Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £35.99 £24.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

Creating metaphors to explain the SiD Method

It’s helpful to get a good understanding of the SiD Method by looking at it as if we’re planning and going on a holiday, for example.
landscape in Cappadocia, famous place for ballon practice to introduce an idea of going in a holiday and the challenges of chose between options
© Except Academy

Imagine you’re going on a journey to an ‘ideal place’, given few resources and little time.

In step one of our journey, called goal setting, we think about what we mean by ‘ideal place’, and subsequently determine what the destination of our journey will be. You discuss with your friends what’s the goal of the group.

When we know where we want to go, we go to step two: system mapping. In this step, we investigate our environment so that we can make a map of our surroundings, which will help us in plotting our route.

In step three, we reflect on our environment, study the map, figure out where we are, and where our destination may lie.

Step four involves plotting routes to our destination, taking care to pass the landmarks we find important, and avoiding obvious trouble.

In step five, evaluation, we check if we’re actually going where we said we wanted to go in the time and means we have available.

Now, as you would in any journey, this process is repeated several times. As you travel along, you’ll find yourself planning and revising. This is what we mean by an iterative process.

The method can be executed by a single person, but it’s intended to be used with a diverse team of scientists, designers, and managers. Multidisciplinary collaboration is essential for a well-rounded perspective.

We dive deep into each of these steps in the next sections.

© Except Academy
This article is from the free online

Systems Thinking for Sustainability: Practical application of the SiD method

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now