A string-like activity system is a purposeful process, structured and governed to achieve its aim. It is depicted as an arrow.
Any activity involves movement and is therefore a process.
If the activity or process is purposeful, it is referred to as an activity system (in our terminology) or process system (by some other systems thinkers). The use of the term process in the management literature (e.g. as in business process) actually refers to a process system or activity system.
An activity or process that is not purposeful, structured and governed to achieve its purpose is a random activity or random process.
More specifically, process refers to a flow of substance in time and space. (Substance consists of matter, energy and information or mei, in short).
If the process is organised as a system, the mei flow has a purpose derived from the values or ethos of the system and gives rise to a specific aim or intended outcome. It also has structure, which gives it stability in time and space, as well as governance, which ensures that the system achieves its intended outcome.
An activity system can be both a function and a project:
Function refers to an activity system that is an inherent part of an entity system. Examples are the circulation function in the body, the work-life of a person, the marketing function of an organisation, the education function of a society, the photosynthesis of plants, or the rainfall and evaporation circulation of the planet.
Project is an activity system that ceases to exist when it is complete. Examples are a building project or an education assignment.
In a process-based worldview, the activity system is the fundamental unit of analysis and (re)design.
relevance for the change manager
Change managers need to be process thinkers.
what is the relevance of this concept in your situation?