HIGH PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PROCESSES
Intensive Schedule: October 30-31,
November 6-7, 14 (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
INSTRUCTOR: Craig W.
This course focuses on system-oriented methods to understand and improve management
processes. You will learn how to construct and use causal loop diagrams, stock
and flow diagrams, and system dynamics simulation models to investigate
"bugs" in business systems resulting from cross-functional
interactions and feedback. You will study such issues as the impact of capital
investment on market growth, management of fluctuating workloads, market growth
and stagnation, new product development, product lifecycles, and project
GRADING AND HOMEWORK
Your course grade will be based entirely on homework. Because the material
in this course is cumulative, it is important to keep current and do the
reading and homework when it is assigned. The following are the homework
policies for this course:
- To receive full credit for a late homework assignment, you
must reach a written agreement with me prior to the due date regarding
when and how the assignment will be submitted. (This can be done by email
- Length, by itself, is not a virtue in homework solutions.
Some people hand in assignments with many pages, each of which has only a
small Vensim or People Express diagram. Both these packages support
Clipboard copying, and please compact your homework by copying Vensim and
People Express outputs into a word processor file.
- I regularly check my email and voice mail even if I am not
in my office. You can also contact me at home before 9:00 p.m. if you have
- Homework may be submitted by the due date using email
attachments or fax without a written agreement. If you submit by email,
send Word, PowerPoint, or PDF files. For large files, please use zip
compression. I will confirm back to you by email that I have received the
assignment. Please confirm prior to submitting a homework assignment as an
email attachment that you can send email attachments through your company
- Please notify me by email that you have sent a fax, and I
will confirm back to you by email that I have received it.
TENTATIVE COURSE SCHEDULE
Feedback and causal loop models:
- Counterintuitive process behavior: Quality programs
- Causal loop modeling
- System archetypes
People Express management flight simulator
Sterman, et al (1997) [Optional]; [IBPA], Ch. 1, App. A; Kirkwood (1998b),
pp. 1-9; Kirkwood (1997); Sterman (1988); Whitestone and Schlesinger (1995);
People Express management flight simulator (con’t)
Stock and flow diagrams:
- Stock and flow diagramming
- Generic infrastructures
The Beer Game
[IBPA], Ch. 2, App. B; Kirkwood (1998b), pp. 10-11
System dynamics models:
- Basic feedback structures and modeling
- Workforce, inventory, and oscillation
- New product dynamics
- Delays, smoothing, and forecasting
[IBPA], Ch. 3-5, App. F, Ch. 6-7; Kirkwood (1998b), pp. 11-15; Kirkwood
System dynamics models (con’t):
- Capacity, market growth, and competition
- Initial conditions
[IBPA], Ch. 8-9, App. C, D, G, H; Kirkwood (1998b), pp. 16-18; Cooper
The modeling process
- Modeling steps
- Parameter estimation
- Production-distribution example: The beer game revisited
- Learning in complex systems
[IBPA], App. E; Randers (1980); Graham (1980); Hamilton (1980) [Optional];
Sterman (1994); Meadows (1980)
- K. G. Cooper, "The Rework Cycle: How It Really
Works… And Reworks…," PMNetwork, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 25-28
- A. K. Graham, "Parameter Estimation in Systems
Dynamics Modeling," in J. Randers, Elements of the System Dynamics
Method, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1980.
- M. S. Hamilton, "Estimating Lengths and Orders of
Delays in System Dynamics," in J. Randers, Elements of the System
Dynamics Method, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1980.
- C. W. Kirkwood, "Integrated Business Process
Analysis: A System Dynamics Sourcebook," 1998a. (Designated as [IBPA]
in the schedule.)
- C. W. Kirkwood, "User’s Guide: People Express
Management Flight Simulator," 1997.
- C. W. Kirkwood, "Vensim PLE Quick Reference and
- C. W. Kirkwood, "New Product Dynamics: Illustrative
System Dynamics Models," 1998c.
- D. H. Meadows, "The Unavoidable A Priori," in J.
Randers, Elements of the System Dynamics Method, MIT Press,
Cambridge, MA, 1980.
- J. Randers, "Guidelines for Model
Conceptualization," in J. Randers, Elements of the System Dynamics
Method, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1980.
- J. D. Sterman, "People Express Management
Flight Simulator," 1988.
- J. D. Sterman, "Learning In and About Complex
Systems," System Dynamics Review, Vol. 10, pp. 291-330 (1994).
- J. Sterman, N. Repenning, and F. Kofman,
"Unanticipated Side Effects of Successful Quality Programs: Exploring
a Paradox of Organizational Improvement," Management Science,
Vol. 43, pp. 503-521 (1997). A version of this paper is on the world wide
web at the following URL: http://web.mit.edu/jsterman/www/ADI/ADI.html
- D. Whitestone and L. A. Schlesinger, "People Express
(A)," Case 9-483-103, Harvard Business School, 1995. (8/5/98)