COMPLEX can range from very limited number of interacting parts OR components, as in a pair of glasses, to very large number of interacting parts AND components, as in the space station.
In each case, we are dealing with the knowable, using defined and rigorous processes, consisting of proven science and strategic management techniques.
Each case, glasses and the space station, are treated and experienced as “evolving” over time. True, they represent the physical world in their initial and final design. However, the science and processes used in their initial development evolve, providing the foundation to improve the initial design, production, maintenance and dispositions via in-service changes.
Included in any development project, there will be unknowns. However, that should be an expectation, and it is understood that there is a process in place to resolve them to satisfaction.
There are environmental, and human-object interface issues. These are also included expectations in the hypothesis, and have rigorous scientific approaches to resolution with the physical.
The above is a thumbnail of what a complex system approach would be. As stated, during the initial design or problem solving process, unknowns will arise and there will be many repeated steps to improve or enhance the outcomes. The approach is intended to have an “Objective” orientation.
The same cannot be claimed by government as an approach to anything, even the creation of laws. In this case, it could best be described as “COMPLICATED”. Yes, there ARE identified and codified processes for creating law, however, there always exists opposition to applying the processes correctly. Now that is “COMPLICATED” and leads to “CONFUSION.”
Unfortunately, most all government and internal business processes are complicated. Independent actors in the “MIDDLE” misdirect and create “CONFUSION” which leads to indecision and procrastination.
Confusion results in halted or reversed progress.