Whole Systems Partnership (WSP) WSP has long provided expertise in strategic change programmes in health and care services, supported by System Dynamics modelling tools. These have previously focussed on underlying population health needs and the challenges of service transformation, whilst separate tools have been developed for strategic workforce modelling. However, last July we convened a workshop for some of our closest clients and our team to take a step back and take a long hard look at how we integrate these into a sensible and accessible toolkit. The results?

WSP has also recently held its own mini working conference to begin the process of building a distinct, evidence based, approach to the conceptualisation and inclusion of a concept called ‘relational value’ in our strategic change programmes. Part of our goal is to include this concept as a ‘material contribution’ to the understanding of system behaviour using System Dynamics. You can review what this might look like by following this link.

We continue to provide a wide range of other strategic and transformational consultancy services using System Dynamics and are developing and refining our approach to training and development of people who want to use System Dynamics in their job roles.


ViaSim Solutions is the only provider of System Dynamics (SD)-based commercial business tools that are ready to use off-the-shelf with no customization and no additional consulting.

pmBLOX is a project management and planning tool that looks and feels like Microsoft Project. In fact, you can import Microsoft Project files directly into pmBLOX and get started immediately. In pmBLOX, an SD model represents each individual task and the various management policies that can be applied (e.g., adding resources, adding overtime). But, watch out! Just like the real world, productivity losses can occur due to over-crowding with too many resources or fatigue due to longer-than-normal work hours. pmBLOX presents results in a Gantt chart format with task dependencies and resource assignments that can easily be shared with others.

scmBLOX is a supply chain management and planning tool. Imagine the Beer Game to the extreme. With scmBLOX, the user can build any type of supply chain or have multiple supply chains interconnected in a massive supply web. The products built and delivered by the supply chains can be simple (like a bottle of beer) or can have very complex bills of material (like a car or computer). Each entity in the supply chain can have different inventory management and ordering policies that impact its performance, as well as the performance of the entire supply chain. Capture and quantify bullwhip effects, inventory reductions, just-in-time, and LEAN operations in a matter of minutes.

ViaSim Solutions specializes in the development of modeling tools for supply chain managers, project managers, and other decision makers that need access to powerful modeling tools in a user-friendly format. In addition to commercial-off-the-shelf tools like pmBLOX and scmBLOX, ViaSim also provides custom tool development, consulting, and training in the areas of strategic planning, project management, supply chain management, asset/fleet management, and workforce planning and development. ViaSim utilizes a framework that allows us to quickly develop and deploy modeling tools that employ drag-and-drop functionality in an environment that is similar to many of the office tools that today’s organizations use. These solutions provide the power of the most advanced modeling tools to subject matter experts and other staff that have previously relied on specially trained staff in order to get the modeling and simulation data they need. Our client list includes large defense contractors, DoD, other federal agencies, city governments, and universities.

J. Chris White, President, 214-335-9949, jcwhite@viasimsolutions.com, www.viasimsolutions.com


Homer Consulting

Jack is currently working with these major clients:

Jack is pleased that his 2012 book, “Models That Matter: Selected Writings on System Dynamics 1985-2010”, is still selling well at Amazon.


Experience Multimethod Modeling!

AnyLogic is the only simulation tool that supports all the most common simulation methodologies in place today: System Dynamics, Process-centric (AKA Discrete Event), and Agent Based modeling. The unique flexibility of the modeling language enables the user to capture the complexity and heterogeneity of business, economic and social systems to any desired level of detail. AnyLogic’s graphical interface, tools, and library objects allow you to quickly model diverse areas such as manufacturing and logistics, business processes, human resources, consumer and patient behavior. The object-oriented model design paradigm supported by AnyLogic provides for modular, hierarchical, and incremental construction of large models. AnyLogic is a simulation software for the entire business lifecycle.

The Personal Learning Edition (PLE) of AnyLogic software is now FREE to all Universities, Colleges, educational institutions and individuals seeking to learn and practice multimethod modeling. This is your opportunity to utilize the most advanced simulation and modeling software on the market for FREE.

Check out our many resources available to begin learning AnyLogic, or register for one of our three-day training courses.


The Applied Systems Thinking (ASysT) Institute was established in 2007 as a collaborative endeavor of Analytic Services Inc., a not-for-profit public service institution that provides objective studies and analyses to decision makers in the areas of national and homeland security. ASysT applies systems thinking principles to complex problems of national significance in key fields such as national security, homeland security, intelligence, energy, environment, education and healthcare. As a public service institute, ASysT seeks to advance the understanding and application of systems thinking concepts, principles and tools and promote national interest by developing system-centered solutions.

ASysT continually strives to contribute to the systems thinking body of knowledge by developing new methodologies and providing insightful applications of existing systems thinking frameworks. Some of our recent works address problems in diverse fields including public education, emergency management, and defense acquisitions. Highlights include a review of the US public education system as a complex adaptive system (“Challenges of Governance in Complex Adaptive Systems: A Case Study of U.S. Public Education”), an invited input study to the United Nation’s Hyogo Framework for Action (“Risk Relationship and Cascading Effects in Critical Infrastructures: Implications for the Hyogo Framework”) and a review of practices that limit effectiveness of the defense acquisition process in providing for combatant commanders (“A Comparative Assessment of the Navy’s FNC Process and Joint Staff Capability Gap Assessment Process as Related to PACOM IPL Submission”). ASysT regularly participates in professional conferences and leverages these opportunities to spread its research and findings to a broader community of interest. This summer (June 2015), ASysT will present a new framework for evaluating governance practices in complex systems and extended enterprises by using the security clearance process, as a case study, to the Military Operations Research Society.

ASysT also engages in fundamental research efforts aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the interagency. ASysT has several studies underway–all of which use systems thinking and decision analytics to provide unique understanding of the problem space at hand. Studies underway cover such topics as border security, maritime security, healthcare, and active shooter incidents.

To learn more about the ASysT or Analytic Services, please visit our websites , and ANSER.Org, respectively. For specific questions please contact the ASysT Director, Robert Edson, at 703-416-3394 or by email at robert.edson@anser.org.


Gary Hirsch, Consultant and Creator of Learning Environments, has been very busy working on and completing projects in population health and health care. Several of these have been part of the ReThink Health project and have included extensions to that model and applications of it in Cincinnati, Ohio, Keene, New Hampshire, and Pueblo, Colorado.

Gary was also a member of the group that supported the use of the ReThink Health model in a very successful student competition sponsored by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Another ongoing project is a model of local health workforce dynamics being created with the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Recently completed projects include a health care emergency preparedness model for Puerto Rico, developed in conjunction with the School of Public Health at the University of Puerto Rico, and a provincial level HIV-AIDS model for Vietnam.

Recent publications have included articles on a cardiovascular disease model called PRISM in the American Journal of Public Health and the CDC’s journal, Preventing Chronic Disease. There was also an article on early childhood caries prevention in a Medicaid population in the Journal of the American Dental Association.


New Product Lineup at isee systems

isee systems is pleased to announce the release of Stella and iThink Version 10.1 and the completely new Stella Professional Version 1. Redesigned from the ground up, Stella Professional is our next generation product for model development and analysis. It is both powerful and easy to use with layout guides, cascaded styles, and many additional features to make building models easier and more fun for both simple and highly involved modeling projects. Our new product lineup is fully interoperable and the version 10.1 products can be used to develop compelling user interfaces for models built using Stella Professional. Used side by side, our new tools provide a comprehensive solution for the development and analysis of models as well as the engagement of stakeholders in their use. isee systems is committed to the continual development of our toolset and look forward to sharing more with everyone during the conference in Boston.

We are also pleased to welcome Angelika Schanda to our team. Angelika is finishing her Master's degree in the Erasmus Mundus program and is excited about spreading the use of both System Dynamics and isee's products and services to a much broader audience worldwide.

It has been a long winter here in New England, and we look forward to celebrating summer with many of you at the Boston conference.


Copernicos Group: Asset Management meets System Dynamics

A lot of capital assets are complex systems, especially when you take into account the operational and decision-making setting during the lifetime of those assets. Technical and human factors both play a role and determine the results provided by these assets. Examples of assets are ships, buildings, trains, manufacturing plants, offshore platforms, and infrastructure. Such assets operate within an environment of sophisticated forms of cooperation between companies. In the System Dynamics Society, good work has been done on maintenance management. Copernicos Group would like to upgrade this to dynamic asset management under the heading 'Asset Dynamics'.

Features of Asset Dynamics

Applications of Asset Dynamics
Copernicos Group has applied Asset Dynamics in several areas, for example in a Feasibility Analysis of an innovative, complex, new infrastructural asset; in Methodology to evaluate innovations in assets; in an investigation of the reputation management of railway assets; and in a decision support model for the life cycle management of assets of the Ministry of Defence.

Knowledge sharing
Copernicos Group has initiated the LinkedIn group 'Asset Dynamics' and prepared an Asset Dynamics portal to share knowledge about Asset Dynamics with SD researchers and practitioners.

Still more activities are under way, we have only just started! If you are interested in joining, please contact assetdynamics@copernicos.com


PA Consulting Group’s strategy and modeling experts work with major organizations to help solve some of their most important challenges. We combine world-class analysis expertise with in-depth industry knowledge to develop practical and enduring solutions. We help clients with a range of issues such as:

PA Consulting Group is a leading management, IT, and technology consulting firm, using a wide range of services to help clients around the globe from our headquarters in London and our offices in Europe, the US, the Gulf, and Asia/Pacific.

Our Strategic Analytics and System Dynamics Work is Growing
We are interested in sharp, well-rounded, analytical people committed to making a difference by solving complex problems in close cooperation with clients and colleagues. While we are hiring outstanding people with a range of capability across PA Consulting, we have a special interest in candidates with System Dynamics expertise who are based in the US. Candidates should be passionate about helping clients tackle tough and unstructured challenges and be willing to stretch themselves on many fronts. To learn more about our team please contact Kathy Tran at kathy.tran@paconsulting.com or 1 (617) 225-2700.

A more detailed job description can be found here.

We look forward to seeing our many alumni and the rest of the System Dynamics community in July if not before!


Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

WPI’s Online Master of Science Degree and Online Graduate Certificate have foundational roots in MIT and are the only online graduate degrees available in System Dynamics today. With these flexible programs you can take as many or as few courses as you need, when and where you choose, to become accomplished in System Dynamics methods. Learn more: online@wpi.edu.

Research:

Jim Thompson |Adjunct Teaching Professor| Social Science & Policy Studies

In 2014, the team was asked to expand the national-level study to each province and to estimate the utilization implications of Indonesian National Health Insurance (Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional) through 2020.We developed thirty-four System Dynamics models to simulate how health care capacity is distributed amongst the provinces and how key demographics affect demands on those capacities. Our work was accepted by health economists and health system administrators at the national level and in several provinces. In 2015, our 350-page report is being used to design legislation and regulations at the Indonesian national and provincial levels and our methods are being transferred to planners in a series of provincial workshops.

Also in 2014, I worked with health economists at Harvard Medical School to develop a policy simulation model of a pharmaceutical company’s initiative to improve drug access in rural Kenya for the World Health Organization. Our System Dynamics model-based study was presented at The Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Cape Town, South Africa, in September 2014. Our work was published by WHO in Medicines in Health Systems: Advancing Access, Affordability and Appropriate Use (2014) by Maryam Bigdeli, David H. Peters, and Anita K. Wagner eds.


Thanksgiving in Jakarta

South Africa
Publications:

Dr. John Morecroft |Senior Fellow| Management Science and Operations

The 2nd edition of Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics is due to be published by Wiley in July 2015. The new edition refreshes the original 2007 book while building on its strengths. The pre-existing ten-chapter architecture is retained with numerous updates.

There are two new electronic topics to be found on the book website*: the ‘dynamics of diversification’ and ‘managing metamorphoses. Diversification is an important part of corporate (multi-business) strategy. Metamorphosis is a process of managed adaptation to change in the business environment. The new electronic content includes voice-over-slide video lectures from my online course SD556 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

* A link to the book website will be provided inside the book itself, but the content is password protected. To access the electronic topics readers will first be asked to register on the book website at Wiley at which point they will need to provide the password.

Events:

WPI will be exhibiting at the System Dynamics Society’s Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in July. Many of our faculty will be attending the conference, come see us!


System Dynamics Group, Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University

The System Dynamics Group at Radboud University offers a range of teaching activities around System Dynamics, covering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional courses. At the same time, members of the group are conducting research in participatory modelling, group facilitation, dynamic decision making, and modelling/simulation for public and private organisations.

Together with its consortium partners, Radboud has been actively engaged in the European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD) study programme. After five years of its existence, the programme was positively evaluated for its quality from the European Union, which offered the possibility to apply for another round of financial support, mainly in form of scholarships to students. By now, around 100 students have been in this joint master programme exclusively devoted to System Dynamics. The group is currently busy with establishing links to more university partners as well as tightening relationships with company sponsors.

In the near future, the System Dynamics Group will actively participate in a variety of academic conferences: the International System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge, the European Operations Research Conference in Glasgow, and the seventh European System Dynamics Workshop in Bergen. Furthermore, the group is organising a one-week summer school course on Dynamic Business Models in August, 2015, in Nijmegen; see more information.

Finally, it is worthwhile mentioning that the leadership of the System Dynamics Group was transferred from Prof. Jac Vennix to Prof. Etiënne Rouwette in May this year. Of course, Jac will remain a member of the group until his retirement in 2016 (and longer if he wishes).


Strategy Dynamics

We have had a busy year at Strategy Dynamics and look forward to demonstrating some of our new developments at the upcoming conference in Cambridge.

Our online games facility is proving to be very popular. Starting with the White Label Restaurants simulation in July 2014, we added the People Express game in September. We continue to create new features for teachers and are very encouraged by the level of engagement shown by students using the software. New games will be added to the platform over the coming months, and new options will be made available for teachers that will help them use the games effectively and easily in their classes.

An exciting development this year has also been an agreement with the Chinese Cultural University of Taiwan (CCU) to translate Kim Warren's book, Strategy Dynamics Essentials, both into traditional and simplified Chinese.

We will also be launching a new improved version on Sysdea in June, updated to be easier and faster to use, and to cope with larger, more complicated models. Among the new features for the base version are:

This new version will be launching in June and will be free until the end of October, and the will cost the usual price of $15/month for a base subscription.

We will also be demonstrating some upcoming base, teacher, and plus version features at the conference: We hope to see you in Cambridge–if not, please visit us online at www.strategydynamics.com, www.sdgamesonline.com or www.sysdea.com. You can also contact us directly–email Christina Spencer at christina@strategydynamics.com.


System Dynamics Group, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

WPI’s Fiosie School of Business and the Social Science Department have developed a new graduate degree/certificate program in System Dynamics and Innovation Management that will commence in Fall 2015. This program is co-directed by Khalid Saeed and Mike Elmes.

WPI is also hosting this year’s System Dynamics Summer School at its campus that will precede the 33rd International System Dynamics Conference. Additionally, the DynamiQuest K-12 modeling exhibit held in May of this year was hosted by WPI.

Our System Dynamics PhD students have created a weekly seminar named Collective Learning Meeting (CLM) to promote peer learning. Tim Clancy and Jim Hacunda have joined as new PhD students. Khalid Saeed and Isa Bar-On continue to work with Veteran’s Administration on healthcare policy. They are assisted by Saeed Langarudi and Jim Hacunda in this effort.

Khalid Saeed gave a webinar on Urban Dynamics as an economic development model for the Brazilian Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. This seminar was organized by isee systems. He is additionally helping the Asian Development Bank develop training programs on systems thinking.

Mike Radzicki is organizing a fireside talk on the state of the economy at the 33rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. Ali Saysel is a scholar in residence this year at WPI hosted by our System Dynamics program.

New journal publications:

Saeed K. 2015. Jay Forrester’s Operational Approach to Economics. System Dynamics Review. 30(4): 233-261.

Pavlov O, Saeed K, Robinson L. 2015. Improving Instructional Simulation with Structural Debriefing. Simulation and Gaming. doi:10.1177/1046878114567980

Zaini R, Lyan D, & Rebentisch E. 2015. Start-up research universities, high aspirations in a complex reality: a Russian start-up university case analysis using stakeholder value analysis and system dynamics modeling. Triple Helix, 2(1), 1-31. doi: 10.1186/s40604-014-00168. Link to the article.

Pavlov O, Doyle J, Saeed K, Lyneis J, and Radzicki M. 2014. The Design of Educational Programs in System Dynamics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Systems. 2:54-76.

Saeed, K., Pavlov, O., Skorinko, J., Smith, A. 2014. Farmers, Bandits and Soldiers: A generic system for addressing peace agendas. System Dynamics Review. 29(4): 237-252


transentis is a management consultancy based in Berlin, Germany. We work internationally to help our clients transform their business and thus accelerate their success. We use visual models and simulations to prototype new business ideas and strategies in a risk-free environment and to manage the complexity of business transformation–we call our approach business prototyping.

Over the past years we have built a learning website dedicated to teaching how to use business prototyping to make better decisions in complex business situations. Please visit the website at http://www.business-prototyping.com, we are eager to hear your feedback.


When all that mathematical modeling, simulation, feedback thinking and loop dominance activity begin to produce the need for a snack, take a non-linear break and open a bag of Crispy Green’s Crispy Fruit snacks! Delicious AND healthy, these freeze-dried fruit snacks crunch like a chip, but are 100% pure fruit—nothing else.

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Give your brain a break and nourish your snack attack with Crispy Fruit from Crispy Green….you’ll be satisfied, renewed, and ready to jump back into your intellectual quagmire (you can even munch WHILE you think!)


A hearty thank you to all our 2015 sponsors! For a full list of all sponsors, see sponsors page of this newsletter.



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The System Dynamics Newsletter is published by the System Dynamics Society.
Editors: Robin Langer, LouAnne Lundgren, Weijia Ran, Rochel Rubin, Erin Sheehan, and Roberta L. Spencer