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Home > ST Class
ST & Problem Solving - Spring 2004
by Bob Powell, 04/03/04
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MGM 315 Syllabus (doc, 102K) Link

Class 1 - 4/07/04

Class 1 Plan, 4/07/04 (pdf, 15K) Link

Class 1 Slides, 4/07/04 (pdf, 644K) Link
- Problems & Complexity
- Problem Solving, Fire Prevention, Strategy
- Learning
- A brief exercise ... the importance of the "long view"
- Reinforcing Feedback & Exponential Growth
- Policy Resistance: Traffic Congestion & Mass Transit Death Spiral

Distribute: “Learning in & about complex systems,” by John D. Sterman, System Dynamics Review, 10(2-3), 1994. (hardcopy)

Class 2 - 4/14/04

Class 2 Plan, 4/14/04 (22K) Link

Class 2 Slides, 4/14/04 (174K) Link
- Initial class ranking of organizational problems
- Errors in estimating & predicting
- Human behavior is hardwired
- Learning disabilities
- Senge's 5 Disciplines

Distribute: “The ‘Thinking’ in Systems Thinking: How can we make it easier to master?” by Barry Richmond + his papers on 6 of the critical systems thinking skills: dynamic, systems-as-cause, forest, operational, closed-loop, and quantitative (scientific is the 7th). (hardcopy)

Class 3 - 4/21/04

Class 3 Plan, 4/21/04 (20K) Link

Class 3 Slides, 4/21/04 Link (167K) 
Audience Notes Version 
Link (172K)
- Richmond's 7 Systems Thinking Skills

Assignment Due Class 4, 4/28/04 (12K) Link 

Distribute: Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems (464K)  (Jay W. Forrester) (D-4468-2) An introduction to the concepts of system dynamics, discussing social policies and their derivation from incomplete understanding of complex systems.

Class 4 - 4/28/04

Class 4 Plan, 4/28/04 (32K) Link

Class 4  Slides, 4/28/04 Link (424K)
Audience Notes Version 
Link (433K)
- Systems Thinking: Fad or Enduring Practice?
- Reinforcing and Balancing Loops
- Self-Confirming Attributions in the Dynamics of Process Improvement
- Single-Loop Learning (e.g., Level 5 of the SEI Capability Maturity Model)
- Exponential Improvement
- TQM and Systems Thinking

Assignment on Causal Loops, Due Class 5, 5/05/04 (13K) Link 

Distribute: Look for the Loops by Bob Powell (640K) Link

Class 5 - 5/05/04

Class 5 Plan, 5/05/04 (60K) Link

Class 5 Slides, 5/05/04 Link (313K)
Audience Notes Version 
Link (320K)
- From Values, Purpose, Vision to Behavior
- Strategy: Look for the Loops
- From Causal Loops to Action
- Characteristics of Collins' Catalytic Mechanisms

Distribute:  “Places to Intervene in a System” by Donella Meadows (112K) Link

The Archetypes, Generic Structures & Examples Link

Class 6 - 5/12/04

Class 6 Plan, 5/12/04 (22K) Link

Class 6 Slides, 5/12/04 Link (548K)
Audience Notes Version 
Link (558K)
- Loops with Delays
- The Product Life Cycle "S-Curve"
- Shifting Loop Dominance & Customer Service
- Erosion of Carrying Capacity: Easter Island

Assignment on Causal Loops, Due Class 6, 5/12/04 (17K) Link 

Assignment on Stocks or Flows? Due 5/12/04 (4K) Link

Extra Credit Assignment for 5/12/04
On Urban Dynamics based on Forrester's "The Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems"  Link

Distribute: Project Management Dynamics by Bob Powell (hard copy only)

Distribute: “The $2000 Hour, How Managers Influence Project Performance Through the Rework Cycle,” Kenneth Cooper, Project Management Journal, Mar. 1994 (hard copy only) 

Class 7 - 5/19/04

Class 7 Plan, 5/19/04 (24K) Link

Class 7 Slides, 5/19/04 Link (313K)
Audience Notes Version 
Link (320K)
- Personal Mastery
- Winning Strategies
- Self-fulfilling prophesies
- Mental Models

Distribute: D-4101-1 "A Skeptic's Guide to Computer Models," John D. Sterman (87K) Link 

Class 8 - 5/26/04

In this class we'll use some of the time to work on projects. 

Distribute: “System Dynamics Meets the Press”, by Donella Meadows, System Dynamics Review, 5(1), 1989 (hard copy only) 

Class 9 - 6/02/04

Class 9 Plan, 6/02/04 (39K) Link

Class 9 Slides, 6/02/04 Link (248K)
Audience Notes Version 
Link (257K)
- More on Mental Models
- Shared Vision
- Team Learning
- Dialogue & Skillful Discussion
- Ground Rules for Effective Groups
- Undiscussables
- Facilitating Group Action

Report on Class Ranking of Influences on Project Failures  Link

Project Team Assignment & Evaluation Forms (Word format, 16K) Link

Distribute: “Organizational Learning -- The Key to Management Innovation”, by Ray Stata, Sloan Management Review, Spring 1989, Vol. 30, No. 3 (hard copy only)

We'll review the papers below ... not necessary to read.
(they are among others at John Sterman's Publications and Research Project Information page). Link

Distribute: "Bathtub Dynamics: Initial Results of a Systems Thinking Inventory" by Linda Booth Sweeney and John D. Sterman, System Dynamics Review, 16(4) 2000 ( 343K) Link

Distribute: “Cloudy Skies: Assessing Public Understanding of Global Warming” by John D. Sterman & Linda Booth Sweeney, System Dynamics Review, 18(2) 2002 (138K) Link

Class 10 - 6/09/04

Class 10 Plan, 6/09/04 (19K) Link

Class 11 - 6/16/04

Class 11 Plan, 6/16/04 (5K) Link

Class 11 Slides, 6/16/04 Link (452K)
Audience Notes Version 
Link (460K)
- Change
What's Required for Learning Organizations
- System Dynamics for Going from Issues to Action
- People Express Management Flight Simulator

All Class Plans (145K) Link

Class Project Structures: Humor  Iraq War

Colorado Tech guidelines:
“Academic Honesty”, “Oral Presentation Critique”

URL: http://www.exponentialimprovement.com/cms/stprobsolvS4.shtml

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ST & Problem Solving - Spring 2004
ST & Problem Solving - Fall 2003