System Modeling

System modeling is an aspect of system theory that looks into the construction principles of artificial and natural systems. It has a practical application in the design of technical and commercial systems.

We draw on the theory of human-centric system models (NES = Natural Engineered and Slipped) developed by Fraunhofer IAIS which takes particular account of humans as system components. Human-centric means these systems are made by people for people and people are integral and central to them. The Tree Attribute Matrix method (TAM) is an additional explanation model.

System models can be used for different purposes such as to describe and explain real systems, to compare systems and to understand a system’s behavior. Our research covers not only automatic structural analysis methods but also the modeling of lateral structures and collaboration processes.

The systems we look at could be companies, machines or social groups. In a commercial context system models are an effective starting point for the analysis of company structures or processes and provide guidance on how to change and optimize them. We derive a variety of practical methods from system modeling which we use when we advise companies about composition and processing and for carrying out security analyses. We are currently working on formalizing these methods so that customers’ premises can become certified.

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Research priorities

A wealth of practical and implementable methods can be extrapolated through the use of human-centric system modeling theory. These methods can then be used to advise companies about composition and processing, as well as assisting with security analyses. Our research covers multi-perspective TAM models, resilience-by-design, situational image analyses plus vulnerability and risk analyses. We are also developing skills in descriptive statistics, learning psychology and communication theory. We have identified and prioritized the following key areas of research for the years ahead:

  • Asset-centered lateral process models
  • Validation of modeling methods in IT management and innovation management
  • Complexity-limited methods for collaborative working
  • Testing TAM models in multi-project and program management
  • System theoretical observation of resilience


Strategic corporate consultancy

A client who is a global leader in the food sector asked us to study and analyze their IT, Finance and Controlling operations. Based on the results of our findings we are preparing a digitalization and IT strategy which incorporates all of their corporate divisions and are supervising the conversion.

ERP selection and strategy

We supervised the ERP selection at a plant manufacturer: Following a check-up of the IT landscape we began mapping technical requirements and processes, drafted the specifications, created supplier long and shortlists, performed screenings and supported management in their final selection.

Digitalization advice, market studies and pilot runs

We provided a manufacturer of luxury vehicles with important advice on how to best digitalize their body shop. We also analyzed the IT system world associated with it and developed use cases providing all users with added value. As part of the follow-up project we carried out a market study about the possibilities of implementing relevant use cases and monitored piloting selected hardware and software.