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Practitioner Networking: How to Influence Public Policy Decision-Making from a Systems Perspective

In this session titled: How to Influence Public Policy Decision-Making from a Systems Perspective, Dennis Sherwood will be our presenter, and will discuss a theme of high current political interest in the UK. In April, the UK government announced that illegal asylum seekers arriving in the UK will be deported to Rwanda. This is intended as a disincentive to potential asylum seekers, and so will reduce the number of dangerous crossing of the English Channel in small boats. But will this policy work? Or is it a classic case of ‘perverse incentives’? If it might be, how can systems thinking be used, for real, in influencing high-level policies – not just in the UK –  for the better?

Dennis’s education was as a scientist, reading physics at Clare College, Cambridge, followed by taking an MPhil at the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, and a PhD in biology at the University of California at San Diego. Dennis is also a Sloan Fellow, with distinction, of London Business School. Dennis’s scientific heritage has influenced his work ever since: Dennis’s approach to creativity is disciplined and highly analytical, and in no way ‘fluffy’! Dennis left academia and has worked in management and consulting for many years. In 2001, he founded an intelligent innovation consultancy, The Silver Bullet Machine.

Dennis is the author of several books, including Creativity for Scientists and Engineers: A Practical Guide, How to Be Creative, Strategic Thinking Illustrated: Strategy Made Visual Using Systems Thinking, and Missing the Mark.

This practitioner networking session is a space for people in the society who are consulting with external clients using systems thinking or system dynamics. A speaker will present on a topic they’ve been working on, some challenge they’re having, and potential solutions they’ve explored. The second half of the call will be for attendees to ask questions, offer suggestions, and provide feedback. Anyone can sign up to share!

Join us to:

  • Get to know people in the field
  • Explore different perspectives
  • Learn about System Dynamics projects
  • Share your experience
  • Build relationships

Visit the Practitioner’s page for more resources.

Fluor Avoids Costly Project Changes Saving $1.3bn

Fluor saves $1.3 billion in System Dynamics-based project management.

#United States #Engineering #Fluor #Corporation

CLIENT: FLUOR

Fluor is one of the world’s largest engineering and construction firms, with 2008 revenues over $20 billion. The US-based firm operates in every major business sector and geography.

CHALLENGE: CHANGES DON’T IMPROVE PROJECTS, QUITE THE OPPOSITE

A large part of Fluor’s work is organized in the form of projects, which are typically market-driven with aggressive cost and schedule targets and evolving client needs. It is the tension among these different objectives that is often the underlying dynamic for generating changes on projects. In an initiative by Fluor’s Chairman, a comprehensive quantitative review examined all Fluor projects over several years. For many in the industry, there is a misperception that contractors improve their performance with more changes. This company-wide review was unequivocal in refuting that notion. There is a clear, unambiguous relation between the level of changes and the cost and schedule performance of projects: more changes bring ever-worsening performance on projects.

ACTION: FLEXIBLE SYSTEM DYNAMICS MODEL TO PROJECT COST OF CHANGES

After Fluor had identified and quantified the business need for improving the practice of project change management, two external consultants first built and piloted and validated a project model to assess change impacts on several initial projects. In the four years since then, the model has been used in the “Change Impact Assessment” system to conduct thousands of analyses on over 100 client projects. Fluor projects analyzed with this model range in size from less than million to more than billion.

The system rapidly tailors a model to simulate each engineering and construction project. Each model is then used to foresee future cost and schedule impacts of project changes, and most important, test ways to avoid the impacts.

We developed a project model based on our prior modeling work with Fluor, and built a system around it, with defined practices to rapidly and automatically tailor the model to a specific project. We set up an interface to allow dozens of trained company users to test proactively project-wide impacts of proposed design or scope changes.

We conducted worldwide training of executives and managers and analysts, ensuring the focus was on foreseeing and mitigating future change impacts. The system was applied to hundreds of Fluor projects.

RESULTS: COST REDUCTION OF $1.3 BILLION

A cultural change occurred in the company, focused on proactive mitigating efforts that reduce change impacts on the projects.As a result, many disputes were avoided (some had cost tens of millions of dollars), and cost impacts were reduced by proactive actions identified in the analyses, amounting to over $1.3 billion savings to Fluor and their clients.

LEARN MORE

System Dynamics modelers: Kenneth Cooper and Gregory Lee

AWARDS & PUBLICATIONS

Award: In 2009, the Society awarded its System Dynamics Applications Award to Kenneth Cooper and Gregory Lee for their work Managing the Dynamics of Projects and Changes at Fluor. See conference slides and citation.

Article: Managing the Dynamics of Projects and Changes at Fluor

 

OTHER SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS

A Design Value Calculator: A System Dynamics Boardgame

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Join us

OTHER SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS

A Design Value Calculator: A System Dynamics Boardgame

A Design Value Calculator: A System Dynamics Boardgame EXECUTIVE Summary Product design is a specific form of complex innovation that touches all areas of an organization’s management. While entrepreneurs recognise the value of design, they often tend to focus...

Recent Posts

Society Governance Updates

Society Governance Updates Welcome, Allyson! New President Allyson Beall King joined the Policy Council as our 2024 President. Her primary role is as director of the Washington State University School of the Environment, which focuses on regional ecologies and our...

Call for Presenters: Seminar Series

Call for Presenters: Seminar Series We at the System Dynamics Society are continually seeking vibrant and knowledgeable presenters for our ongoing Seminar Series. As we unfold the calendar, there’s always a place for more insights, experiences, and expertise to enrich...

Upcoming Events