15.872 | Fall 2013 | Graduate

System Dynamics II


The following table notes the days for which readings are to be prepared (NOTE: before the class in which we discuss them). It also indicates which sections of the text you should be sure to read to learn the material you will need to do the assignments, and which sections you can skim (NOTE: ‘skim’ ≠ ‘skip’).

[BD] = Sterman, J. Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World. McGraw-Hill / Irwin, 2000. ISBN: 9780072389159.

1 System Dynamics in Action: Re-engineering the Supply Chain in a High-velocity Industry [BD] Read Chapter 11, and skim sections 11.6, and 11.7.
2 Managing Instability Part 1: Formulating and Testing Robust Models of Business Processes [BD] Read Sections 13.1, 13.2.1-13.2.9, 13.3, and 13.4.
3 Managing Instability Part 2: The Supply Line and Supply Chains [BD] Read Sections 17.1, 17.2, and 17.3.
4 Managing Instability Part 3: Forecasting and Feedback: Bounded Rationality or Rational Expectations? [BD] Read Chapter 16.
5 Boom and Bust: Real Estate, Shipbuilding, Commodities, Financial Markets

[BD] Read Sections 17.4, and 17.5.

Skim Randersa, Jørgen, and Ulrich Gölukeb. “Forecasting Turning Points in Shipping Freight Rates.” System Dynamics Review 23, no. 2–3 (2007): 253–84.

6 Cutting Corners and Working Overtime: Service Quality Management [BD] Read Sections 14.1-14.4.
7 Service Quality Dynamics: Customer Service at Dell  No reading due.
8 System Dynamics in Action: Applications of System Dynamics to Environmental and Public Policy Issues

Meadows, et. al. Chapter 8 in Limits to Growth: 30-Year Update. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2004. ISBN: 9781931498586. [Preview with Google Books] (excerpts)

Meadows. The Global Citizen. Island Press, 1991. ISBN: 9781559630597. [Preview with Google Books] (selections)

9 Meet LEW: Late, Expensive, and Wrong: The Dynamics of Project Management

[BD] Read Sections 2.3, and 6.3.4.

Liption, E., I. Austen, and S. LaFraniere. “Tension and Flaws Before Health Website Crash,” New York Times, November 22, 2013.

10 Project Dynamics Modeling in the Real World

[BD] Read Chapter 2.3.

Godlewski, E., G. Lee, et al. “System Dynamics Transofrms Fluor Project and Change Management.” Interfaces 42, no. 1 (2012): 17-32.

11 Getting Things Done: Firefighting, Capability Traps, and Death Spirals Read Repenning, Nelson, and John Sterman. “Nobody Ever Gets Credit for Fixing Problems that Never Happened.” (PDF) California Management Review 43, no. 4 (2001): 64-88.

System Dynamics in Action: The Implementation Challenge

Conclusion: How to keep Learning; Follow-up Resources; Career Opportunities

[BD] Read Chapter 22.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2013