13th Annual Gathering of the Chapter

Annual Gathering 2011

THEME : How System Dynamics Can Help Get (Much) More From Less.

VENUE: London South Bank University

DATE: Thursday 10th Friday – 11th February 2011

Topics and Speakers:

Modeling for Cost Reduction in Pharmaceuticals.
Lee Jones, Ventana Systems UK

Lee discusses recent work in support of cost reduction in the pharmaceutical industry,citing a number of examples from high-level strategy to drug product manufacturing. A Product Life Cycle model is discussed in detail, and lessons learned from interacting with senior management at a large multi-national pharmaceutical company are presented.

Managing the Bathtub of Tax Debt.
Nick Whitehouse, HM Revenue and Customs

The good, honest, hard-working people of the UK owe HMRC about £20bn (yes, billion) in tax debts at any given time. Ministers have become more and more interested in getting hold of some of that cash. However, the level of understanding of how the debt balance actually works – and therefore what we can and cannot do to reduce it – was limited. To improve that, we started with some analytical basics (considering marginal impacts, not including debts that don’t actually exist), then moved on to creating an all-singing, all-dancing system dynamics model of debt. The model covers inflows, outflows, feedback, and the impacts of debt age, value & type, staff changes, process changes, and the advantages of using hired goons wielding baseball bats.

This talk explained the basics of the model, and show how to stretch an analogy to bursting point (and way beyond).

Increasing Software Development Productivity in a Major IT Corporation.
Sîon Cave Mirek Gliniecki, Qinetiq PLC

The development of software is a dynamic and complex problem. Elements of the key software development tasks can be automated to improve end quality and free up resource capacity. For example, performing software tests can be a laborious activity which if automated can be carried out quickly and without tester errors. However, developing automation takes time and is more cost effective for applications with a long shelf life. This presentation describes an innovative System Dynamics based strategy tool produced for a multinational IT corporation in order to assess the optimum level of automation to be used in the development of a software application.

Agent-based Modeling of the Economic Crisis.
Paul Ormerod, Volterra Consulting.

The main difference between agent-based and system dynamics models is that in ABMs, individuals in a popular are heterogeneous, whereas SD stocks assign equal characteristics to all members. Much work on ABMs in economics attempts to ‘fit’ the models to historic patterns, leading to very large models, whereas a more appropriate aim would be to mimic key features of events. A key feature of boom and bust cycles that an ABM can capture well is the spread or containment of optimism and pessimism among a network of connected agents.

The Steer Davies Gleave Prize:

Implementing the Comprehensive Spending Review in home care for older people
Peter Lacey, Whole System Partnership

The UK Chapter Student Prize

Understanding empty property management in a local government housing department
Rhys Lewis, Caerphilly County Borough Council

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