Abstract for: Supporting Strategic Conversations: The Significance of the Model Building Process

This paper reports on the use of both qualitative modelling (i.e. Journey Making) and quantitative system dynamics simulation modelling for a strategy making process in a UK police force. The main focus of the work is on the tension between the supply of resources (i.e. police officers) and the demands placed on those officers. The strategic conversation that took place was facilitated by 2 modellers - one focussing on managing the strategic enquiry, while the other considered the implications of the conversation for the system dynamics model. Three key strategic conversations emerged: the management of quality with respect to staff, measuring productivity, and the role of public expectations. The work raises issues for both model building processes and the strategic management of any public organization.