. With the help of this system, they can relate to one another. Software Engineers have a huge impact on the operations of socio-technical systems but they also have to find new and innovative ways to handle project planning and the subsequent risk assessment.

Setting up a socio-technical system is usually very complex. The fundamental components include hardware, software, physical building, people, procedures, organization, data, and data structures (Dalpiaz, Giorgini and Mylopoulos 2013). Technology has helped to develop the modern society. These developments of the society is directly impacted by the human factor (Davis et al. 2014). There are various issues related such as efficiency, effectiveness, usability and safety. Computer technology had been used to effectively solve many challenges such as improvement of the society’s economy, automation of tasks that are too complex to execute manually and many more. There was a need for tasks to be accomplished within a set amount of time and this resulted in a focused effort to learn and develop computers. The social system consists of people along with their habits, attitudes, behavioral styles, values and relationships. To be fully effective, the technical and social systems should assist and complement one another. As an example, if a manufacturing work group does not trust and assist each other, they will neither be able to meet their productivity targets nor their deadlines. There is lack of teamwork in businesses where the employees have isolated workstations, processes that are non-sequential and large buffers in inventory. People need to more coordination and should rely on each other to achieve better productivity (Galegher, Kraut and Egido 2014).

Organizations were also interested to develop the technology that could ease the way they are operating and even achieve various targets within a short period. They were supportive towards this technology and provided the necessary material and financial resources for their engineer’s training and development (Marshall 2014). The research practices were improved to create the desired difference in software engineering. This means the understanding of the methodology in the working of socio-economic system resulted in highly improved potentials for earning in the business and commercial activities.


Software Engineering needs a different approach than conventional engineering practices (Wohlin 2014). The approach mostly depends on the task that has been assigned and the working environment. Socio-technical systems will be more effective when the human as well as organizational factors are well integrated in the systems.

2.Risk assessment is an integral part of any project. While developing a socio-technical system, software engineers not only have to evaluate the risks during the development the system but also the runtime risks on the people and the organizations on implementation (Haimes 2015). Various engineers are needed to develop a socio-technical system but software engineers serve as the fundamental and the most important entity in the development of such systems (Jones, Artikis and Pitt 2013). Systems such as synchronous and asynchronous communication was introduced in various organizations to connect and communicate with their employees in different parts of the world (Giesbers et al. 2014). Although these systems were designed to help the organizations and the people, they had concerns regarding the implementation of such systems. Synchronous communication meant that people at different time zones had to find the most suitable time that was acceptable for both the parties and this made them reluctant to use this system. Asynchronous communication on the other hand was still accepted by the people and the organizations but the huge amount of information that flowed in daily were unorganized and were not properly indexed before storing. This caused information overflow. Thus, software engineers had to step up their risk assessment to deal with these problems and develop systems that aimed at properly serving the purpose it was designed for.

Project planning is the foundation on which a project is developed. The developed plan must elaborate and must include the interests of the stakeholders, the client and the organizations (Papke-Shields and Boyer-Wright 2017). Time overrun and cost overrun has to be avoided at any cost through proper planning. Software engineers must plan the development of a socio-technical system in a way that the current technology is well implemented in the project and the outcome serves the technological needs of the client (Fuenfschilling and Truffer 2014). Technology changes rapidly with time. The most recent technology might become irrelevant within the next year. Thus, proper planning needs to be formulated to avoid time overrun.

Thus, it can be concluded from this essay that socio-technical systems play an important role in the development of the society and the business world. Software Engineers thus needs to be innovative while providing such solutions.


Reference List:

Dalpiaz, F., Giorgini, P. and Mylopoulos, J., 2013. Adaptive socio-technical systems: a requirements-based approach. Requirements engineering, 18(1), pp.1-24.

Davis, M.C., Challenger, R., Jayewardene, D.N. and Clegg, C.W., 2014. Advancing socio-technical systems thinking: A call for bravery. Applied ergonomics, 45(2), pp.171-180.

Fuenfschilling, L. and Truffer, B., 2014. The structuration of socio-technical regimes—Conceptual foundations from institutional theory. Research Policy, 43(4), pp.772-791.

Galegher, J., Kraut, R.E. and Egido, C., 2014. Intellectual teamwork: Social and technological foundations of cooperative work. Psychology Press.

Giesbers, B., Rienties, B., Tempelaar, D. and Gijselaers, W., 2014. A dynamic analysis of the interplay between asynchronous and synchronous communication in online learning: The impact of motivation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 30(1), pp.30-50.

Haimes, Y.Y., 2015. Risk modeling, assessment, and management. John Wiley & Sons.

Jones, A.J., Artikis, A. and Pitt, J., 2013. The design of intelligent socio-technical systems. Artificial Intelligence Review, 39(1), pp.5-20.

Marshall, H.R., 2014. Digital Technology and Adult Online Learner Preparedness: Providing Appropriate Support for Developing Computer Comperacy (Doctoral dissertation, Walden University).

Papke-Shields, K.E. and Boyer-Wright, K.M., 2017. Strategic planning characteristics applied to project management. International Journal of Project Management, 35(2), pp.169-179.

Wohlin, C., 2014, May. Guidelines for snowballing in systematic literature studies and a replication in software engineering. In Proceedings of the 18th international conference on evaluation and assessment in software engineering (p. 38). ACM.

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