Continuation of When to Model..

Joe Kilbride (
Wed, 30 Nov 94 11:31 CST

In response to my question re: "What are the criteria you use for choosing
SD models over other approaches?" several have responded.
I would like to dig a little deeper.....
JAMES RIELEY <RIELEY@MUSIC.LIB.MATC.EDU> wrote (I've skipped alot):
>Use SD stuff when it will help, ONLY!. If it doesn't give
>you what you need, don't use it.

I agree. When will it help? What are the criteria for evaluating a client
request for help **prior to doing something** that allows us to determine
whether or not SD models will help?

Stephen Wehrenberg <> wrote:
>I choose SD models over others when the primary objective
>has to do with understanding the dynamics of the system,
>rather than just developing a one-time "point" solution.
>Particularly true when a major facet of the
>system in question is reciprocal interaction...

I assume the following: most of us, you offer more than SD modeling in
response to client requests.
2.clients are not initially framing the objective in those
terms. Clients never come to me with requests that include
"understanding the dynamics of the system", so I presume
you are going through some kind of clarification process that:
- leads you to conclude your criteria for use of SD
models (e.g., dynamics and reciprocal interaction) are
important in this situation, and then
- leads you and the client to agree upon such an
and the use of SD modeling to achieve it.

If these two assumptions are valid, then would you (and others) be willing
to share this process? How specifically do you arrive at such a
determination? What mental checklist do you run through when initially
responding to client requests?

What about others with different criteria for when to use SD models? What
are they and how do you clarify a request to determine whether they are
being met in a given situation?

I'm pushing on this because I (and I believe we) need to articulate such a
heuristic (is that the right word?). My father-in-law is a carpenter. When
he looks at something that needs fixing he quickly decides whether a hammer
is appropriate? and if so, what type? and what type of nail to use? etc.

I am envious of him. How can we make such determinations for tools like SD
(ithink) models? How can we get clients to agree with these determinations?
My father-in-law doesn't have to contract with the wood before he starts

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