Concept Star
Based on Proven Principles

Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM)

Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) is an effective methodology for dealing with complex issues. It has been used for over 25 years by specially trained consultants to help their clients understand complex situations and find solutions to complex problems.

First proposed by J. Warfield in 1973, Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) is a computer assisted learning process that enables individuals or groups to develop a map of the complex relationships between the many elements involved in a complex situation. ISM is often used to provide fundamental understanding of complex situations, as well as to put together a course of action for solving a problem. It has been used worldwide by many prestigious organizations including NASA.

Organizations pay thousands of dollars a day to consultants who offer ISM. Now this powerful tool can be yours to obtain competitive advantage for your personal career and for helping your organization in planning and problem solving.

Often, ISM is incorrectly considered to be an esoteric tool, available only to professionals who can afford the high price and significant investment in training. (With earlier versions of ISM software this was true.) In fact, ISM is a simple and practical tool that draws upon many attributes of how the human brain works.

Concept Star Professional ISM Software and Training Package provides the necessary software and all information required to learn and use the ISM decision making method effectively. Concept Star software is very practical application with an intuitive human interface and visual display of the relationship map. Concept Star makes it easier for users to identify the paths or threads of thought formed by the ideas in the map in order to facilitate understanding of the situation and decision-making. The book Structured Decision Making with Interpretive Structural Modeling provides in-depth training on effective use of the ISM process. This allows the package to be used by anyone, without the need for previous knowledge of the field or expensive professional training.

If Interpretive Structural Modeling is such a great problem solving and decision making tool, why have I never heard about it before?

Until now, ISM has been a closely guarded secret by select consulting professionals. Teaching this method can erode their competitive advantage.

Earlier versions of ISM software are difficult to use and give an incomplete impression of the value of the technique. Specifically, earlier versions of ISM software make the relationship map look like a set of levels or clusters of ideas which infer a relationship of higher to lower levels, which is ok if all one needs to do is prioritize or categorize ideas. The real value of ISM lies in the paths or threads of thought that the ideas form in the relationship map. To see this the ISM software needs to display the relationship map as a visual diagram. Concept Star software automatically displays the relationship map in a manner that makes identifying these paths easier.

If you are interested in papers about the theory and applications of ISM please click here. These papers are not arranged in any order, but are provided for research purposes. If you want to read only one paper, we suggest "Interpretive structural modelling: a methodology for structuring complex issues" by Janes (Source - Trans Inst MC Vol 10 No 3 August 1988).

How can I learn the ISM technique?

As with all powerful tools, some training is required in order to make most effective use of the ISM process. Concept Star Professional ISM Software and Training Package provides the necessary software and all information required to learn and use the ISM decision making method effectively. This affordable package can be used as a self study course and includes consulting with Sorach professionals to answer questions that arise as you learn and apply this technique.

For details and pricing information click Products and Prices.

For information on how ISM software is used, download the Concept Star 2.0 software user manual.