Tuesday, April 01, 2008

System dynamics in practice: lessons learned

Drew Jones, Don Seville, and Dana Meadows of the Sustainability Institute wrote Resource Sustainability In Commodity Systems: The Sawmill Industry In The Northern Forest. That provides a good example of a way to use system dynamics models (it's of course not the only way).

I like that paper for several reasons. The model seemed good (at least from the explanation; I haven't explored the model yet), and the explanation of the model and its implications seemed good. What may be especially interesting to some is that they spent the last third of the paper talking about what they learned about the human side of the equation: how people responded to their work, and what they learned from that. The top of page 26 seems noteworthy, although you'll probably have to read the preceding 25 pages to make good sense of it.

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