SAD-Elements Of a System

The key elements of a system are

1.outputs and inputs
6.boundaries and interface


Inputs are the information or elements that we enter the system for processing. Output is the outcome of processing. A major objective of a system is to produce an output that has value to its user. Whatever the nature of the output it must be in line with the expectations of the intended user. A system feeds on input to produce output.


The processor is the element of a system that involves the actual transformations of input into output. it is the operational component of a system. Processors may modify the input totally or partially, depending on the specifications of the output.


The control element guides the system. It is the decision-making subsystem that controls the pattern of activities governing input, processing and output. In an organization context, management as a decision making body controls the inflow, handling and outflow of activities that affect the welfare of the business. In a computer system, the operating system and accompanying software influence the behavior of the system. Output specifications determine what and how much input is needed to keep the system in balance.


Control in a dynamic system is achieved by feedback. Feedback measures output against a standard procedure that includes communication and control. After the output is compared against performance standards, changes can result in the input or processing and consequently the output.

Feedback can be positive or negative. Positive feedback reinforces the performance of the system. Negative feedback provides some information for action that will help us to improve the quality of the output.


The environment is the area where the organization operates. It is the source of external elements for a system. It often determines how a system must function. An environment may consist of vendors, competitors etc.


Boundaries are the limits that identify a system’s components, processes, and interrelationships when it interfaces with another system. A system should be defined by its boundaries.
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