Linking event thinking with structural thinking: Methods to improve client value in projects

S.M. Howick, F. Ackermann, D.F. Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using a participant-observer research design, a team of modelers designed and implemented modeling guidelines to link semantically rich scenario maps to a formal causal influence diagram of a running simulation model. This process serves to link event thinking to structural thinking. These guidelines were used in a case, which involved: (1) developing a cause model of scenarios of the promotion of renewable energy sources in the U.K. electric power market from material elicited from a client group; (2) creating a system dynamics model of the same area; and (3) an integration of products 1 and 2 which enabled an analysis of the scenarios using the simulation model. The first two products used standard approaches and are not new; however, the third represents the key output of the research. By linking products 1 and 2, the research aimed to create better client value in the project by combining, in a systematic way, the relevant elements of scenario maps and system dynamics models. The process allows client groups to visualize and comprehend the linkage between event thinking and structural thinking in a complex system. This work informs ongoing research in group model building, strategy modeling (especially using scenarios) and the ongoing debate about qualitative versus quantitative system dynamics.
LanguageEnglish
Pages113-140
Number of pages27
JournalSystem Dynamics Review
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Fingerprint

scenario
event
Values
Dynamic models
simulation model
Group
market power
energy source
Byproducts
Large scale systems
renewable energy
Dynamical systems
research planning
promotion
Scenarios
cause
Modeling
Simulation model
System dynamics model
Power markets

Keywords

  • structural thinking
  • project management
  • system dynamics
  • management

Cite this

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abstract = "Using a participant-observer research design, a team of modelers designed and implemented modeling guidelines to link semantically rich scenario maps to a formal causal influence diagram of a running simulation model. This process serves to link event thinking to structural thinking. These guidelines were used in a case, which involved: (1) developing a cause model of scenarios of the promotion of renewable energy sources in the U.K. electric power market from material elicited from a client group; (2) creating a system dynamics model of the same area; and (3) an integration of products 1 and 2 which enabled an analysis of the scenarios using the simulation model. The first two products used standard approaches and are not new; however, the third represents the key output of the research. By linking products 1 and 2, the research aimed to create better client value in the project by combining, in a systematic way, the relevant elements of scenario maps and system dynamics models. The process allows client groups to visualize and comprehend the linkage between event thinking and structural thinking in a complex system. This work informs ongoing research in group model building, strategy modeling (especially using scenarios) and the ongoing debate about qualitative versus quantitative system dynamics.",
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Linking event thinking with structural thinking: Methods to improve client value in projects. / Howick, S.M.; Ackermann, F.; Andersen, D.F.

In: System Dynamics Review, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2006, p. 113-140.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Ackermann, F.

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