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System Dynamics for Strategy

System Dynamics is used by organizations facing high-stakes decisions and seeking an integrated view of the major forces that can affect key outcomes years or decades into the future. It helps these organizations to better weigh the pros and cons of various options. An integrated, strategic view is needed when the various options have multiple consequences in the short- and long-term, including the reactions of all affected parties, and the reactions to those reactions.  In such cases, conventional planning approaches (e.g., using spreadsheets) fall short of what is needed to properly consider how things are likely to play out over time.

System Dynamics modeling may show that an option that looks good at first glance may in fact be likely to hit roadblocks or resistance that negate its impact or even make things worse. It may also show that an option that initially looks weak or too costly is likely to become a winner as its good points build upon themselves and its limitations diminish. By looking at not only primary effects but also secondary and feedback effects, System Dynamics models can improve our ability to make smart choices that will stand the test of time.

General Motors OnStar

General Motors OnStar

In 1997, System Dynamics was used to fundamentally re-design a business strategy for General Motor’s OnStar service. Through investments and policies suggested by modeling work, OnStar became the industry leader in vehicle telematics. The market value of OnStar is now in the billions. This remarkable success is almost entirely due to the effective application of System Dynamics.

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Polio Eradication

Polio Eradication

Our analysis provided “a nail in the coffin for the idea that there is a cheap and painless way out”. Since then, efforts have continued to focus on finding the resources needed to complete eradication and on dealing with the other complex challenges that remain. National and global health leaders and financial supporters have recommitted to completing eradication, and this has led to several hundreds of millions of dollars of resources.

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Diabetes

Diabetes

The model simulations suggest four characteristic dynamics of the diabetes population: Obesity’s role in driving the growth of prediabetes and diabetes prevalence; the “backing up” phenomenon that may undercut the benefits of management and control efforts; management and control efforts alone are unable to reduce diabetes prevalence in the long term; delays between primary prevention efforts and downstream improvements in diabetes outcomes.

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Project management at Fluor

Project management at Fluor

FLUOR Name Managing the Dynamics of Projects and Changes at Fluor Modelers Kenneth Cooper, Gregory Lee Client/Participant FLUOR Client Type Corporation The Issue You Tackled Fluor is one of the world’s largest engineering and construction firms, with 2008 revenues...

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Process Innovation at Du Pont

Process Innovation at Du Pont Client Du Pont Authors/Consultants Repenning NP, Sterman JD Improvement programs such as Total Quality Management are embraced by many organizations but are often discontinued before full benefits can be reaped. With ever-increasing...

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Criminal Justice

Client Ministry of Justice, the Netherlands Authors/Consultants Rouwette EAJA, Vennis JAM, Van Hooff P, Jongebreur W In 2003, Significant consulting and the Methodology group of Radboud University Nijmegen started a modeling project for the Ministry of Justice in the...

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Maintenance Improvement at ONEgas

Maintenance Improvement at ONEgas Client ONEgas Authors/Consultants Venderbosch T, Rouwette E ONEgas is a company owned by Shell and NAM and is responsible for gas production in the Netherlands. This modeling effort focused on the maintenance process in ONEgas. The...

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Pharmaceutical Product Life-cycles

Pharmaceutical Product Life-cycles Client Anonymous Pharmaceutical Company Authors/Consultants Jones L (Ventana Systems UK) A leading global pharmaceutical company wanted to understand the interdependencies between resource levels and experience through the life-cycle...

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Medical Device Company

Medical Device Company Name Medical Device Company Modeler Kim Warren Contact For more information on this case, please contact Kim Warren at Strategy Dynamics. Client ALK-Abello, Denmark Client Type Corporation The Issue You Tackled The company faces total loss of...

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State Planning in Sarawak

State Planning in Sarawak Name State Planning in Sarawak Modeler Brian Dangerfield Client Sarawak State Planning Unit Client Type Government The Issue You Tackled The Centre for Operational Research & Applied Statistics at the University of Salford was awarded a...

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Urban Dynamics

Urban Dynamics Client UK local authorities Authors/Consultants Swanson J (Sdgworld; Steer Davies Gleave) The Urban Dynamic Model (UDM) is a simulation of how transport interacts with population, employment and land-use over long periods of time, typically ten years or...

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