Commercial Applications of System Dynamics as Oral Histories

In these short videos, senior modelers narrate the story of high impact commercial applications of System Dynamics, providing a compliment to written material available in the Case Repository.


The Ken Cooper Series

In this series of nine short videos Ken Cooper, the first recipient of the System Dynamics Society’s award for best applications and a two-time Edelman Laurate for best management science applications globally, narrates several of the high impact and more interesting commercial applications from his distinguished career.

Litton Industries
Litton Industries Case: Part 1
(Narrated by Ken Cooper) 11:28 minutes

In 1980, Ken Cooper published his paper “Naval Ship Production: A Claim Settled and A Framework Built,” that described the now famous Litton Industries case. This case yielded a $400 million dollar settlement for Litton and launched the largest claim ever of System Dynamics commercial practice. Additional details for this case in Litton Industries in the Case Repository.

Litton Industries Case Part 2 – The Back Story
(Narrated by Ken Cooper) 4:05 minutes

Ken Cooper narrates interesting aspects of the Litton case that have never appeared in the published literature.

Hughes Aircraft
Hughes Aircraft: Part 1
(Narrated by Ken Cooper) 9:37 minutes

Ken Cooper continues to narrate the story of how project modeling emerged as a major field of commercial application for the field of System Dynamics. One of the strongest early corporate supporters of SD project modeling was Hughes Aircraft Company. Ken Cooper describes the AMRAAM case, one of the first big aerospace programs that benefited from SD models. The misunderstood dynamics of the rework cycle caused the “lost year” phenomenon Ken describes here. He first wrote of “The Rework Cycle” by that name in a series of papers for the Project Management Institute in 1993.

Hughes Aircraft: Part 2 (Narrated by Ken Cooper) 3:51 minutes

Ken Cooper narrates interesting aspects of the Hughes Aircraft case that have never appeared in the published literature.

Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman: Part 1
(Narrated by Ken Cooper) 8:27 minutes

Ken Cooper describes here a series of assignments with Northrop Grumman that included the highly successful development program for the F/A 18 E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft. The work also led to analyses of the adverse productivity effects of excess overtime, in support of new corporate policy. Ken wrote of this in “The $2000 Hour” published in the Project Management Journal in March 1994.

Northrop Grumman: Part 2 (Narrated by Ken Cooper) 2:31 minutes

Ken Cooper narrates interesting aspects of the Northrop Grumman case that have never appeared in the published literature.

MasterCard
MasterCard: Part 1
(Narrated by Ken Cooper) 9:47 minutes

Ken Cooper tells the story of this classic System Dynamics strategy modeling, in which the model-based analyses rapidly generated a dramatic turnaround in MasterCard’s market share. A model was developed to simulate the US credit card market and all the key competitors. Analyses identified a combination strategy that changed MasterCard and the entire industry. Ken describes how that came about, and the winning combination.

MasterCard: Part 2 (Narrated by Ken Cooper) 3:07 minutes

Ken Cooper narrates interesting aspects of the Northrop Grumman case that have never appeared in the published literature.