Viable system model

The viable system model (VSM) is a **model** of the **organisational structure** of any **autonomous system capable of producing itself** - wikipedia

# What is a viable system?

A viable system is any system organised in such a way as to meet the demands of surviving in the changing environment. One of the prime features of systems that survive is that they are adaptable.

Viable systems are recursive. recursion means that a thing is defined in terms of itself or of its type.

In the case of viable systems, viable systems contain viable systems that can be modeled using an identical cybernetic description as the higher (and lower) level systems, i.e. viable (sub-)systems.

Matruschka dolls contain on every sub-level another Matruschka doll. -

# A human is a recursive, viable system

Let's take a human as an example of an **autonomous system capable of producing itself**.

A human is a complex system,capable of reproducing itself. The body has many organs, among others the kidney.

A kidney lives within the system of the body.

- It has boundaries in which it operates its specific functions as an organ (System 1 - Operations).

- It coordinates within itself all the different functions which should operate in unison (System 2 - Coordination).

- It decides on when and how to function (System 3 - Inside / Now).

- It checks on its own functions directly through sporadic audit or review (System 3* - sporadic audit / review)

- It is set up to deal with specific challenges from outside, potentially needing help from other subsystems in the body (System 4: Outside -Future).

- And it has a specific reason for existing (System 5: Policy - Purpose)

# Visualisation

# Video explanation

YOUTUBE SPSBJwGKRsw Malik video on VSM

# Origin The model was developed by operations research theorist and cybernetician (cybernetics) Stafford Beer (Anthony Stafford Beer) in his book ''Brain of the Firm'' (1972). Together with Beer's earlier works on cybernetics applied to management, this book effectively founded management cybernetics.

# See also