The idea of situation is a complex, and powerful one. A brief definition of a situation is "a structured part of reality that … the agent somehow manages to pick out."  One way to look this idea is as if the whole set of modeling constructs could be frozen at a point in time, and examined in terms of all the processes in progress and the states of all the components.  Situations can represent reality beyond the enterprise - a whole environment or industry - "the OOT marketplace".

Situations can be desirable, in which the enterprise will attempt to sustain them, or undesirable, in which case the enterprise will attempt to change them.   Situations can arise from natural causes, or in the case of business, quite commonly are the result of legal issues.

The concept of situation is actually the heart of most service businesses, which manage more or less complex situations on behalf of their clients.  A classic example is an insurance company, which exists by defining various situation types, analyzing the likelihood of various outcomes, and helping its clients manage the risk-ridden situations in their business and personal lives.

Figure 24
A specific situation may be traced back to an initiating event.  It can be resolved, altered by, or maintained by processes that are organized around this purpose.  Situations motivate organizations to establish goals to alter, resolve, or maintain situations.  One situation may involve any number of organizations, roles, individuals, resources, and locations, in their aggregate set of states.