Systems software tool:'iThink' LO5448

Rol Fessenden (
08 Feb 96 12:00:41 EST

Replying to LO5416 --

Sb: Systems software tool:'iThink' LO5416

Fran Alexander asks, "I am looking for information about 'I Think', a
software tool which helps people map processes and identify systems
affects on changes within a given system. I am working with an
organization that is looking at using this tool. I liked its potential in
scenario building and the potential to facilitate some excellent
conversations about assumptions as diverse groups create process maps
together. I had some serious concerns about this tool giving people a
false sense of certainty about 'answers'."

I have used iThink extensively. Your concerns are well founded, but it is
still a valid tool as long as you understand its imitations.

It handles 'deterministic' situations well as long as the model is
'correct'. That means if one input results invariably in one output, then
it works. If, on the other hand, one input can result in some randomly
determined outputs, then this product does not provide a viewpoint about
the possible outcomes. In a simple model, you can overcome this problem
by doing a sensitive analysis. However, in a complex model, it is

Be careful how you use it, and be clear about what you 'learn' and what
you have not 'learned' from it.

Despite this weakness, it is still a powerful tool, and not one to be
overlooked. For most situations, it is a good place to start, but at some
point, you may have to shift to a more powerful Markov or Stochastic
process modeling software.

 Rol Fessenden
 LL Bean

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